The Portland Metro housing market continues to grow. With ongoing low inventory, buying new home construction is an excellent option for many buyers. Because these houses are brand new, people often assume they don’t need to worry about any problems. But in reality, there are still many things to consider and pay attention to when purchasing new construction.
Julia Monaghan Real Estate knows the Portland Metro neighborhoods inside and out. We love exploring each nook and cranny to help our buyers and sellers with a comprehensive strategy. No matter where you are looking to buy or sell, we’d love to be on your team. Reach out today to get started.
Buying New Home Construction Requires Diligence
Enjoying the luxury of a newly built home is a dream for many people. Having no need for home improvement projects for a while is enticing. But even when purchasing new construction, there are several things to consider.
Whether you are working on a custom home or purchasing already-completed new construction in a development, here are the top things to do to help ensure a smooth process.
1. Choose an agent and lender with experience.
Buying new construction is a different process than purchasing an existing home. Make sure your real estate agent and lender have the experience and expertise to keep the process moving smoothly.
2. Determine the builder’s reputation.
Before you commit to purchasing a new home construction, research the builder. Seek information about their reputation, history, and quality of work. Check online reviews and search for any complaints against them.
Request references from previous customers and be sure to follow up on them. When communicating with references, ask questions about the builder’s communication, follow-through, timeliness, and work quality. Find out if the builder stayed on budget for their projects.
Buying new home construction is a big undertaking. You want to ensure that you’re working with a trustworthy, reliable builder who produces excellent work.
3. Clarify your wishes and needs.
Before looking at any homes, you should have a list of non-negotiable needs and negotiable wants. This is true when shopping for old or new construction.
Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Consider things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the yard, and the home’s location. Knowing what you want can help you narrow your options and streamline the decision-making process.
With custom construction, you will have many options for your new home. With planned developments, you may need to work within the choices they have in their design center. Either way, you will have many decisions to make, so having a clear list of wants and needs is essential.
4. Understand the contract and warranty.
If you’re purchasing a new home that is still under planning or construction, be certain you understand the contract before signing. The agreement will outline details such as the purchase price, payment schedule, and closing date.
Ensure you examine how the contract handles construction delays or a rise in the cost of materials. Both of these situations are almost givens during new construction. It’s essential to know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line. For the most protection, consult with a real estate attorney.
New construction often includes a home warranty. Take the time to understand what it does or does not cover and what responsibilities you must fulfill for the warranty to be valid.
5. Be cautious about upgrades.
Builders can make a lot of money by selling home design upgrades. If you’re buying new home construction that is already complete, this situation won’t be an issue. But if it’s still being built and you are selecting finishes, beware the upgrade temptation.
When your builder suggests a change or upgrade, remember to check your list from Step Two! Your list will help you stay focused when choosing things such as appliances, finishes, and other items. Every change order or upgrade will cost something, so paying attention to the accumulating costs is critical.
6. Don’t skip a home inspection.
Many folks assume they can bypass a home inspection on new construction. But just because the home is new doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There can still be problems that the builder needs to address before you take possession, and an inspection will help pinpoint those concerns.
7. Clarify the expected timeline.
New home construction is unlikely to go exactly to plan. Weather, shipping delays, and material availability will have a say in how long the project will take. Talk with the builder about the anticipated timeline and their processes for handling delays. Also, clarify how often you will receive progress reports and updates to stay on top of what’s happening.
Mistakes will happen even with the most conscientious and efficient builder at the helm. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan for where you will stay if the home is unfinished by the expected date.
8. Be patient.
Real estate transactions almost always have an element of “hurry up and wait.” But buying new home construction takes it to a new level. There is much that is out of your control for these transactions while you wait for construction to finish. Sometimes there are delays waiting for it to start!
Purchasing new construction requires patience, communication, and flexibility to get through the process. But with an excellent agent on your side, you will be in that gorgeous home soon.
At Julia Monaghan Real Estate, we love seeing your dreams take shape in your new construction project. And with an extensive list of referral partners, we can connect you with any experts needed. From contractors to lenders to attorneys, we have a trusted referral.
Contact us today to learn more about how we support sellers and buyers in the Portland Metro area and beyond.