Buying a home before it is even constructed can be an intimidating thought. The good news is there is a tried and true set of steps to make the most of the process.
1. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Did you know that working with a real estate agent is no cost to you? Well, its true! A real estate agent is able to help you review the purchase contract, select features that will help with resale value, and simply advocate for your best interests. The builder’s salesperson, albeit friendly, is employed to get the best deal possible for the builder – not you.
You should have someone in your corner advising you and advocating for your rights. Best of all – its FREE because the builder will pay your agent at closing.
Don’t have an agent yet? Work with one of our CoNewBuild affiliated Agents through the Blueprint Homebuyer Program.
2. Explore Communities and Builders
It sounds pretty easy but it can become daunting pretty quick. Browse all the communities on CoNewBuild.com and discuss with your agent. They will be able to provide some context on the communities and provide information about the specific features and floorplans available at each builder location. Be sure to consider:
- Floorplan Types – Ranch, Two-Story, Condo, Townhome
- Neighborhood Amenities
3. Visit Communities and Tour Model Homes
Now one of the most exciting part begins! Partner with your real estate agent to schedule visits to your favorite communities. While at the communities, you will be able to take a drive around the neighborhood to view available lots, tour the model homes onsite, and discuss you home search with the salesperson and your agent. While onsite, be sure to check out:
- Neighborhood Amenities such as Swimming Pools, Clubhouses, and Parks.
- Model Homes and the varied floorplans available.
- Available Lots that offer walk-out or in-ground basements.
- Upgrades Available to be added to your new home.
4. Select Your Community, Floorplan, and Lot
Working with the builder salesperson and your agent, you will be able to select your ideal community, floorplan, and lot. Depending on the maturity of the community, you may be limited by the floorplans available and which lots can have which plan built.
5. Sign the Purchase Agreement
After you have selected most (but not all) of the features for your new home, you will be presented a long, confusing purchase agreement from the builder. Partner with your agent to review the document and present any questions to the builder’s salesperson and/or a real estate lawyer. Once you have reviewed and feel comfortable, you can sign the document and put the deposit down to allow the builder to begin construction on your home.
6. Visit the Builder’s Design Studio
If you were born to shop, this stage is for you! Shortly after you sign the purchase agreement, you will set up an appointment to visit the builder’s design studio to pick out the finishes for your home. You will be picking out:
- Bathroom Fixtures
- Lighting Fixtures
- And much, much more….
It is absolutely vital that you (and potentially your spouse) set a budget before going to the design studio. The costs can escalate quickly so it will be important to arrive with a plan.
7. Stay Updated Through the Process
Most new build homes take between six and twelve months to complete so it is important to stay in close contact with your real estate agent and the builder’s sales office. Frequently, the sales office will be able to provide weekly or bi-weekly updates with pictures to show you the progress on your home. Also, you will get the opportunity to put on a hard had and review the progress in person.
8. Complete the Final Walkthrough
A few days before you are set to close on your new home, you will work with the builder’s construction team to take a look at your complete home and identify any areas for touch up before close on the home. At this walkthrough, you will want to double check for:
- Walls with missing or smudged paint
- Dents in walls or ceilings
- Paint drip on the flooring
- Scuffs or marks on the floorboards and flooring
- Imperfections in countertops, cabinets, and appliances.
It is also a good idea to bring a certified inspector to review your new home and point out any imperfections to the builder. Frequently they will find items you would have never noticed.
9. Close on Your New Home
Otherwise known as “signing the paperwork,” you will go to a real estate or title office to sign all the paperwork potentially including the deed, mortgage paperwork, and builder forms. Your real estate agent will join you for this step as well, clarifying paperwork and making sure you feel informed. Congrats, you own your new home!
10. Warranty Items
You would think that the new home process ends at closing but that is far from the case! Most builders stay engaged with homebuyers for up to a year to assist with warranty items related to the new homes. If you can, become friends with the onsite warranty claims representative because they will be able to help you if anything should break or stop working at your new home.
Ready to start your new home search? We have partnered with local real estate brokers to help you find your next home at no cost! Check out our Blueprint Homebuyer Program.