It’s easy to become simply awestruck by the appearance and smell of a new house, but try to remember these purchasing new construction tips, to avoid being taken in by the shiny stuff. Shiny stuff is what contractors and home builders call floor coverings, wall paper, great new cabinetry and all the other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the structural integrity of the house.
Purchasing New Construction Tips: Check the Crawl Space or Basement
Inspect the crawl space or basement to look at the floor joists. Floor joists should be made of at least 2”x 10” lumber. The height of the crawl space should be large enough for a man to crawl under the house. Some of them are a tight fit, but if you don’t think you could crawl under the house don’t buy it. It is sometimes necessary for home owners to go under the crawl space to check the plumbing.
If there is an unfinished basement, you should be able to see the floor joists above, and note their thickness. If not try to judge the thickness of the floor as you descend the stairs. Once in the basement, look for any sign of moisture, and check with other people in the area about the tendency for basement flooding. Areas with a water table of less than six foot are not suited to basements. Some people still have them, but standing water in the basement twice a year is common. Water in the basement can lead to mold, a musty smell and damage to anything kept on the basement floor. Basements in these areas can be sealed, but the process requires an expert.
Purchasing New Construction Tips: Check the Attic
In an unfinished attic one can see the rafters, or trusses. There is a difference between rafters and trusses. Again it is a chance to inspect the thickness of the lumber and the quality of workmanship in the home. If you are not confident of your own skills to appraise the work, then ask a friend to accompany you who is well versed in carpentry.
Purchasing New Construction Tips: Explore the Neighborhood
Neighbors are very important to your happiness in a community. Look around and see if you notice anything that might be a problem for you. Different people look for different things in neighbors. It doesn’t matter if the neighborhood is perfect, only if it suits you.
Purchasing New Construction Tips: Research the Builder
Find out who built the home, and seek information on their previous work. Find out if other home owners are satisfied with homes that he built. Do Google searches to look for any complaints about this builder. Look for his name on the Home Builders Association members list. Ask around the building community to see what sort of reputation he has as a builder.
Purchasing New Construction Tips: Making an Offer
If the home, the neighborhood and the builder meet with your approval then it is time to discuss price. It is definitely a buyer’s market so try to get a good price. Try to appear objective, even if you are deeply under the spell of the beautiful dream house. Don’t be afraid to barter a little because it is expected, and try to strike a good bargain. If you’ve been looking for long, you probably know the typical asking price, and also heard rumors about how much people actually pay for homes in the area. Make a reasonable offer that will not insult the builder, but at the same time, try to save yourself at least ten thousand.
Getting a great house for a great price is the goal of every home buyer. Choosing a house based on shiny stuff is not the way to do that. Home buyers must look deeper and consider every aspect of the home, not just the ones that are obvious. For more information and purchasing new construction tips, download our 98 page free guide at the top of this page.