It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the little, and not so little, details when you’re buying a new construction home. Keeping these questions in mind can help you avoid regrets and ensure that your new home contains all the features and amenities you need and want.
Will My Home Look Exactly Like the Model?
Model homes often contain many upgrades to flooring, appliances, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops and other features. Some include expanded room sizes and additional rooms that aren’t included in the standard plan. Although it’s helpful to see all of the options you can choose, don’t assume that you’ll get everything you see in the model. Ask your New Jersey builder for a list of standard features to prevent any misunderstandings.
Most buyers add at least a few upgrades to their homes. Seeing upgrade options in model homes or in the community’s design studio can help you decide which upgrades are most important to you. Keep in mind that every upgrade you select will affect the final cost of your home.
When Must I Make Upgrade Choices?
Adding upgrades to your home should be completed before construction begins. In most cases, you’ll need to finalize your choices about a month after you sign your contract. Any changes that occur during construction can complicate the building process and result in additional costs.
Will There Be Additional Phases of Development?
Your lot may back to the woods now, but will you still enjoy that same tranquil view in two years? Your view may change if your builder plans to construct the community in phases. Expansion may also increase traffic and disrupt your peace and quiet with construction noise. Before you select a lot, be sure to ask if your builder plans to start a new phase nearby. In most cases, disruptions will only last a few months, unless you live next to the access point for the new phase.
Is There a Homeowners’ Association?
Homeowners’ associations play important roles in many new home communities. The associations can protect your investment by making and enforcing community rules regarding changes to your home, landscaping, parking and other issues. If the community has a homeowners’ association, request a list of rules, and find out how much you’ll pay in dues every month.
Can You Offer References?
Talking to previous buyers, whether in the community you’re considering or another community constructed by the builder, can help you make your decision. Talk to homeowners about:
- The Construction Process: How long did it take to build the home? If construction was delayed, what caused the delays?
- Quality: Are they happy with the quality of building products and finishes used in the home? Were any repairs needed after they moved in?
- Communication: Did the builder provide regular updates and answer questions promptly?
When Can I Move In?
The timeline for finishing your home depends on many factors, including the size of your home, the number of other homes being built at the same time and the season. Although your sales representative will give you a completion estimate, keep in mind that this date isn’t a firm commitment. Most contracts state that homes will be ready within a year after construction begins. Your home may be ready sooner, but completion dates are only estimates.
Storms, delays receiving materials and other factors can lengthen the construction timeline. Do you need to move as soon as possible? Consider a quick delivery home already under construction. If you choose this option, your home may ready in just a few weeks or months.
Can I Visit During Construction?
Most builders will allow homeowners to visit homes under construction periodically. Note that you will always need to schedule an appointment to walk your home with a representative from the company, due to liability and safety concerns. Ask your sales representative how often you can visit and who you should contact to schedule visits.
What If There’s a Problem After I Move In?
Problems aren’t common in new construction, but they do occur occasionally. Fortunately, the warranty offered by your builder will cover the costs of materials and installation for many big and small repairs. Check warranty coverage to make sure that repairs to major home systems, such as heating, plumbing or electric, are fully covered.
Asking questions is the key to ensuring that you’ll love your new house. Do you have questions about the floor plans or building process at Country Classics at Hillsborough? Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to explain what you can expect.
National Association of Home Builders: Questions to Ask Your Home Builder
Zillow: Asking These 6 Questions Can Save You Money When Buying New Construction