You Are Not an Expert
The first step in getting a good deal for a home is acknowledging this simple fact. Educate yourself about all the processes involved in buying a new home instead of thinking you already know everything. That does not mean learning the entirety of over 1000 pages of international building code 2018.
Learn about the materials being used and their costs, what rates do mortgage lenders around you offer, and inspect other homes around the area recently bought as new construction homes. This makes sure that you understand what you are buying and the price it is worth.
Build your Team
There are three main things you need help with. First, get a realtor agent. Second, look into mortgage lenders to find who you prefer. Third, hire an inspector, someone who understands well the type of construction you are buying. Just don’t try to do it all alone and blindly agree with the builder.
The agent will have experience negotiating with builders, and they will know how to get the best bargain. Some people don’t bargain because they don’t want the confrontation or realize they are taking advantage. The agents have the experience to negotiate without getting hostile or generating animosity.
Most builders offer their contacts as lenders for you to finance your home. Sometimes, that option is excellent, and those lenders are much more likely to give you a loan than other third-party services. However, that is not always true. Check out all your options. Try your best to find a better deal because just a slight change in rates will significantly
Spend a little money on an inspector. You don’t want the repairs to cost you a fortune. Builders can make mistakes, or they can intentionally cut corners to make sub-standard homes. You need a professional to determine if the house matches the price tag and what the builder claims it is—just the illustrated handbook guide to understand the 2018 International Building Code by Francis D.K. Ching is 823 pages long. You can’t know everything that has to be inspected, let alone know how to review it and bring it up to the code’s standards. You will not check out the roof to see the roof shingles’ quality, or every tap for leaks, the wiring for voltage, and the heating and cooling systems. You need to know what you are buying.
Negotiate for Upgrades
The sad truth is that the builders don’t want to drop the home’s final price because that affects the entire neighborhood’s pricing. So, they might give you more bang for the same buck, but not the other way around. Try to negotiate for free or cheap upgrades that you may want. These will be minor modifications that will make your home personal, energy-efficient, or more aesthetic at a much smaller cost than if you use a third-party builder later on.
The Builder’s Reputation
The team you decide upon might have had done previous business with the same builder. They would be able to tell you about their last projects. Find other people who have bought homes from your builders. Please find out about how ethical they are, whether their construction work stands the test of time, do they offer modified warranties, negotiate closing fees, and so on. Do your research.
Your inspector might miss a few nooks and crannies, and something might break reasonably soon if it is sub-standard. I know someone whose roof started to leak after the first intense rain. One colleague’s home sank just slightly enough to develop cracks throughout the house. Another colleague’s water pump failed after the second week. The thing about sub-standard appliances and gadgets is that they can suddenly break out of nowhere in their second week. Get the agent to negotiate the best warranty deal you can. You won’t be able to cover everything but do your best.
Write, Write, Write
It is OK to trust people, but just in case, put everything in writing. I hope you never need it but don’t regret not doing it. Every material or product the builder told you they used, any word of mouth guarantees anything the inspector warned you about, and more, write it down.
Make a List
The builders can pressurize you to close the deal while promising to finish up some things you may have pointed out, like creaking hinges or protruding nails. Please make a list of everything that needs to be done and get it completed before you close the deal.
From my personal experience, here is what I have learned. Those people who take their time to research the builders make time for inspectors to check out the homes, get realtors to negotiate on their behalf, get much better deals, and avoid any nasty incidents. Use professional help. That is why they are there.