Ah, that new home smell: It ranks somewhere between new car smell and Thanksgiving dinner, right? But before you consider new construction as an option for your home, you might need to do a little homework. Before you get caught up in countertops and paint samples, get educated on what the new home construction process can (and can’t) do for you.
1. Homes Can Sell Before They’re Built
That cute rambler you’ve had your eye on in a new subdivision? It might actually already belong to someone. Most new home construction projects are sold long before the lock goes on the door. Luckily, reputable builders already have plenty of space to grow, so you can see about getting a similar house on a different lot.
2. There’s Room for Negotiation
You’ll probably find that the prices for new construction are firm, since they’re dictated by building costs at the time. You can, however, negotiate when it comes to design upgrades. Maybe you don’t really want the jetted tubs, but you’d love granite counters, or you want to swap a breakfast nook for a back deck. Talk to your builder to find out which upgrades and features work for you.
3. No Emotional Attachment = Better Deals
Unlike actual homeowners, new construction builders don’t have the same emotional attachment to their projects. Okay, so a lot of blood, sweat and donuts went into those new houses, but new construction often means a better deal because homeowners often overprice their properties based on their perceived value, which can include a hefty dose of sentiment to drive up prices.
4. Location, Location, Location? Maybe Not
Another major benefit of purchasing a home fresh off the construction line is the fact that you can be choosy about your location. While older homes are (obviously) rooted to the spot, developers usually have several subdivisions, which means you can pick your perfect spot – in the perfect location.
5. Not All Builders are Created Equally
Choosing your new home builder doesn’t have to be confusing, as long as you remember that they aren’t all the same. A reputable builder should be able to walk you through the process and won’t ever force you into options you don’t want. What’s more, a builder that offers several services in-house (think customization, interior design and financing) means you score a one-stop shop and a more streamlined experience.
6. Ask for What You Want
Hey, what’s the point of building your home from the ground up if it means you don’t get exactly what you want? While the new home construction process starts with paging through a variety of layouts and choosing the best for your family, ask your builder how customizable your options are. Minor changes are usually kosher, but you have to ask. Looking for changes and upgrades after the building process has begun might be a no-go.
7. Always Document the Process
We’re talking about a brand-new home here! Tracking the process, taking pictures and sharing them with friends (and sharing with us on Instagram!) is one way to document the totally unique experience of building your own home. Take pictures, drive by to see how it’s going and keep track of the process so you never forget the experience – start to finish.