10 Things to Consider When Purchasing or Building A New Home
There are many new homes for sale in Fredericksburg, VA. In our previous post, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both new homes for sale and those which are resale. If you are seriously considering the possibility of building a home or purchasing new construction, here are 10 things you might want to consider.
1. Get in touch with a knowledgeable Real Estate Agent
When looking at new homes for sale in Fredericksburg or building a new home anywhere, as in all real estate transactions, you will want to be working with a real estate agent that is experienced in your local real estate market. Discuss with your agent and determine what you would like and need in a new home. Calculate your comfortable price for purchasing a new home.
If you currently own a home, you will need to calculate the potential net proceeds from the sale of your current home to determine what cash you will have on hand to put into your new home. This is not a number you want to to simply estimate. (If you are wondering what the current market value of your home is, find out now!)
Considering your cash on hand and/or your current income, debt load, and size of your down payment, calculate your comfortable price range for your new home.
2. Sellers’ Agents Versus Buyers’ Agents
If you are considering building a home and have even begun looking at model homes, you need to remember that the sales agent in the model home represents the builder. They are the seller’s agent. You want to have your own agent, a buyer’s agent, working on your behalf, to represent your needs. You will want to select an agent that has both experience and knowledge when it comes to home construction, warranties, financing, pricing differences, quality, lot selection, etc. so that you get the most value in your home for the best price.
Find your expert buyer’s agent here.
3. A Builder for Everyone
Builders, just like all tradespeople, vary in their fields of expertise. There are builders who specialize in craftsmanship, those who are known for their innovative use of space, those who offer below-market financing, or those who are known for their exceptional attention to the customer even after the build is complete. Discuss with your agent your own personal needs when it comes to your new home and look for a builder that will address those needs specifically.
4. Get the Facts About Your Builder
Make sure you do your research. Before choosing a builder to work with, be sure you have looked at not only your builder’s reputation, but financial strength as well. You also want to obtain the “spec sheets” for all the different features of your future home. These documents will include all the information on your new construction from floor plans to energy efficiency and will also include things like lot availability and when you can expect your home to be completed.
5. Check Out the Neighborhood
Learn everything you can about the neighborhood and area where you want to build your new home. New homes for sale in Fredericksburg can be found in all kinds of different communities.
Are there any amenities the community offers? Where does the money come from to maintain or potentially replace any of these amenities? Is there a Home Owner’s Association? Will you be required to pay dues?
If there is a Home Owner’s Association, you will want to be sure you obtain a copy of any rules, regulations, and/or bylaws that would pertain to your property and future home.
Some other things to think about when considering the location for your new home: What are the commuting routes near my home and how will they affect drive time to places? Are the lots around my lot vacant? If so, is there anything or could there be anything constructed in that area in the future?
6. Choosing Upgrades and Options
The price you will see advertised for new construction or new homes for sale is a base price. The more features, upgrades, and available options you choose to include in your new home, the higher your final sales price will be. Options are things that are installed in the home during construction, such as a sunroom or extra closet. Upgrades are available finishes of a higher quality, above “builder standard” quality. Upgrades can be made in carpeting/flooring, ceramics/tile, detailing, kitchen or bath fixtures, appliances, etc.
These things can all add value to your home, however, you want to be sure that you are not overpricing your home for the neighborhood in which it is located. This will make re-selling the home in the future more difficult.
Two more things: be sure to take advantage of builder incentives that offer free upgrades and credit off the sales price, and remember, many things like decks, landscaping, and finished basements can be added later at a lower cost.
There is room for negotiating sales price, options, and upgrades with a builder. For example, you can negotiate a sales price if a builder has completed a home and not yet sold the home. Lot prices can be negotiated. Builders may also offer discounts or special financing in order to close a sale.
8. Agree only to a Contract that works in Your Favor
When it comes to the agreement between you and the builder you have chosen, you want to ensure you protect yourself by having certain safeguards written into the contract. These safeguards might include, but are not limited to, things such as:
- Your deposit should be placed in escrow
- Details of all your chosen upgrades should be written out
- You should be allowed access to the construction site to review progress
- A 30-day advance notice of the closing date
- An explanation of the “fine print” for any warranties from the builder and/or manufacturer
9. Find the Best Financing for YOU
While some builders do offer their own special financing, “home loan” lending is highly competitive. Shop around for the best interest rates and lender fees available to you. Appraisals, inspections, surveys, attorney’s fees, and closing costs can all vary as well, so you will want to be sure that you are getting the best financial option for the financing and purchase of your new home.
10. New Does NOT Equal Perfect
While new construction is typically built with modern materials that are considered more durable, lower maintenance, stronger, quieter, safer, etc., nothing and no one is perfect. Hire a reputable and licensed home inspector. From the home inspection, create a builder “punch-list”, in order to have any problems addressed before closing. You might also consider budgeting for items to be modified or added down the road.
Find Your New Home for Sale in Fredericksburg VA
Many home buyers hire a real estate agent to help them through most, if not all, of the above mentioned steps in the process. While purchasing new homes for sale in Fredericksburg or purchasing land to build a new home anywhere has many advantages, there are also added steps and sometimes, added complications, along the way. It is in your best interest to have an expert looking out for you throughout the process. If you are looking for a local real estate expert to help you in your home buying process, you can fill out this short form right now and take your first step towards finding or building your dream home today!