A Brand New House
There’s nothing like a brand new house. That fresh feeling that everything you put your hands and feet on, you’re the first person to do so. While looking at houses with a client, if they express interest in a new-build, we know that once they go see it, all older homes are most likely out of the running.
Choose Your Options
When having a home built, you can select as much detail as you want. It makes the process much different than buying an already-existing home. With a custom home, you can make every single selection, a process that is empowering but exhausting. With a spec home (meaning it’s built to a certain specification), you get to make many selections from a limited number of floor plans.
Be careful, it adds up quick. From cabinets to countertops and lighting to flooring, most builders will offer forty or so upgrade options. Guess how many are free! Zero, of course. That sign they put out on the street with a price to lure you in is just a starting point, the smallest floor plan with no upgrades. $10k in options happens quick, and it can spiral out of control from there. Know that the model home has all the upgrades installed.
The options are just one reason why you want to sit with your Atlanta Suburbs agent first to make a plan. Set your priorities in a strategic planning session before sitting in the casino-like atmosphere of a model home.
Their Agent is not Your Agent
Buying an existing house from the owner is straight-forward, a buyer and a seller with their respective agent negotiating for their best interests. With new construction, it’s a bit different, because there’s an agent in a model home seemingly at your service. But that person is representing the builder, not you. You need someone whose sole job is advocating for you. There’s no cost to you. Get protected by first making a plan with your Atlanta Suburbs agent, then making sure they are with you when you go to the builder’s showroom.
Buying new construction is more like buying a car than buying an existing house. The builder’s salespeople are measured by units turned, by upgrades, and by encouraging an emotional purchase. While there are plenty of good people working inside model homes, there are also too many stories of buyers getting one thing when they thought they were getting another. Your agent will remind you that the builder will look at what’s in writing. We are there to advocate for you.
How long will it take to move in?
- A few weeks – if the house is completely done and ready for you, it’s just paperwork until your move-in day.
- 2-3 months – if the house has been started, and you see the foundation poured or maybe even the framing started, then you’re a couple months from move-in day. While the floor plan has already been decided at this point, you may still be able to make interior selections that affect the final look of your new home.
- 5-6 months – often called pre-sales, if your new house has not even been started, then it will take six months to complete. The builder may still be working on permits, or simply waiting to break ground once it’s sold.
Most builders in the Atlanta suburbs are selling the house before breaking ground. There’s just that much demand. In addition to the demand from the continued increase of people moving to the area, builders have learned their lesson from days past – namely they no longer build a whole neighborhood and then wait for the buyers to come. By building only after they have the house already sold, they are able to control inventory, using demand to keep prices up. That means if you see a newly built house for sale, it’s probably too late to get that one, and you’ll be putting money down now for a house they’ll complete over the next several months.
Builder’s Preferred Lender
When you’re financing a mortgage, little numbers can make a big difference over the long run. The messages from the builder on this topic are often a bit misleading. Your Atlanta Suburbs agent will make sure you have a full understanding of what you’re actually choosing when picking between multiple lender options.
Mostly it’s about your priorities. Which do you want?
- Save Cash Now – The builder’s advertisements often boldly claim that their preferred lender will pay for closing costs. Since closing costs are roughly 3% of the price of the house, that can dramatically affect the amount of cash you need to close. However there’s no such thing as free money, so it usually means paying more over the course of your loan.
- Save Money in the Long Run – Your local bank or the Atlanta Suburbs’ preferred lender is less likely to pay your closing costs, meaning several thousand more in cash to close on your home. If you have the cash and your concern is your long term net worth, then
It’s good to shop around. We’ll remind you to get a Loan Estimate from both lenders in order to compare. Lay them side by side, see the difference in short term and long term costs, and decide on your priorities. We’re here to educate and make sure you have a full understanding, so you can make the best decision for your family.
1-2-10. That’s what they’ll say. Here’s what that means:
- 1 year covers everything. Everything. Faucet leaking? They’ll fix it. Nail pops from the settling of the foundation? Spackled and painted.
- 2 years covers the appliances that came with the home. Heating and air conditioning system, water heater, dishwasher… you get a new one if those go out within the first two years.
- 10 years of coverage for structural integrity. Now this one almost never comes into play, but if there are problems with the actual construction that emerge within a decade, they’ll fix that too.
This sort of comforting feeling is not something you get with an existing home, and one reason people love to buy new.