New construction is back in South Florida in many cities and being developed as we speak in Broward, Palm Beach and Dade counties. Some people only want to buy new construction when it is available as opposed to a resale residential home or condo. They like the idea of having what they consider a brand new “Dream Home” and not someone else’s taste or headache.
If this describes you, then read my tips on how you can protect yourself to make the new home buying process an enjoyable experience. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will save more money by going to the builder’s onsite agents who represent the builder and his interests not you and yours.
1. Hire your own Agent –
- It is very important to have an agent represent you with years of experience in new construction to help guide you through the process and to also help with choosing the right builder for you.
- Many times the sales agents can high pressure you to sign a contract and having an agent to speak and negotiate for you, addresses that concern so you can make a clear decision.
- Builder’s agents don’t discuss any possible drawbacks about your selection, but your own agent will represent you and discuss those issues with you.
- If you need to sell your home in order to buy new, consider a contingency clause to sell your existing home before buying and hire your own listing agent.
2. Choose your own Lender –
- The builder’s lender may not offer you best deal. See what other lenders have to offer.
- Insist on a good faith estimate and shop around to find a lender who you feel comfortable with and will offer prompt and reliable service.
- Find out about your credit score before shopping for a new home.
- Have a well thought out plan for the possibility of your home not being completed on time.
3. Get legal Advice before buying –
- Talk to a real estate attorney to protect your interests. Standard purchase agreements are written to keep everyone out of court, but they don’t always contain the correct language to protect you the buyer.
- Make sure you ask questions and know what contingencies the builder may have and what your rights are in cancelling your contract.
- Do an environmental search about any possible health issues or concerns about surrounding areas.
4. Check out your builder options, upgrades and pricing –
- Find out what options or upgrades you want which will add to the cost of your bottom line.
- Builders make the bulk of their money on the options and upgrades they offer the buyer. See if your lender will lend you money on all their options. Otherwise, you may be required to pay cash.
- Find out timing for ordering your upgrades so that you know if builder will have the right to choose them if you don’t order timely.
- Find out what upgrades may save you money if not done by the builder and if it would affect the closing in any way.
5. Hire a home inspection company before closing –
- Make sure they are licensed and insured and will preform checking electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, roof ect.
- Be there with your agent during the inspection
- Make sure you have a report with pictures to back up findings.