Buying New Construction is NOT a Typical Purchase

OK, besides the obvious that new construction is buying something new as opposed to buying something used like in a traditional sale, there are many other things to keep in mind when buying a new construction property.

Delivery Date

When you are looking at information sheets you will see the "estimated" delivery date that the builder expects the property to be ready. I always suggest to my buyers to tack on at least another month from this date. There are a lot of things that can go wrong that can push the delivery date back. If the weather doesn't cooperate, permits take longer than expected to get, city inspections are delayed, or even the work is not keeping up with their proposed timeline. Regardless, don't expect to close on the date mentioned and plan accordingly.

Negotiating

Unlike in a traditional sale, there is typically no negotiating on the price. What you see listed is what you pay. Developers LOVE to keep their prices high. They look better when they do. BUT, you can negotiation other items. For one, you can ask for closing cost credit to help pay for your closing costs. Ask to add items or upgrade things like the appliances. You are usually given a budget from the developer to work within but they may be willing to budge a bit on this if you pay their price.

Customize to Your Liking

The cool thing about new construction is that you are allowed to customize the property to your liking. Developers will budget for everything. For example, appliances, lighting, and kitchen cabinets. You usually will be given options within these budgets to pick out colors, designs, materials to name a few. You can choose to stay in the budget or if you want to upgrade you may have to pay for the difference in the upgrades vs what they budget for. Regardless, you are able to make the home your own and have someone else build it for you. Not the same as with buying a used property where someone else's finishes are there you may have to live with.

Inspections

With new construction, you are going to want to do a few inspections. One of which is likely just you coming back to the property at certain progress points to make sure the work being done is what you agreed to with the developer. If you see anything off, make sure you mention it to the developer so items can be corrected easily before the work gets too far along. Also, when the property is pretty much done you are going to have a real home inspection with a professional home inspector. This person is going to pick out every defect and thing wrong with the property. The other cool thing is that a developer needs to deliver you a perfect product so anything that the inspector finds wrong needs to be fixed by the developer. This includes paint scuffs, floor scratches and minor items that are not typically negotiable with a traditional sale. 

Finally, make sure you hire a real estate attorney who understands new construction and has represented many buyers in this regard. Developer contracts are written heavily in favor of the developer and you want a good real estate attorney to know how to read these contract and make the necessary changes to properly protect you!