Buying a new home can be quite a challenge and not always for the reasons you might think. The first problem many prospective homebuyers think of is typically whether or not they will qualify for a mortgage and while that is a valid concern, this is sometimes the least of your worries.
What you should be thinking about is whether you want to buy a previously lived in home or a new home that is currently under construction. Both have their advantages but both also have disadvantages you may be unaware of. For the moment, consider a new home to be built in a subdivision. The developer and builder have a model home for you to view. You like the subdivision and the builder’s work seems satisfactory, so what’s next?
So, you’ve seen the model and now you want to request some modifications. How will the builder draw out and show you the plans once they are ready? If the builder simply shows you a blueprint with lines and measurements you probably won’t be able to envision what the finished product is going to look like. That might have been sufficient a generation ago but there is no excuse for that now.
With so many advances in technology, there is home design software on the market that can offer 2D and 3D renderings so that you can actually see what the finished product is going to look like. If that isn’t quite what you meant, you can request further modifications before labor starts on your new home. But, this is only the beginning of what you need to know.
Next, you should request a breakdown of the costs for those modifications. Sometimes, in an effort to sell the home, a builder will keep costs as low as possible but keep in mind that those lower costs might end up costing you big time in the end. Make sure to ask the builder who the contractors are going to be that will be making those mods.
This gives you time to check out their licenses and references. In an effort to save money, many builders sub-contract work out to the lowest bidder. That usually doesn’t work in your favor. Just be aware of the fact that in real estate, you generally get what you pay for. If you want substandard pricing, you are probably going to get substandard results.
Negotiating that Final Deal
Finally, once you’ve seen a 3D rendition of the mods you’ve requested, it’s time to start negotiating cost. Depending on the modifications you’ve requested, the cost of that home can rise anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. If the price is above what you thought it would be or what you can handle comfortably, you can enter negotiations to bring those costs down. Just remember that there are some costs which can’t be cut if you want quality workmanship.
Make sure you see a good rendering of the modified home that is as realistic as possible. It is your right as a homebuyer to get what you are paying for, the biggest investment you are likely ever to make in your life. Only when you are satisfied should you sign the final sales contract. After that it’s just a matter of time and you’ll be in the home of your dreams. Remember what was said here or that dream home may become your worst nightmare, and you wouldn’t want that.