You walk into a new construction community and you are immediately overwhelmed with excitement and possibility. You explore the community and everything checks out. The house is exactly what you’ve wanted, the curb appeal is charming, and the smiling salesperson is so friendly. Everything just seems right.
1) CUSTOM DESIGN
As a Realtor, I show a lot of homes to potential buyers. Even when the buyer absolutely loves the home, there is always something that they would change. They may not like the color of the carpet, backsplash, or walls.
When you build a new home, you can build it the way that you want it. This is probably the most attractive reason to buy a new home.
2) FUNCTIONAL FLOORPLANS
When I show homes to people, sometimes they have very specific requirements. However, over time, I’ve learned that they specific requirements are actually very common. For instance, when I help move down buyers, all of them one a single story. When I help growing families, many of them want a bedroom on the first floor, in order to take care of an aging parent. I’ve also noticed that parents with small children always want at least one bathtub in the home. And everyone who cooks, wants an open kitchen where they can be with their friends and family while taking care of meals.
When buying new construction, you can make all of this possible. If you want a downstairs master bedroom, with a fireplace, and a his and hers walk-in closet… You can have it!
3) HOME WARRANTIES
When you buy a resale home, things do break down. When you buy a new home, not only is everything brand new, it’s all under warranty. So you have peace of mind and low maintenance fees.
4) ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Homes built these days are constructed with energy bills in mind. Many of them are built with Solar already installed and if they don’t have solar, they are built with Energy Star products, double pained windows, and spray foam insulation. All of these will save you thousands in utility bills down the road.
5) HIGHER INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Homes built today must meet stringent ventilation requirements. So they end up being more energy efficient, but also safer. The indoor air quality is much higher, so the production of airborne allergens is lower.
6) BETTER TECHNOLOGY
Today, homes are built with the most cutting-edge technology around. Better technology means more precise measurements and architecture — Both of which contribute to less maintenance down the road.
7) COMMUNITY AMENITIES
Most new home communities have lots of amenities to offer. They include everything from Tot Lots, to playgrounds, to pools. New homes also tend to include Homeowner’s Associations (HOA’s) — And although some of these associations come at a monthly fee, you can ensure that your community stays beautiful for years to come and that your home’s value stays on the rise.
8) INCREASED SAFETY
A new home community is often gated, but safety features come with the house as well. For instance, many new homes come readily equipped with alarm systems. They also have infrared garage door openers that stop when a tricycle is nearby. Some new homes also have state of the art air coolants, which means higher air quality for your family.
9) AVAILABLE INVENTORY
We are experiencing a shortage of homes right now. People are living longer and move down buyers are opting for aging in place solutions. This means that millennials and first time home buyers have fewer choices when it comes to buying a home. Buying a new home in the Inland Empire offers a viable solution to our housing problem — Especially because we have lots of land available to build on still and home prices are still affordable.
10) THE NEW HOME FEEL
One of the most attractive features of buying a new home is that it’s yours, and only yours. No one else has lived there before you, cooked on your stove, or slept in your bedroom. Understandably, that new home feel appeals to a lot of people.
WHAT IS A REALTOR’S ROLE WHEN YOU’RE BUYING NEW CONSTRUCTION FROM A BUILDER?
A buyer’s agent’s primary responsibility is to protect the buyer’s interests. Contrarily, a builder representative’s primary responsibility is to protect the builder’s interests. You can immediately start to see how these two responsibilities are diametrically opposed. There’s no way that a builder can represent you and the builder simultaneously.
Will they make sure to negotiate a deal where everyone wins? Sure. Will they abide by all of the laws and ethically during the home buying process? Most of the time, yes. But that doesn’t mean that they will fight on your behalf to protect you. It’s impossible as long as they are wearing the builder’s name tag and cashing the builder’s paychecks. It’s not personal, it’s just business.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING A REALTOR WHEN BUYING A NEW HOME FROM A BUILDER?
First, there is absolutely no cost to you whatsoever when you use a Realtor, so this is the primary advantage of using one. This is because the Realtor is paid a finder’s fee whenever the Realtor successfully introduces and matches a buyer with a new home. This finder’s fee is a commission that most builders will gladly pay because the Realtor found a buyer for one of their homes. Since there is no cost to the buyer at all, it would only make sense that you use a Realtor during the new home purchase.
Second, the Realtor will make sure that all of your interests are protected. The Realtor will do a market analysis on the home to make sure that you are not overpaying for the area. By the time that you add on all the upgrades, you could be the highest priced home in the community and that is never a benefit when you need to sell the home down the road.
Furthermore, there have been lots of foreclosures after a builder sells the last home and moves on from the community. Technically, as long as they are on site selling homes, they control the value of your home. Once they move on though, every homeowner is on their own. What has happened in the past is that the home will appraise for a certain price when you purchase it, but will appraise for a much lower price when you try to sell it. A Realtor may advise you not to buy a new construction home if you may have plans to leave within 2-5 years for this reason.
Third, the Realtor also knows the area and can tell you if you if there are pitfalls coming down the road. For instance:
- Is the builder also planning to build a mall as an attraction across the street?
- Is the density of the housing to high, which has a significant impact on the demographics of the community?
- Are there Homeowner Associations (HOA) fees?
- What are the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs’)?
- Are there special assessment taxes — to build new parks, schools, and roads — that the builder is now passing on to you. These are called “Mello-Roos” taxes and every builder is subject to them here. They will either absorb them or pass them on. Which scenario do you think happens more often?
Fourth, the real estate agent will guide you through the processes — such as the contract, the construction, the final walkthrough, and closing. The agent will be able to help you when things go awry, and it’s construction, so they often do. Unfortunately, many of the builder sales representatives are not licensed agents, so when something goes wrong, you are literally subjected to the builder and have no one on your side to protect you, advocate for you, or advise you. Since real estate agents help people buy and sell homes every day, they can foresee and protect you from these situations even before they arise.