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What to Know If You Are Buying A New Build Home

Over the years I have sold literally hundreds of homes…and many of them have been brand new never-been-lived-in homes.

Here in the Valley we have dozens of homebuilders…and they all have different policies and procedures. But there are some things I find very similar across the board.

Now…as a disclaimer…I am NOT talking about the literally hundreds of custom homebuilders. That is an entirely different story. No…I am talking about builders who are developing the large subdivisions…most in various locations across the Metro Phoenix area.

Here are some points for a buyer to consider…the good (and there is a lot of good)..AND…the potentially not so good.

1. GOOD~~~ You get to choose your floor plan and upgrades such as cabinets, flooring and so on.

2. Not so good~~~You can likely count on increasing the base price by at least 15% when you visit the design center and choose your options. Everything from upgraded counter tops, to cabinets and flooring are usually an additional cost. In the higher end homes the builders will often include granite and some kind of tile flooring. You also will have to decide about placement of phone jacks, high speed internet wiring and things like that at this time as well.  What about coach lights at the garage, extra ceiling fans and a walk out garage door?  (It sounds easy…but I typically spend over 3 hours in the design center with my clients…so more to it than meets the eye) BUT…this it FUN to do for most folks!

3. GOOD~~~ You typically get a choice of lots.

4. Not so good~~~ You may have to pay a hefty premium for the most desirable lots. I have seen everything from a modest $5000 for an oversized lot…to as much as $45,000+ for a  lot on a golf course (in some areas) or for a lot bordering a preserve desert area. Also…the builders release lots in small groups…so the lot you REALLY want may not be available for some time.

5. GOOD~~~You can landscape to your style. If you buy a resale is what it is…unless you are willing to modify it.

6.  Not so good~~~You have to landscape.  😉  Many of the builders include to front yard landscaping package as part of the sales price…but you have a dirt backyard until you do something with it.

7. GOOD~~~You typically get to know your neighbors more quickly. (this can be good OR bad depending on your perspective)…but when my clients move into these new neighborhoods I find they meet others more readily. They already have something in common. They both picked the same neighborhood to invest in.

8. Not so good~~~Don’t forget window coverings. These can run hundreds of dollars…or you can do it as inexpensively as possible. BUT…typically the HOA will dictate a certain time frame in which the windows must be covered.

These are just a few thoughts I think are worth knowing if you are looking at investing in a new build here in the Valley.

I have worked with almost all of the big builders over the years…and have had a variety of experiences.

One thing I feel worth noting. When you buy one of these homes you will be signing THEIR contract which is typically weighted heavily in their favor. They are all different per builder…but one thing I like my clients to be aware of is BUILD TIME.  If you have a “drop dead” date by which you MUST close…this is not for you. Mostly they will do their best to close ASAP as they want the proceeds…but they build into the contract a HUGE cushion in case they do not meet the “estimated” date. Build time is usually four months (plus) on moderate homes and much longer on large semi-custom builds.

So…is a new home for you? There are some very competitive subdivisions building right now…so just might be. Give me a call and we can talk about it.

AND…maybe the most important thing…you MUST have your agent with you on your first visit to the community of you want representation. If not…the onsite agent (who works NOT FOR YOU BUT THE BUILDER) will be the only person you will have to guide you through the process. You need YOUR OWN AGENT to help you decide what is best for YOU.

As always… if you are looking for a GREAT agent to help with your real estate needs please e-mail me at or give me a call (or text) at 602-504-3898 or 888-897-7821 x 114. Plus, I have a GREAT search tool on my web site that gives you the ability to search the entire MLS…just like agents do. Very COOL! ;) Go to Metro Phoenix Homes and check it out! YOU can create and save as many searches as you would like…and it is THE SAME SEARCH I DO AS AN AGENT! You will LOVE it!


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