New Construction Homes: What to Know Before Buying Off the Plan

New Construction Homes: What to Know Before Buying Off the Plan

Charming, cozy, and full of character? More like old, small, and dilapidated. If the thought of buying an older home makes you cringe, maybe you should buy new construction instead.

But new construction homes come with their own set of potential issues. Here's what you need to know before buying new construction.

What Is the Timeline for Completion?

On average, new construction homes take between six and nine months to complete. However, some projects will take up to a year.

Several factors, including weather, permitting, and material delays, can impact the timeline. While they might not be able to give you an exact completion date, the builder should be able to give you an accurate estimate.

These long timelines often work well for first-time homebuyers, especially if you're only a few months into a rental lease. This way you can stay in your current rental until your new home is complete.

If you already own a home, buying a new construction house may be more complicated in terms of timing. If your current home sells too quickly, you might need temporary housing.

What Items Are Included?

If you're considering a new construction home, you'll likely take a tour of a model home. Remember that model homes often have all of the upgrades the builder offers, so what you see might not come in the standard package.

Make sure to find out what is standard and what is an upgrade when touring a model home. For example, will your home have the same beautiful granite countertops? Or will you end up with laminate because the granite is an upgrade?

How Much Will Upgrades Cost?

Once you've figured out which items are upgrades, find out how much the ones you want will cost. You might be able to afford the base price of the home, but it might be out of your price range once you factor in the upgrades.

It's also important to determine whether the upgrades will add value to your home. Even if you love the way something looks, if it doesn't increase the resale value, it's not worth spending the extra money.

What Do the Builder's Warranties Cover?

Builders typically offer two types of warranties: implied and express. Implied warranties cover building defects that could impact the home's safety. They are often vague and only last for about ten years.

Express warranties have much more precise terms. They clearly state what is covered and for how long.

Things that are often not covered in builder's warranties include:

  • appliances or anything else with a manufacturer's warranty
  • damage caused by homeowner neglect
  • damage caused by natural disasters

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the warranties. Ask your realtor or lawyer to review them if there's any confusion.

New Construction Homes: Are They Right for You?

Whether you're buying a home or looking for an investment property, new construction homes can be a great option. But like with any other home purchase, there are several things you need to consider before signing the contract.

If you're starting your home search and need an experienced realtor, look no further than PMI of Fairfax. Our knowledgeable team is equipped to handle all of your real estate needs.

Get in touch today to let us know how we can best assist you.