10 Questions to Ask When Buying New Home Construction

Posted by Florida Realty Marketplace on Sunday, December 12th, 2021 at 8:00am

10 Questions to Ask When Buying New Home ConstructionThe process of buying new home construction can, in some ways, be simpler than pre-built homes, as you don’t have to worry about existing structures. However, there are also a lot of processes and decisions that come with new home construction that may be unfamiliar to even a seasoned buyer. If you are considering new construction in Davenport, FL, the below guide has examples of what questions to ask throughout the process.

1. Is the Lot Cost Included?

You’ll see that each plan in new construction has a base cost, which represents the structure itself, a base interior, and exterior features. However, this may not always include the cost of purchasing the land you will build on, so it is important to understand, as that price tag can also be large.

If the cost is included, ask if there are premium costs for certain lots. It’s possible the lot cost is included, but the remaining lots all have added costs for features you can opt-out of, like basement windows or wider yards. If the cost of the lot is not included, ask what it is and factor those into your base price.

2. How Long Will Building Take?

One of the questions to ask when buying a new construction home is "how long will building take?". It’s critical to know the timing of your new construction, especially if you need to sell an older home or sign a lean on a rental. While this schedule may change due to delays, a general idea of what to expect is helpful. Be sure to ask if the time includes the process of getting permits, which can take 30 to 45 days.

3. What Warranties are Included?

A brand new home can still encounter problems, which is why most new construction includes warranties, including short-term whole-house warranties and longer structural versions. Ask for specifics on all included warranties, like how long they last. You can always purchase supplemental warranties, but you should expect some coverage for at least the first few years through your builder.

4. What Are the Standard Finishes?

If the base cost seems low, it may be because the builder expects you to put in extra funds on finishes like flooring or countertops. Be sure to understand what finishes are included with the base price. If you can, go through a model unit and have someone point out what is standard and what is an upgrade. You may not meet with designers until after you are under contract, so having this information early can help you budget properly.

5. Are You Allowed to Purchase Appliances or Materials?

Builders may not offer every feature you had in mind, but it may be possible for you to buy them and have them installed during the build. Some builders won’t allow external materials but will allow other appliances besides the ones they offer. Be sure you understand the restrictions here, as well as what appliances you may be expected to purchase outside of the sale.

6. If You Buy Your Own Materials, Do You Get Credits?

If you are able to go outside of the sale for materials or appliances, you may want to understand what happens to the amount of your base price that represented the original appliance. Most of the time, you will have to let go of that cost, but you should ask if credits are an option that could be used for other upgrades.

7. Is Landscaping Included?

Depending on your lot size, landscaping costs can add thousands of dollars to a build if they are not included in the base price. Some builders include basic yard work, but some leave the land unfinished with a contract that says you have to finish it in a set time frame. Ask what is included and if there are separate warranties on items like sod.

8. Is There a Cost Escalation Clause?

A cost escalation clause allows the builder to charge for unanticipated costs that arise if there is additional labor or material needed. Ask your builder if you will be expected to take on these costs via a clause or if it is factored into the base price.

9. Are There Homeowner Rules or Regulations?

Even if there is no homeowners association where you are building, there may still be guidelines you have to follow set forth by a builder. You’ll want to understand these early to be sure nothing conflicts with your plans for the home.

10. What Financial Incentives Are There For Using Preferred Lenders?

Some builders will have a preferred lender and encourage you to use them by offering discounts on closing costs and other incentives. This should not be enough to make your final decision on a lender, but it’s something to factor in as you look for the best deal.

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