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Any differences when buying new construction?

Posted by oicu812 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 23, 13 at 5:22

Are there any notable differences when buying new construction? A couple questions come to mind?

Price. Is there any wiggle room in the price for new construction? Is the bid negotiation process the same as with other homes? Or is it pretty much "the price is the price"

Inspection. Is a traditional home inspection necessary or recommended for new construction? There shouldn't be any maintenance issues to uncover, so what would the inspector's role be?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

Whether or not there is any wiggle room will vary with each builder. Builders in my area typically have no/little wiggle room, but they are sometimes willing to throw in a few extras like a fridge or a garage door opener.


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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

To 1. It depends whether it's part of a development or a single house on fill-in lot. Also, usually they are more willing to throw in extras, upgrades or even a freestanding garage (in our case).
To 2. We did, and the inspector found lots of things that had to be fixed, most of them minor but nevertheless.


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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

You should have an inspection to make sure everything was done to code and that everything is working properly. Who knows how thoroughly the plumber tested the plumbing or the HVAC contractor testing the a/c during the winter install.


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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

Totally agree with everyone else about #2 ... there are a lot of sloppy builders out there. New build doesn't mean they built it well, or didn't skip things!


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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

In many cases (states?) new construction comes with a one year warranty. If your builder has a good reputation for quality, you may decide to save on the home inspection and trust the warranty. (We've done so twice, without any negative repercussions.) Radon is probably not covered under warranty.


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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

I bought a new construction home, and I was surprised by the differences. First, there was no offer -- it was, as you say, "the price is the price."

Second, the standard builders contract they used (in New Mexico) was crap -- giving no recourse, opportunity to inspect, or guarantees to the buyer at all. My attorney (boss) had a fit when I showed him the contract and refused to let me sign it until he had worked out a deal for a complete inspection beforehand, as well as being able to inspect the survey, the title commitment, etc., before signing.

I am very fortunate that I work for a prominent real estate attorney who knows all the developers in the area. I had the inspection done and it all worked out. In fact, the whole process went incredibly smoothly, other than the glitch I mentioned. I was lucky.


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RE: Any differences when buying new construction?

We have bought new construction every time we bought a house. We decided early on that in a new house, we could order what we want, which would be part of our price. In contrast, the resales we looked at often required ripping out the carpet, drapes, and other things and then doing the place to suit us or to refresh it. That made the purchase price/move-in readiness higher than buying new. So, we always bought new homes.


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