Insider Tips on Buying New Construction


Is buying a new construction house much different from buying a "used" house? I can tell you that yes, it is very different. I could go on and on about all the nuances of buying a new construction house but for this article I will just touch on a few highlights. One of the great features of buying a new house is that you get to design much of the house. The basic features of the house will be set, such as room layout. But you can pick paint colors, counter-tops, cabinet hardware, trim, lighting, plumbing hardware, and on and on. This can really make your new house feel like yours because you picked out all the little details. We have all driven by those signs that say "New Homes Starting From The Low $300's" or something like that. The key word there is "starting". When you go under contract on a new home you agree to pay the base price, let's say $320k for example. Then when you start to choose all the features I mentioned above you will almost definitely start adding more to the cost of the house. You could theoretically just pay the base price and get a fully finished house. But, as one example, the base price will probably include the cheapest carpet you could ever find at Home Depot. Do you really want that for your new home? Most people will pay to upgrade to nice carpet. That is just one example and by the time you go through every option throughout the house you can easily add 20% to the cost of the house. So your $320k house just became a $384k house. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because you are getting a nicer house, and much of that extra cost will simply be rolled into your mortgage payment. I just like to warn people that those "Starting From The Low $300's" signs can be deceiving. The last highlight I will touch on is the fact that new construction homes take time to build. I would say a typical time from signing the contract to moving into the house is 9 months. The good news is that you can relax and watch your new home grow from a hole in the ground to a finished product. The bad news is you better keep your finances in order for the next 9 months so you can still qualify for a loan. That means stay employed and don't make any major financial moves (like financing a new car, etc.). If you are considering buying a new construction house give me a call and I can talk for much longer about all the nuances to be expected!