Looking for new homes in Billings, MT?
Buying a brand new home is fun and exciting there is no doubt about it. Shopping for new homes as opposed to a previously lived in home gives you the ability to have the most modern features and also to completely customize the home for your own needs during the building process.
A recent survey through Trulia indicated that 41% of people currently shopping for a home would rather have brand new.
Not only is a brand new home new and unlived in, it will also have the most up to date energy efficient materials and newer systems than an older home would. New appliances, new furnace, more efficient air conditioning, better hot water heater, are all features that you will find in a newly constructed home that you won’t find in a home that is 20 years old.
However, buyers can get caught up in the excited of shopping for a new home and overlook some of the more key details. Here are some things to be aware of when shopping for a new home.
First, always be a bit cautious when it comes to newer developments that are not finished yet.
Even though the house you may be looking at seems like a great deal, it is not uncommon for some of these half-finished developments to never actually get finished.
What does this mean for you and your investment in a house? It means that the community may either take an extremely long time to be completed or worse, never get completed. In an absolute worst-case scenario, you might end up with an unsellable property in the middle of a desolate, unfinished development. For example, if you are looking at a house where only something like 10 houses out of 40 lots are currently built, be very skeptical and cautious.
Ask a lot of questions about the number of lots sold and the number currently under contract waiting to be built.
If those empty lots don’t end up with houses on them, they are nothing but dirt lots that will kick up sand and dust every time there is a slight breeze.
If you are considering being the first or second person to buy out of a 50 lot development, you might want to wait and give it more time to see how things actually develop.
Don’t fall in love with a model or a prototype of what could be your new home. Keep in mind that you generally don’t get to see your actual house before it is built.
You will be looking at a model in many cases and these models are always decorated to the nines to make them look as impressive as possible. There are also all kinds of techniques used to make models appear bigger than they actually are, and designers and builders know them all.
Rooms can be staged with slightly smaller furniture to make them appear bigger and bedrooms might have a double sized mattress in them rather than a king, to make them seem much larger than they are. Keep in mind that everything is made to look perfect when viewing a model. Your own home will be slightly different.
Make sure you know ahead of time, what exactly is included in your build.
It is fairly common for a buyer to think that a feature or appliance package is included, only to find out that it is an ‘extra’. These extras can destroy your budget if you are not careful, so make sure you have a complete list of what is included in the original price and what is not.
Once you start adding things in, prices can quickly spiral out of control, because it is the ‘extras’ that tend to really be the costly things. Those marble countertops that made you fall in love with the kitchen might end up being an extra that you can’t afford, so do your due diligence in the beginning.
Along the same lines, don’t get carried away selecting upgrades and extras. There is a lot of profit for builders on the upgrades and some of them will try to sell you a bunch just to increase their overall profit margin on the project.
Take a long hard look at what you really need and also think about what could be done or added on later down the road. Otherwise your budget will go right out the window that those designer curtains are covering up.
Another thing that many new home-buyers forget to do is to get a completion clause. Remember, you are at the mercy of the builder’s time line. You don’t want to get into a situation where the completion date has come and gone, you need a place to live, and you builder is still working on your home.
A cancellation clause or a refund of deposit clause are quite common and not only will help keep your builder on time, it will give you some piece of mind in case things start to go sideways.
Make sure you review the surrounding home and neighborhood before you begin construction on your new home.
This ties in with not moving into an empty subdivision, as it really is important to get a feel of where you will be living on an overall basis. How close will your neighbors be? Will another house block your view? Will a house that has yet to be built block your view? Is your gated community surrounded by otherwise sketchy neighborhoods?
Remember, this is your new home. You need to like the surroundings as much as you do the house itself.
Make sure you have a home inspection done. Some people will try to save a few bucks and waive the inspection, reasoning that if the home is new, there is less to inspect. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is not a bad idea to have someone take a look at things even as the home is being built. Get an inspector who can stop by from time to time and pay him an hourly rate. Somebody like this can help identify potential problems before they are covered up by the finished build. Don’t skimp on having your new home inspected at several different stages if possible.