What You Should Know About Buying a New Construction Home in Gilbert

Mickie at a Shea Homes Walkthrough

With the inventory of existing homes still low, more and more people are buying a new construction home in Gilbert. If it’s within your budget, a brand-spanking-new home – one that has never been lived in by anyone else before – can be a good and delightful option. Another plus of new construction is that you’re getting the home straight from the builder. Still, there are some things you need to be aware of when buying new construction. Here, then, is what you should know about buying a new construction home in Gilbert.

Builder Reputation

The first thing you should know about buying a new construction home in Gilbert is that not all builders are created equal. That is, just because a builder is in the business professional doesn’t necessarily mean he uses top-notch materials and does quality work. That’s just not an assumption you can safely make.

So you must check out the builder’s reputation. Online reviews are a good start, but even better is to talk to other people who have bought new construction from a particular builder. It’s also a good idea to consult your [market-city] real estate agent. Your agent will have a good idea of local builders’ quality of work and can provide some guidance. To find out more about this, call (480) 993-8653. 

The Model Home Mistake

When shopping around for a new construction home, most people at some point look at a builder’s model home or homes – chiefly because that’s where the builder directs them. The problem, though, is that for buying a new construction home in Gilbert, the model home may not really be representative.

What these model homes really are is interactive showrooms, not really a look at what you’ll actually get. They are usually set up with all the premium upgrades that you most likely don’t want or can’t afford. So all those enticing features you see in that model aren’t reflected in base sales prices.

Expensive Upgrades

Similarly, if you do want the upgrades you see in a model home, just know that they are likely to be very expensive. When it comes to prices when buying a new construction home in Gilbert, you will usually be quoted the base price that doesn’t include any upgrades – a tactic designed to draw you in and get you hooked.

Most buyers will want some upgrades and aren’t typically prepared for the cost. For example, you may want wood floors instead of carpet or recessed lighting or a fireplace. Just be aware when figuring cost that a new construction home already costs about 20% more than a comparable existing home. Here, let your agent guide you in finding a good balance between getting what you want and staying on budget.

Decreased Negotiating Room

Another thing to keep in mind for buying a new construction home in Gilbert is that you’ll have far less negotiating room. With existing homes, the price is set by the seller according to seller needs and fair market value (that is, what buyers will pay in that market). As a result, negotiating is just an expected part of the process.

But with new construction, the builder’s price is pretty much what you’ll have to pay. If a builder lowers the base price for you, that will affect what he can expect to get for other homes in the development. And, of course, builders have to get back what they invested to build a home, plus a little profit.

Shop for a Lender

Also, be sure to shop for your lender when buying a new construction home. Typically, builders will offer to arrange financing for you – often because they have a financial incentive to do so. It may be convenient to use a builder’s recommended lender, but you may not get the best terms and rates. So don’t hesitate to shop around for your own lender.

You Still Need an Agent

Building a new home and why having a buyer’s representative is important and is always an exciting experience.  Whether you select a floorplan and customize it with builder options or design and create a new home from scratch there is something special about creating new space tailored to your wants and needs.  Our local markets have all sorts of new construction options suited to help create the special place where most of life happens.  The southeast region of metro Phoenix has plenty of open land to be developed and several national production builders are actively creating new communities.  Demand is high for new homes and here’s why:

  1. Create the space you are most interested in–  Most home builders offer a variety of different plans in their communities.  Single level, two story, the occasional basement home, in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  In most cases floorplans can be adjusted to fit your needs.  Enclose an office or loft, extend the patio, 3 car garage or super laundry room.  These options allow you to customize the home to be as functional and efficient as the buyer wants it to be.
  2. Designer Options– Picking cabinet colors and styles, kitchen counters, flooring, lighting, fixtures, paint colors, and may other features can be selected to put the home together just they way you want it.
  3. Lot Selection– Different markets provide different opportunities for selecting the site the home will be built on.  Today lot selections are limited, and competition can create some frustration.  However the option to know the space the home will be built on and what features that specific homesite will offer compared to others is important to the overall experience of home ownership over the years. 
  4. Energy Efficiency–  New home construction typically applies the latest technology, materials and design standards to create extremely energy efficient homes.  This can allow for more windows for natural light, higher ceilings and more open spaces without sacrificing the electric bill.
  5. Modern design and finishes–  New home designers are always competing against each other to highlight the latest trends in design, style, functionality and appearance. 

There can be drawbacks to new construction, in some areas that are already developed it isn’t even an option.  Also for consideration is:

  1. Build time-  Building a new home takes time, in most cases 8-12 months from contract to keys.  It s a process and requires some patience to get exactly what you want.
  2. Final cost-  New home pricing typically starts with a base price for the floorplan, the homesite may carry a premium for one reason or anther that adds to the cost, design center selections that  will impact the final price significantly and typically you are going to invest additional money into backyard space once the home is complete.  New construction is a great option for many people, but when it will be done and what the final cost will be are not always determined in the initial stages. 
  3. Representation-  Most national builders have a sales center located in the community with a select number of model homes available for tour.  The sales center is staffed by sales agents eager to share the benefits of the community, the homesites and the floorplans offered.  If a member of the public walks into a sales office without a Realtor representative, and decide to contract to buy a home, they will likely be working directly with that sales agent.  The sales agent that represents the builder only.  Without your own buyer’s representative you will be signing a contract written by the builder and explained to you by the builders representative.  (This is where we can help)

As you can see there is a lot to consider when looking at building a new home.  This is where expert, experienced buyer representation can be of tremendous value.  Having  a skilled advisor to evaluate communities, lot selections, floorplan options, designer touches and, perhaps most importantly, review the contract documents with your interests in mind, can make or break your new build experience.  Buyer’s agents are typically compensated by the builder for introducing their clients to the community and assisting with the sale, so there is no out of pocket cost to the buyer client.  Our fiduciary duty is to you and protecting your interests in the transaction, our experience building homes of our own as well as years of assisting new construction clients provide the knowledge and tools to assist from contract to keys. 

I truly hope you found value in this article and will share it with others.  Newman Realty has been representing clients in their new construction projects over the last 17 years.  We have the experience, knowledge and relationships to assist you with your new construction project.  We appreciate your consideration or referral of others that may be interested in building their next home.  

Even though you can probably do everything directly with the builder when you’re buying a new construction home in Gilbert, that may not be the best route. You will likely have a better outcome if you hire an experienced local real estate agent – not least because your agent can be a valuable asset in getting the best deal with little room for negotiations. If you plan on buying new construction, get the best agent help you can. To discover more, contact us today at (480) 993-8653. As always, we are happy to help! 

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