When you buy a new home that’s in a subdivision, the model home will have many upgrades in it that you may assume are part of the package. You need to get full disclosure of what it included as standard in the home you chose. You should also ask to see any upgrades that are available that may not be on display. Always ask if the builder will do custom changes and what the cost of these will be. A lot of builders will offer some changes such as an office instead of the another bedroom or you may wish to change wall height to accommodate your existing furniture.
To make any major changes you will need to buy your home in the very early stages of construction. Some builders will allow you to make some changes such as a different bathtub no matter what stage of construction it is in. Extra costs may be charged for things such as custom molding, a finished garage with insulated doors, fans for the whole house, intercom systems, a central vacuum system and also adding extra lines for extra electrical outlets etc.
You need to understand exactly how much cash you will require before the builder orders any of the materials or makes a change or upgrade. Some builders will require anywhere from a 50-100% deposit in escrow and this is in addition to a good faith deposit. You also need to find out if any of this money is refundable if you choose not to buy the house.
Yard landscaping can be one of the biggest expenses when you move into a new home and most subdivisions will include a lawn, sprinklers and some plants for the front yard but no landscaping for the backyard in included. However, most subdivision developments will offer backyard landscaping package for an extra cost. You may want to find out the cost of levelling the property, to have topsoil delivered, install the drainage, install sprinklers, lay the laws and the purchasing of the plants and how much time it would take to do all that. You may find it will be cheaper for the builder to subcontract all the work out to a landscaper to be done for you and many lenders will allow this extra cost to be included in your loan.
Gated communities are now more popular and may have monthly association dues that are payable by you. These are used to maintain the common areas such as pools, shared landscape areas, roofs and exterior pain. In some cases the garbage collection and water are paid for using these dues but make sure you find this out.
A lot of new home subdivisions have home warranties and all new appliances are covered by the manufacturers warranties. The structure is also covered but be sure to ask to see the warranties as they all differ. Just because you are buying a new home this does not guarantee that there will not be any problems so you need to be sure you’re covered in the case of a water pipe bursting and flooding your home. It is advisable to get a complete home inspection done by an independent home inspector. It is much easier to get things fixed before all final documents are signed than after escrow has closed.
The best way to make sure you are covered is to work with a licensed REALTOR®. They work every day looking for the best buy for their clients so know all the best locations and builders. This can save you a large amount of time and they are also able to find you the best buy in the subdivision. If you are in the market for a new property you should tell your agent. They have to accompany for your first visit to the subdivision and register you.
After you have made your decision on the home you are wanting to purchase the agent will be there when the contract is written and in some cases will write the contract themselves. A new home can be great as everything is new and still under warranty. If you are in the process of looking to buy a home you should consider pre-qualifying for your loan as this will better your bargaining position.