20 Do’s and Don’ts of Buying New Construction

Published on February 13, 2015

20 Do’s and Don’ts of Buying New Construction

Building a home can seem like a daunting task. Buyers should take care when proceeding with this exciting endeavor. Building the perfect home for you and your family is a way to merge design elements, floor plans and features into one dream home. To make it a rewarding experience, here are a few do’s and don’ts that can help novice homebuyers get started in the right direction and achieve success.

  1. Do seek a real estate agent that can represent you during the complete home building process. Having a knowledgeable professional who can guide you through the construction phases can save you time and money. A good realtor will have relationships with highly-regarded and trustworthy builders.

Do I Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy New Construction? via Kyle Hiscock


2. Don’t forget to do some background research on a referred builder. With online reviews at your fingertips, the good news is that the work is already done for you. A quick web search can give you an idea if a builder is reputable and reliable.

11 New Construction Home Buying Tips: How To Buy a New House  via Ryan Fitzgerald


 3.Do work with a loan officer before signing on the dotted line. Building a home can sometimes get complicated for those going through it for the first time. But getting pre-approved and pre-qualified helps homebuyers know exactly how much they have and want to spend to stay on budget.

Tips For Buying a New Construction Home  via Paul Sian


 4. Don’t forget to inquire about ongoing costs of owning a particular home including property taxes and average utility costs. You may be able to purchase the home, but unable to maintain living there over the long run, if you don’t include all expenses for owning a home.

7 Extra First Time Home Buyer Expenses  via Bill Gassett



5. Do look at as many floor plans as possible. There are seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to models and floor plans. A good builder will help you sift through designs to ensure you find the right fit.


6. Don’t fear customization. A respected builder will work closely with homebuyers to ensure they get the house they want. If you’ve always wanted a home with a fireplace in the master suite, the builder may have a floor plan that can accommodate your desire. Minor tweaks like taking walls out and adding doors are generally not a big deal to a reputable building firm.

6 Building Mistakes That Can Turn Your Custom Dream House Into a Dump  via Margaret Heidenry at realtor.com


7. Do tour models similar to what you’re considering building. Photos, websites and virtual tours may not always give you the best idea of what the finished product will look like. Whether building a home for the first time or designing your dream house, you’re going to want to walk through every inch of a home before deciding if it is for you.


8. Don’t be hypnotized by the picture-perfect model home. Model homes are always decorated to look magnificent. Designers employ all kinds of techniques to make the model home appear bigger than it actually is. They have been furnished and staged with slightly smaller-scale furnishings to make the rooms look bigger. You want to look past the decor and notice the important essentials that are permanent features of the home.


9. Do ask for a detailed list of upgrades and their costs. Model homes are almost always filled with every upgrade the builder offers to entice buyers. Buyers should ask how much the model costs. You’d be surprised at how much the cost of the model differs from the advertised starting prices of the homes.


10. Don’t forget the details. All houses are not built the same; they don’t come with the same features. Be sure to ask your builder exactly what is included in the price. This means everything from kitchen cabinets, flooring to the tile in the bathroom …



11. Do investigate the quality of the local school system. Whether you have school age children or not, school systems do have a dramatic effect on the value of residential real estate.

How Schools Impact Home Prices  via Anita Clark


12. Don’t be too quick to purchase a home on a busy street or one that adjoins or is located in close proximity to non-residential structures. The reason that you may be able to purchase one of these at a good price is the same reason that a subsequent buyer will expect a price concession from you.


13. Do take the time to analyze the important features you really want in a home and hold on until you find them. If you need an eating area in your next kitchen, be sure you get it in the home you decide to purchase.


14. Don’t purchase a home that is considerably more expensive than other homes in the neighborhood. The surrounding homes will drag your value down rather than help it appreciate. Also, one day you may want to sell it, and if you have too much invested, it probably will not appraise for what you have in it.

Why You Should Never Buy the Best House in the Neighborhood  via Jamie Wiebe at realtor.com


15. Do take advantage of walk-throughs to monitor progress. Let the builder escort you through your property as it is being built. Use these opportunities to ask questions and take pictures. Begin a ‘punch list’ of items that need to be fixed. This is critical, because you may not remember every little item once construction and everything is done. Plus, the various contractors come in different phases, and will need to be called back.


16. Don’t discount the importance of timing. Before going ahead with your new construction home, get an estimated timetable from the builder. Know what the delivery time window is so you can prepare accordingly, and be sure you have the proper contingencies in place!

PROs And CONs Of Suitable Property Contingencies In Real Estate  via Kyle Hiscock


17. Do go with your gut instinct. If you have looked at established homes for some time and have not found what you want, building is probably the best route for you.


18. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Builders, developers and realtors will throw a LOT of lingo and phrases at you, it can make your head spin. Ask questions, take notes and always, get it in writing. Most importantly, make sure your review your warranties carefully.

Warranty Options For New Construction and Existing Homes  via Michael Roberts


19. Do be sure you go over your ‘punch list’ of items that may need to be fixed, before your final walk thru. If a builder doesn’t think you are keeping track of every little item, there will be more mistakes and you may not have any recourse after the sale is completed. This not only creates headaches, but can be very costly if the repairs are not done to your satisfaction. Example, one time, it rained for several days before our closing. The garage floor sank 3 inches into the ground. It was quite costly for the builder, who had to put pilings under the floor after tearing it up and replacing it.


20. Finally, if you have a home to sell, there are many options you have, but you need to be very careful. You don’t want to be in a position that you have no place to live when your new home is ready, or your present home hasn’t sold, and now you are paying two mortgages.


Building a home is an exciting, nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience. Take your time to know what you want and don’t want, communicate your ideas clearly and stay in close contact with your builder of choice. The result will be the perfect dream home for you and your family.


Wendy Weir Relocation – Real Estate Agent, Relocation Specialist, Birmingham, MI

20 Do’s and Don’ts of Buying New Construction
Please use a valid email.
Please use a valid phone.
Please fill in all fields.
view now