Build a house
It's more than deciding on the right carpet-tile combination. Before you hire a builder or sign on a dotted line, read these tips to make sure you're getting the best house for your buck.
Buying vs. Building on a $3 Million Budget 03:25
A classic car dealer debates buying vs. building on a $3 million budget.
Upgrading to a new home? You can buy a brand-new home in one of three ways: buying a house already built on spec; having a semicustom home built as part of a development (you can choose from a set palette of finishes and upgrades); or having a purely custom home designed and built to your specifications.
But don’t get so caught up in the sparkling new paint and granite countertops that you forget to make a good deal!
Evaluate the Pros and Cons of a New Home
New homes are typically far from the city center; will you mind the commute?
Are you willing to coax a new lawn into existence, and can you wait 20 years for sapling trees to mature?
Will the cookie-cutter nature of new subdivisions drive you bonkers?
New houses tend to be built right on top of each other. Do you mind the closeness and potential lack of privacy?
Evaluate the New Neighborhood
Check with the developer about potential homeowners' association (HOA) fees and rules; some are incredibly expensive - and strict. They may not allow storage sheds, certain paint colors or finish materials, solar panels or even vegetable gardens. Be sure to find out if the HOA can assess penalties for infractions.
Ask whether cable and Internet are readily available and from what companies; your new house will be wired for cable but that does not mean the cable company offers service to your neighborhood.
If the development is still under construction, you’ll be dodging giant contractor trucks and facing jackhammering at 7 a.m. for a while.
Remember that the real estate agents working to sell new homes work for the builder, not for you. They’re trying to hit a quota, not help you make the right decision for you and your family.