Buying a new construction home in our area isn’t the same as buying a normal resale home, so here are three tips you need to keep in mind that will save you time, money, and a few headaches down the road.

First, be aware of the type of contract you’re working with. When buying a normal resale home in our area, most of the time you work with a contract that’s written for the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors by attorneys who are trying to be equitable to both the buyer and the seller. This isn’t the case when it comes to builder contracts, though. Builders have their own attorneys who write their contracts, and they’re written with the builder in mind.

This isn’t a bad thing, but it is something you and your Realtor need to be aware of, so make sure you work with someone who’s familiar with the new construction process and can pinpoint contract items you may need to negotiate over.

“Make sure you work with someone who’s familiar with the new construction process.”

Second, don’t sign your purchase contract without visiting the builder’s design center first. You need to make sure you’re getting the same finishes you planned on paying for. The purchase price is not the final price you pay when it comes to new construction homes—you also have to pay for any upgrades, additions, etc. I’ve been on design center walkthrough appointments with buyers who had to shave off $20,000 to $30,000 in order to complete their purchase.

Lastly, try to shop around for other lenders besides the builder’s. More often than not, the builder will offer you some sort of incentive if you use their lender to buy. You should try to get the builder to agree to allow you to shop for other lenders, get a competing quote, and use that competing quote if their lender can’t match it.

If you’d like more tips for buying new construction or you have any other real estate needs, feel free to call or email me. I’d be happy to help you.