A brand new home is often a symbol for hopeful homeowners who can't wait to start a new life with a clean slate. However, buying a newly constructed home means playing by a slightly different playbook than traditional home purchases. For a better chance at keeping the whole process in perspective, it's time to plan ahead with the following tips.
Schedules and Deadlines
Construction crews will usually do everything in their power to keep to their original schedule, but there may be unexpected weather delays that derail the completion date of the home. In addition, different provinces may enforce their requirements in different ways, and certain neighborhoods may have more regulations than others. While teams will plan ahead as much as possible, buyers should have contingencies in place just in case they need to stay somewhere else for longer than they anticipated.
How Negotiations Work
Builders aren't in the habit of dropping their prices for any reason. They may not have any emotional attachment to the property, but they do need to keep their business model in mind. If a builder develops a reputation for being a haggler, they will lose money on future projects because everyone will expect the same treatment. This doesn't mean they won't work with homeowners, though. Instead of lowering the price, the builder may agree to cover closing costs, which can total up to 5% of the total cost of the home.
Hire an Experienced Agent
A real estate agent with a specialty in newly constructed homes is the best way to approach the buying process. The right agent understands the market well enough to know when to make an offer, how to structure it, and the most likely response the buyer will receive. They know that every day an unsold property sits is a day the builder is losing money. For homeowners who haven't commissioned the home, an agent can identify which properties are the smartest buys in a buyer's area.
Writing the Contract
There are a few things to keep in mind when drawing up a contract for a newly constructed home:
- Put everything in writing: All home sales involve plenty of paperwork, but it's particularly important for newly constructed homes to have as many details as possible in the contract. If the agreement isn't clear, future disputes will be more difficult to mediate.
- Insist on home inspection: Just because a home is newly constructed, doesn't mean it's perfect. Buyers should have the home inspected for themselves to ensure that it's both up to their expectations. Buyers should have a backup strategy in case there are flaws in the home or discrepancies from the original plans. Doing so will make negotiations smoother either before or during escrow.
Buyers are encouraged to find out more about the downtown Fort McMurray area before finalizing their commitment. Many builders know little about the areas in which they build, so it's up to the buyers to learn more about what the area will look like in the next 5 – 10 years. For example, if there's new commercial construction set to break ground in the next year, or if a major business will close in the near future.
Buying a newly constructed home means being as realistic and practical as possible. These tips may not be as exciting as designing your dream kitchen, but they're important if you want to find a home that works for you.