17 New Construction Home Buying Tips for 2022
Buying a new construction home in 2022 is an adventure, to say the least, one that is full of excitement, anticipation, and fear all at once. New homes offer exciting possibilities for your future but it is important to be prepared before you get started on this adventure.
Whether you are newly married, starting a family, or just looking for something new and fresh, buying a new home has a lot of benefits that come with it. However, before you start this process, it is important to be aware of a few things that will make your experience much smoother.
In this article, we will be going over aspects of buying a new construction home, which include:
1. Consider if a new build is right for you
2. Get a pre-approval
3. Enlist the help of an agent
4. Research builders
5. Narrow down an area or neighborhood
6. Choose the right floor plan and layout
7. Create a detailed budget
8. Read the contract carefully
9. Understand what is standard and what is an upgrade
10. Understand the timeline
11. Have a plan for delays
12. Stay involved in the building process
13. Get a home inspection
14. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
15. Know your warranty inside and out
16. Choose your finishes carefully
17. Close the deal
Here are 17 tips for buying a new construction home in 2022:
Consider if a new build is right for you
When it comes to purchasing a new home, there are many important factors to consider. One of the biggest considerations is whether you want a newly constructed house or an existing one. On the one hand, a new home can offer certain advantages, such as modern amenities and the latest in design trends. In addition, it allows you to put your personal stamp on the structure, letting you customize everything from paint colors to built-in shelving units. However, building a new home also comes with some risks and challenges that aren't necessarily present in older properties. For example, there is always the risk that construction delays or other unforeseen issues could prevent you from moving into your new home on schedule.
Overall, whether a brand new construction home is right for you will depend largely on your own goals and priorities as a homeowner. Some people may prefer to purchase an existing house that they can move into immediately and start living in right away, while others might enjoy the challenge of building something from scratch or designing every detail of their future home. Ultimately, it is up to you to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision about what's best for you and your family.
Get a pre-approval
Getting a mortgage or loan pre-approval for a new construction home can be a bit more complicated than buying an existing home. This is because the process requires you to not only estimate what kind of financing options might work best for you but also to consider how your credit score and overall financial situation will impact these choices. However, with some careful planning and some good research, it is certainly possible to get pre-approved for a mortgage or loan that works well with your needs and budget.
To begin, it's a good idea to speak with a trusted lender or broker about the different types of mortgages or loans that are available. Some options may be more suited to your specific financial situation than others, so it helps to compare various terms and rates before making any final decisions. Next, you'll need to ensure that your credit history is in good standing. This means taking steps like paying off any existing debts or outstanding bills and making sure that there are no negative marks from old loans or late payments on your credit report. Once you have done this and have gathered all the necessary supporting documents required for approval, you should be ready to fill out any necessary application forms and submit them to your lender for review. With some diligence and organization, getting pre-approval for a new construction home loan can be a relatively straightforward process.
Enlist the help of an agent
Even if you're planning to build a new construction home, it's still a good idea to enlist the help of a real estate agent. A real estate agent can provide invaluable assistance throughout the entire process, from finding the perfect lot to negotiating the purchase price. In addition, a real estate agent can offer advice on choosing the right builder and help you navigate the often complex world of construction contracts. Perhaps most importantly, a real estate agent will be there to represent your interests and advocate for you if any problems arise during the construction process. So even if you're planning to build a new home from scratch, it's still wise to seek out the help of a qualified real estate agent.
When you buy a new construction home, it's important to do extensive research on builders. Not all builders are created equal, and it's important to find one that meets your needs and fits your budget. There are a few things to keep in mind when researching builders.
Here are a few tips to help you find the best builder for your project:
- Ask around. Talk to friends, family, and neighbors who have had experience with builders in your area. They can give you first-hand insights into the quality of workmanship and customer service you can expect.
- Check online reviews. Take some time to read online reviews of builders in your area. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded perspective.
- Schedule consultations. Once you've narrowed down your choices, schedule consultations with each of the builders on your list. This is an opportunity to ask questions, discuss your project in detail, and get a feel for their professionalism and overall approach.
- Check out model homes. If possible, take a tour of model homes built by the builders on your list. This will give you a good idea of their workmanship and attention to detail.
- Get references. Be sure to ask each builder for references from past clients. This is an excellent way to get first-hand insights into their work quality and customer service.
Once you've done your research and chosen a builder that you feel good about, it's time to start working with them to design your dream home. Be sure to communicate your wants and needs clearly so that there are no surprises during the construction process. With the right builder, you can be confident that your new construction home will be everything that you ever wanted it to be.
Narrow down an area or neighborhood
Narrowing down an area or neighborhood is a crucial step in determining the most suitable place to build your dream home. Factors that can impact this decision can range from zoning restrictions to community resources, and knowing what each factor means is key to making the right choice for your family.
Some important things to remember when choosing a neighborhood include:
- Look for amenities. Take a close look at the area to determine if it has the amenities that you need. This can include things like good schools, grocery stores, parks and recreation centers, and more.
- Connect with neighbors. Talk to your future neighbors if possible to get their input on what it's like living in the area.
- Consider commute times. If you work, be sure to consider how long your commute will be. Choosing an area with a shorter commute can save you time and money in the long run.
- Assess the property values. Research the property values in the area to get an idea of what your home will be worth once it's built. This is important information to have when making such a major investment.
- Consider the future. When choosing a neighborhood, it's important to think about the future and how your needs might change over time. For example, if you're planning on starting a family soon, you'll want to make sure that the area you choose offers good schools and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Some considerations when narrowing down an area for your home include checking for any zoning restrictions that might affect the type or size of your house, evaluating the local schools and parks in the community, and researching transportation options in order to ensure that getting around town won't be too much of a hassle. Additionally, it's important to have a clear idea of what you want in terms of living space so that you can find a neighborhood with houses that fit your needs. Overall, taking all of these factors into account will help you narrow down your options and make the best choice for where you want your new home to be.
Choose the right floor plan and layout
Building a new home is an exciting prospect, but it can also be a bit daunting. There are so many choices to make, and one of the most important is deciding on the right floor plan and layout. After all, this is the space where you'll spend most of your time, so it's important to choose wisely. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you select the perfect floor plan for your new home:
- Consider your lifestyle. Do you like to entertain guests? Do you need a lot of storage space? Do you prefer an open concept or a more traditional layout? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options.
- Think about the future. If you're planning on starting a family, you'll need a different floor plan than if you're empty nesters. It's also important to think about any potential changes in your lifestyle that might occur down the road (e.g., elderly parents moving in, kids leaving home, etc.).
- Think about your budget. Of course, you'll want to stay within your budget when selecting a floor plan, but it's also important to think about future costs. For example, a larger home will be more expensive to heat and cool, so you'll want to make sure that you can afford the long-term costs before making a decision.
- Get input from others. Ask family and friends for their thoughts on floor plans and layouts, as well. Their input can be a valuable resource for narrowing down your options.
Once you've narrowed down your options, visit model homes or consult with an experienced real estate agent to help guide you through the process of choosing the perfect floor plan and layout for your new home. With careful consideration and planning, you can find the perfect home that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Create a detailed budget
When it comes to purchasing a new construction home, creating a detailed budget is essential.
Here are a few things to consider when making up your budget:
- The cost of the land: This is often one of the most expensive parts of purchasing a new construction home. Make sure you factor in the cost of the land when calculating your budget.
- The cost of the home: This includes the cost of materials, labor, and permits. Make sure you get an estimate from the contractor before finalizing your budget.
- The cost of extras/upgrades: You'll likely want to add some features or upgrades to your house when it's complete. Whether these are aesthetic in nature or more practical (e.g., security systems, motion detectors), be prepared to allocate funds for extras that you plan on including in your new home.
- The cost of utilities: This includes electricity, water, and sewer. Again, make sure you get an estimate from the utility companies before finalizing your budget.
- The cost of furniture: If you're planning on purchasing new furniture for your home, make sure you factor that into your budget as well.
By creating a detailed budget and sticking to it, you can ensure that your new home purchase doesn't get too expensive. And by planning ahead for potential upgrades or additions, you can avoid spending more than you anticipated in the long run.
Read the contract carefully
Reading a new construction contract carefully and thoroughly is essential to know exactly what to expect from your builder. Here are some tips to help you understand a construction contract:
- Read the entire contract before signing it. Don't just skim the terms and conditions but take the time to read every word so that you understand what you're agreeing to.
- Pay attention to the details. A construction contract can be complex, with many different clauses and provisions. It's important to understand how each clause affects your rights and obligations. For example, pay close attention to any deadlines that are included in the contract.
- Get clarification on anything you don't understand. If there's something in the contract that you don't understand, ask for clarification from the other party before signing. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
- By taking the time to read a construction contract carefully and thoroughly, you can protect your purchase interests and avoid problems down the road.
Understand what is standard and what is an upgrade
When you're building a new home, it's important to understand the difference between standard features and upgrades. Standard features are those items that come with the base price of the home, while upgrades are add-ons that will cost extra. For example, most new homes will come with carpeting in the bedrooms, but hardwood floors may be an upgrade. Or, a home may come with basic black appliances, but upgraded stainless steel appliances would be an additional cost. Knowing the difference between standard and upgraded features can help you make informed decisions about how to best use your budget when building your new home.
Some of the most common upgrades include:
- Additional tile work
- Exterior/interior lighting
- Smart home technology
Knowing the difference between what is included in the base price of the new construction home, and what will be costing you extra, will help you budget appropriately and ensure that you're able to get everything you want in your new home. By carefully considering your needs and planning ahead, you can be sure to have the best possible experience when building a new home.
Understand the timeline
When building a new home, it's essential to have a firm understanding of the timeline involved. The process typically unfolds in phases, beginning with planning and budgeting and progressing through design and construction. During this time, there will generally be several key milestones that must be carefully managed in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Some of these milestones may include selecting materials, finalizing plans, obtaining permits, completing the foundation of the house, installing electrical wiring and plumbing fixtures, pouring the concrete slabs or footings, and finally putting on exterior finishes such as roofing shingles. In addition to keeping track of all these different tasks, it's also important to stay informed about any potential delays or extensions that could disrupt the schedule.
On average, a new construction home can take anywhere from five to seven months to complete. However, many factors may alter the timeline which includes weather, availability of materials, upgrades, and permit approval. By understanding the timeline involved in building a new home, you can create a realistic and manageable plan that will allow you to enjoy your new home as soon as possible.
Have a plan for delays
There's nothing more frustrating than being stuck in construction limbo, especially when you're trying to move into a new home. Delays are unfortunately fairly common in the construction industry, but there are a few things you can do to plan ahead and minimize the inconvenience. First, make sure you have a contingency fund set aside to cover unexpected expenses. Secondly, be realistic about your timeline and build in some extra time for contingencies. Finally, be prepared to be flexible with your moving date - it's better to have a firm plan B than to be scrambling at the last minute. By following these simple tips, you can help make sure that your new home construction goes as smoothly as possible - despite any delays that may pop up along the way.
Stay involved in the building process
One of the most important aspects of building a new home is keeping the lines of communication open with your builder. Throughout the process, you'll need to make a lot of decisions, big and small. From choosing fixtures and finishes to deciding on layout and design, it's important that you and your builder are on the same page. Otherwise, you could end up with a home that doesn't reflect your vision. Of course, communicating with your builder can be difficult at times. They may be busy with other projects or have a lot on their plate. But it's important to remember that they want you to be happy with the end result, so don't be afraid to speak up if you have any concerns. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can ensure that your new home turns out exactly the way you want it to.
This is another reason to have a buying agent involved in the home building process. A buyer's agent can help to ensure that you and the builder are communicating effectively and that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the process.
Get a home inspection
Just because a home is new doesn't mean it's perfect. In fact, many new construction homes have hidden problems that only become apparent after move-in. That's why it's so important to get a home inspection before you finalize your purchase. A home inspector will look for any potential issues, from structural problems to electrical hazards. They'll also check for code violations and incomplete work. By catching these problems early, you can avoid costly repairs down the road.
Common issues that arise in new construction home inspections include:
- Incomplete work: Some builders cut corners to save time and money. This can result in unfinished work, such as missing insulation or incomplete drywalling.
- Code violations: Builders are required to follow strict building codes, but sometimes they don't. This can lead to serious safety hazards, like electrical problems or structural issues.
- Hidden damage: Some builders try to cover up damage, rather than fix it. This can include water damage, mold growth, and pests.
Don't be afraid to negotiate
Just because a home is new doesn't mean you can't negotiate. In fact, many builders are willing to negotiate on prices, upgrades, and other features. If you're not sure how to negotiate, it's a good idea to enlist the help of a real estate agent. They'll be able to help you get the best deal possible on your new home.
Once you've found a few builders you're interested in working with, the next step is to negotiate the price and cost of the project. The first thing to keep in mind is that the builder's bottom line is the most important factor in any negotiation. With that said, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting the best possible deal. First, be honest about your budget and what you're willing to spend. Second, be prepared to walk away if the builder isn't willing to meet your needs. Finally, remember that you always have the option of hiring another builder if you can't reach an agreement. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to getting the best possible deal on your new home.
Know your warranty inside and out
When you buy a new home, it likely comes with a warranty. This warranty is designed to protect you from having to pay for repairs for any defects in the home that may arise during the first few years of ownership. However, it is important to understand the terms of your warranty in order to get the most out of it. For example, many warranties only cover certain types of damage, such as structural problems or faulty appliances. Additionally, many warranties have strict guidelines about what constitutes normal wear and tear, and they may not cover damages that fall into this category. As a result, it is important to take the time to read through your warranty carefully and familiarize yourself with its terms and conditions. By doing so, you can make sure that you are prepared in the event that any problems arise with your new home.
Many times builders will have a third-party company that offers the warranty for your home. As such, warranties can differ from builder to builder. In general, new construction warranties commonly cover:
- a one-year warranty for labor and materials
- two years' protection for mechanical defects (plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems), and
- ten years warranty for structural defects in the home.
Having a firm grasp on exactly what your warranty covers will help ensure that you don't have any surprises down the road. If you are having trouble understanding your warranty, don't hesitate to reach out to the builder or the warranty company for clarification.
Choose your finishes carefully
When you buy a new home, you'll likely have the opportunity to choose some of the finishes, such as flooring, fixtures, and paint colors. While it may be tempting to go with the first option you see, it's important to take your time and choose carefully. After all, these finishes will be in your home for many years to come, so you'll want to make sure you're happy with them.
To start, it's a good idea to create a budget for the finishes you want. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending. Once you've done that, it's time to start looking at different options. When considering different finishes, it's important to keep both function and style in mind. For example, if you have young children, you'll want to choose flooring that is easy to clean and durable. Likewise, if you're looking for a luxurious feel, you might want to consider materials like marble or granite.
Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to start making some decisions. If you're struggling to choose between two different finishes, it's a good idea to ask for samples so you can see them in person. Additionally, it's a good idea to consult with the builder, who, many times, offer the use of in-house designers to guide you along the process. By taking your time and being thoughtful about your choices, you can ensure that you'll be happy with the results for years to come.
Close the deal
The day you have been waiting for! All your hard work has finally paid off and you are about to close on your new home. But before you do, there are a few things you need to take care of first.
Finalize all paperwork
It is important to make sure that all of your paperwork is in order. This includes ensuring that you have all the necessary forms and documents completed and signed. Additionally, you will need to have any funds needed for the purchase wired in advance so that they are available when the sale transaction needs to be finalized. Many times lenders will have already done draws off your mortgage in order to pay the builder along the way, so you may just be the final draw in order to close the deal.
Complete a walkthrough
Before you officially close on your new home, it is important to do a walkthrough. This will allow you to confirm that everything has been completed to your satisfaction and that there are no outstanding issues that need to be addressed. Additionally, this is a good time to check for any final punch list items that may have been forgotten. Once you have completed the walkthrough and are satisfied with everything, you can officially close on your new home.
Once you have officially closed on your new home, it's time to start moving in! Whether you are moving into the space yourself or using a professional moving company, now is the time to get all of your things packed up and ready to go. Additionally, once everything has been moved in, make sure you take some time to properly unpack and set up your home. This will help ensure that you are ready to enjoy your new space as soon as possible.
By making sure you understand the process, along with everything that goes along with each stage, buying a new construction home in 2022 can be a great experience. Just remember to take your time, do your research, and ask plenty of questions along the way. And soon enough, you'll be moving into your brand new home!