Purchasing a New Construction Home: Top Do’s and Don’ts


Some home buyers are interested in the charms of an older home, and they’re willing to take on the hassles of repairs, upgrades, and renovations in order to get the style they want. But others would rather start out with a brand new home that is move-in ready. And new construction projects can provide this opportunity without the major undertaking of buying land, contracting architects and builders, and doing it all on your own. If you’re looking for the easiest way to get the brand new home you’re seeking, new developments are definitely the way to go. But just because a home has never been lived in doesn’t mean you should buy it sight unseen or trust that everything will be perfect. There are several do’s and don’ts you’ll want to observe before you buy.

  1. DO: Hire an experienced agent. Any time you’re looking at real estate it’s probably best to hire an agent to show you homes, offer advice, and represent you in your transaction. But when it comes to buying into new construction, there are several differences from other types of home purchases. And it behooves you to seek out a real estate agent that is familiar with the special circumstances associated with new construction, such as timelines for building, options for customization, and the necessary inspections before the purchase is complete, not to mention lemon laws that apply to major defects resulting from shoddy construction practices.
  2. DON’T: Mistake the base price for the final price. Often, new construction homes are listed at a base price, especially if you buy during the building phase. But you will be offered all kinds of upgrades. You may choose more expensive materials and finishes, a different floor plan, or additions like patios and decks, for example. But you’re going to pay for every change to the basic construction plan. So make sure you understand the pricing before you simply assume that the base price listed will end up being the final price.
  3. DO: Research developers. If you’re worried about the possibility of subpar construction, your best bet is to do your homework. By looking into the building company you should be able to find prior developments so that you can see how well homes hold up over time or even uncover litigation pertaining to defects. And if there are neighborhoods that you would love to buy into but there are no homes currently on the market, you can always look for new developments under construction by your company of choice.
  4. DON’T: Forego the inspection. It’s easy to assume that just because your home is new it will be in perfect condition. But this is a fallacy that could end up costing you. As a consumer, you have options to ensure that you get what you pay for. And in the case of a home purchase, you can hire an inspector to make sure everything is ship shape before you buy. But if you fail to use the tools available to you, don’t be surprised if you encounter problems after the fact.
  5. DO: Take part in the process. One of the best reasons to buy into a new development that is still under construction is to play a role in how your home is built. While you won’t necessarily participate in every aspect, like purchasing cement or contacting Global Crane Sales for equipment, you can pick from pre-selected finishes and other options to customize your home. And this can ensure that you get the house you want from the get-go, so you won’t have to make changes after you move in.
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