The advantages of new construction are pretty darn appealing. The whole thing is brand new and shiny – no worn carpet, lovely new paint, sometimes sparkling fresh appliances, and home systems that actually work right. And even better, no one has ever lived in the home before – you’re the first, and you get to break it in. Still, as attractive as new construction may be, there are some things you need to be aware of and others you need to look out for. Let’s take a look, then, at the 5 things you should know about buying a new construction home in Baltimore.
1. Builders Differ
Many people seeking to buy a new construction home in Baltimore simply assume that all builders know what they are doing and do a good job. But that’s a mistake – sometimes a very costly one.
As industry insiders often remind us, “the experience of building new construction varies . . . because policies, skills, and options available vary among builders.” You may “come across a builder with less proven experience, and you need to be wary about who you choose . . . When choosing a builder for your new construction home, look beyond the pictures on their website, and seek out more information to ensure you’re making the right choice.”
Its recommended that you talk to other people who have bought homes from a particular builder and investigate any complaints filed against them. Your local real estate agent can also help you choose wisely with respect to builders. Find out more about this by calling 443-928-4550.
2. Negotiating Room Is Much Less
Another thing you should know about buying a new construction home in Baltimore is that there is far less room for negotiations than there would be with a pre-owned home. With a pre-owned home, fair market value and/or the seller’s wants to determine the price. And often that price, as well as many concessions and contingencies, is negotiable. It’s just an accepted part of the process.
“When you’re buying new construction, however, what you see is typically what you’re going to pay, plus any upgrades. Builders don’t like to lower the base prices on homes because that alters the comps of the development and will result in more buyers looking for ways to negotiate down.” And this is another reason why a good agent can be a valuable ally – to help with what negotiation may be possible.
3. You Must Understand Your Warranty and Get Inspections
Just because a [market-city] new construction home is brand spanking new doesn’t mean everything is as it should be. And that means you need to understand your warranty and get inspections.
New home warranties typically offer limited coverage on major things like the HVAC system. But some builders’ warranties are more limited than those of others. So be sure you find out exactly what is and isn’t covered.
In addition, that same newness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay for inspections – they are not for existing homes only. As we mentioned above, not all builders are fully qualified, and more than a few cut corners. So have inspections done to protect yourself? Also, experts recommend that you “[m]ake sure to put a home inspection contingency in your sales contract [just as you would with an existing home]. This way, you can back out of the deal of something major is wrong.”
4. You Should Shop for a Lender
Buying a new construction home in Baltimore also means you should shop for a lender. Because new construction typically costs more and there is less room for negotiating, you need to get the best mortgage rate and terms you can.
Heres what one top real estate firm says on this subject: “Any time we talk to someone who is going to buy a [new construction] home . . . the first thing we recommend to them, after education, is to go shopping for money. Literally. A fraction or two of a percentage point can save you thousands and thousands of dollars per year.”
5. An Agent Can Save You Money
As important as finding the right lender is, finding and hiring the right real estate agent is even more important when it comes to buying anew construction home in Baltimore. As we pointed out above, a qualified local agent can be an invaluable asset in checking out builders and negotiating the best deal when negotiations are stiff. In addition, your buyer’s agent costs you . . . nothing.
Typically, “the builder will pay your agent to represent you and to negotiate a better deal for you. Why wouldn’t you want an agent to represent you and ensure you receive the best deal possible? Finding a top local [agent] who is experienced in negotiating with builders is going to be one of the most important things you do in the home buying process.”
So if you’re thinking about buying a new construction home in Baltimore don’t make the mistake of not searching out a qualified local agent. Find out today how our agents can help you with your new construction home.