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  • George Heredia

Should You Buy A New Home?

Before you buy a new home you want to consider a few things:

1) Is the area expanding at the same pace with proper infrastructure, like roads, highway access, schools, emergency services, and shopping areas?

2) Are you buying to stay long term, i.e. longer than 5-7 years?

3) Are you one of the first homes built, and can you live with ongoing construction (trucks, dirt, and debris)?

4) Is there an HOA fee but few or no community amenities?

5) Have you researched the areas’ school district and any proposed boundary changes as the area expands? Check with the city and school districts.

6) Have you verified with city where your home is being built, such as a prior ranch with a pond or dirt filled areas that may have foundation settlement later on? Always hire a home inspector, even on a brand-new home. They can find construction defects that would go undetected for years, and may be an issue later on when you go to sell the home. Then you can get the builder to fix these while you are getting the home built.

Builders will build to the MINIMUM of building codes to save construction costs. You may want to negotiate with a builder on electrical, plumbing and other upgrades while the home is being built. Nothing worse than finding out that you can’t run your Dyson Vacuum without the lights turning off.

The same goes with tankless water heaters and instant hot water systems. The costs of these items is much less at the building stage than later as a remodel, and can help you retain some market value or better marketability down the road.

Last, don’t forget to get internet CAT-5 connectivity throughout the home, including each bedroom, living and family rooms, media and game rooms. Why? Although wireless is fast becoming the norm, you will still get more reliable and faster connection speeds on wired devices, and allows the wireless portions to run your cell phones and tablets.

Many builders have their own lending companies and appraisers, but be careful, as you want to be sure you are not over-paying for a new home. Even though it may seem cheaper and more convenient, the builder’s lender has the builder, not you, in their best interest.

If you choose to go with your own lender, it is best to stick to local banks and credit unions that know the area and have appraisers familiar with the builder and the area you are buying in. The larger too-big-to-fail banks are likely not going to be the best options, for much of the same reasons as the builder’s lenders.

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