BUYING A NEW HOME FROM A BUILDER?
Are you tired of seeing older homes that always need reno’s, or just are not big enough to satisfy your families needs? This is very common, and might lead you down the road to the newer neighborhoods in Edmonton. Here you will find the latest and greatest new, and modern homes at very competitive prices. Before you do, here are are some points to think of and mistakes others have made before you.
YOU MAY FALL IN LOVE WITH THE SHOWHOME
This is something that happens with almost every new potential buyer. Do not feel bad if this happens to you. The large builders have had years and spent countless amounts of dollars researching exactly what makes the new home buyer tick. If you don’t fall in love with their show homes, they have failed before you even get started. Keep a level head while touring these homes and here is why…
Most show homes are loaded with expensive unnecessary upgrades. These features seem amazing at first but are they really functional. When analyzing what features to go with ask yourself a few simple questions. 1. Is this feature going to positively affect the ease of my life? 2. Will this upgrade raise my property value in the long run? 3. Will I care about this upgrade in 5 years or will it just be a waste of money? Remember sales associates for new home builder are payed on a scaled commission structure. The more upgrades you buy or the next tier of their pay plan they get you past means more money in their jeans and less in yours.
Show home locations are designed to show you ease of living in that area of the neighborhood. Things to keep in mind are the lots for sale are usually further into the neighborhood with lots of construction for the foreseeable future. Not all roads, entry and exit ways will be built at time of possession. This could lead to longer commute times in and out of the community.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD REMAINS A CONSTRUCTION ZONE!
Buying a new home is always exciting no matter how many times you have done it. Once you get in is when the real works starts. There is unpacking, getting settled, buying new furniture, organizing movers or friends to help. One of the biggest complaints I get from previous buyers is after all that chaos is over. THE CONSTRUCTION!!!. Depending on when you purchase in the new development construction around you can be anywhere from 6 months to 5 years long. This includes countless mornings of framers, concrete, roofing and siding workers banging with no regard to the residents in the area. Local laws say they can start as early as 8 AM and trust me they will be there on time especially on the weekends.
Another aspect to all the construction is the maintenance it causes on your home. Most homes that are being built today are what we call GREEN friendly. That sounds amazing, but it opens up the door to some maintenance that if not explained properly can becoming daunting very quickly. With all the construction dust, mud and traffic it causes the air in our homes to become somewhat unpredictable if not monitored. Most homes come with numerous ways to keep the air in our home as clean as possible including HRV systems and high efficiency furnaces. With these amazing additions to our homes the upkeep of them is very important. Most manufactures recommend filter changes in this equipment every 3 months under normal circumstances. Being in a construction zone is not a normal circumstance so make sure you stay on top of this. Another factor is the exterior features of your home. The exterior will be a constant battle until the construction stops. Siding, windows, eavestroughs and your yard will need to be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain its functionality and overall appearance. With so many different tradesman and construction workers in and out of the community sometimes cleanliness is not their highest concern. If you are having issues with the workers in your community don’t be afraid to voice your opinion to them, your builder and other residents if need be. Remember the builder is accountable to you even after they hand over the keys.
DEALING WITH THE BUILDER UNREPRESENTED…
It is very easy to just walk into a show home and sign on the dotted line. Do not being mistaken there is many things that need to happen before this step and a qualified experienced realtor can help with all of these to make sure you are protected on all aspects. The home builders do not share openly, the comparable home prices with prospective buyers. This means you are paying a price set by the builder, that may not be in line with market prices. A Realtor can search recent solds to establish a value, that is in line with the current local market. Without this, you are susceptible to emotional purchases, that can leave you in red in the future. We as Realtors see one very common trend. The average Edmontonian moves every 3-5 years. If you sell your home three years after it is built, there is one issue. The home builders are still building newer, and often cheaper homes just a few blocks away! Buyers are always drawn toward new homes, instead the “gently used” homes. Warranty, wear and tear, are some of the reasons why. Here are the reasons to hire a professional to protect you and your purchase, and how to retain the Buyer/Realtor relationship in this process:
- Make sure your realtor is with you on the first visit to the show home and every time until the deal is condition free.
- The sales associate will try and sell you on the fact they are her to work for you. Do not fall for this, remember they are employed by the home builder and have very high sales quotas to hit. On those facts alone the obvious thing says they are not there for your best interest.
- Make sure your realtor and lawyer you select together review all documentation before you sign it no matter how small of an issue it might seem like. There is lots of small print and legal terminology that will confuse even the most experienced real estate associates and real estate lawyers.
- Have your realtor research the area for any new development/ amenities in the area to make sure you are comfortable with where your possible neighborhood is headed in the future.
- Have your realtor review any documentation for possible hidden fees including HOA fees and what they include.
- Review and ask questions with you realtor present. Questions that always need clarification are, When will my home be done? When can I walk through my home? Are their set up times throughout the build to inspect the progress?? What kind of warranties are included with the purchase? When will the community be completed? What amenities are going to be built in the area? How is everyone paid? Are there any hidden costs to purchaser? If your realtor and new home build associate cannot answer these very simple questions to your satisfaction this is a large red flag.
The single biggest reason to employ a realtor that you will notice is the negotiation aspect. I know I know every one is a master negotiator these days! Just ask the auto industry! Even though you believe you can negotiate yourself a good deal on a home please do not get stuck in this trap. Realtors are not only trained in negotiating with these large home builders again they are always there to keep your best interests at the forefront. We know the terminology the builders will use and we can use it just as well. Buying a new home for your family can be a very emotional decision having us take care of the business side of things with the information you provide us will not only make the process more profitable for yourself but less stressful and more straightforward in the long run.
Always remember that your realtor is there to protect your best interests and not the builders or even their own. If for any reason you doubt this discuss the issues with your realtor and if it does not change look to find another professional to help you.
A) Do not fall in love with the features of the show home.
B) Review all floor plans available and ask to see them in person if possible.
C) Review the contract with your realtor you hired and a qualified real estate lawyer.
D) Even though it is a new build still hire a qualified inspector.
E) Fight for your rights with the builder. You are their customer.
F) Be prepared for a long term construction zone in your neighborhood.
G) Bring all warranty issues up immediately.
H) Review all costs of a new build including Fencing, Decks, Landscaping and HOA’s.
I) Research past reviews of all builders in the area.
J) Research the community including all future developments and amenities.
K) Do not search or negotiate unrepresented. Realtors are paid by the home builder. The home builder will not give you a better deal being unrepresented that money will just go to their profits.
This information is only enough to scratch the surface of this process. We at Beech Woolger Real Estate have much more to share, please contact if you are looking for assistance in these muddy waters!