When buying a new home in the Main Line area you’ll meet lots brokers, agents, and representatives. But keep in mind that every one of these titles should be renamed “salesperson”. Every one of these people makes their living selling you something, so tread carefully. Anything you say will be used against you.
We are not trying to scare you, we just want to educate you and prevent you from falling victim to the scams that cost people thousands of dollars every day. We hope that after reading this article you’ll be ready to buy a new construction house with a calm and confident attitude, not paranoid and confrontational. We’ll teach you how to negotiate with the best of them.
Buying a new house is 90% logistics and 10% negotiations. Whether you are buying a new house or a used house in Main Line, you must keep in mind that everything is negotiable in life, and you should be negotiating at every single step of the way, because you’ll find on closing day just how many people have their hands in your pocket. Don’t ever feel guilty or foolish for asking for a discount from anyone of these people, they have no problem asking for money from you. Most important of all, do not buy a house without having an inspection performed.
One advantage to buying new construction in the Main Line area is that you can customize many things such as color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, TV and phone wiring, speaker wiring, etc. The builder generally will not let you put in your our TV, phone and speaker wiring, due to inspections and code regulations. But having this done by the builder to your specifications, will save you a lot of time and effort later.
Search out a reputable builder. One of the keys to purchasing a new construction home is finding a reputable builder. Ask friends, relatives or co-workers for recommendations. Ask people already in the development about their experience with the builder. Also, check out previous construction done by this builder. Check with the better business bureau. The builder’s reputation is everything. A disreputable builder can ruin the entire new home buying experience. Just because you are buying a high priced home does not mean that you are getting high quality construction. For example, some builders may use polybutylene pipe instead of copper for plumbing. This type of practice does not only happen in low end houses! Builders will cut cost wherever possible. If there are already houses under construction you should check out the quality of workmanship and materials being used in the early stages such as the foundation and plumbing.
Once you have found a builder in the Main Line area that you feel comfortable with, it’s time to research the neighborhood. Check out any vacant land in the surrounding area. Find out what that land is zoned for and what plans have been submitted for development. A good source of information is the local town or city zoning board. Nice vacant fields will not stay vacant for long. Will it become high end houses that will increase the value of your new home or will it become yet another strip mall that will trash the value of your home. Don’t believe everything that the sales droid tells you. They will most likely be long gone before your house is completed. If you are buying a home in a suburban area pay attention to the proximity of major highways.
Make sure to wait for a good rain storm before you sign any contract. You want to see how the area drains in a heavy storm. You don’t want to need to build an arc to get to work in the morning.
Never be fooled into thinking that you can buy a home for the “starting at” price advertised by a development. This price is just used to get you in the door. The home that is offered for that price will be bare bones, with no options and will be compared against the better homes in the development when you sell your home.
When buying new construction, make sure when buying a new construction home, make sure that the builder is contractually obligated to pay his fair pro-rata share of the taxes. This is especially important when buying a spec home because once the home is finished the taxes will accrue at “completed home” rates.
Implied warranties vs. extended warranties. Most states have laws which give the buyer protection against the shoddy workmanship of cheap builders that cut corners. The implied warranty will normally cover defects in materials and workmanship. Extended warranties are purchased by the buyer and cover the same type of defects but for longer periods of time.
Before closing on the home you will be allowed a walk through inspection of your home where you will create a list of defects that the builder agrees to fix after closing. Since most of us are not professional home inspectors, it may be wise to hire an inspector to participate in the walk through with you.