Tips for Buying New Construction Homes in Maryland
The idea of buying new construction homes in Maryland can be incredibly enticing. Buyers like the idea of moving into a house that no one else has ever lived in, and better yet, everything is brand new. As a buyer this provides a certain sense of security that you won’t have to worry about major home expenses and repairs in the near future.
The number of new homes in Maryland being built each year has been on the rise, along with the average price of this type of house (the average cost has risen around $100,000 since 2009). The process of purchasing new construction homes in Maryland is slightly different than purchasing an existing house from a seller. These tips will help you make the most out of your experience:
Ask what is Standard
There is a trick to walking through show homes. The builders make the house sound incredibly affordable and then they walk you through a show home or show you pictures of beautiful homes with high-end finishes. Your job before you fall in love with anything is to ask “what comes standard and what are the upgrades?” When you walk through a model home it will be loaded with upgrades. The builders do this to entice you to feel like you need to have that upgrade in your house. They are counting on the fact that once you see the stone countertops you aren’t going to want to go back to formica counters. The upgrades add up fast so make sure to carefully weigh which ones are important to you to include in your new Maryland home.
Compare Maryland Lenders
Many builders have a preferred lender that they encourage individuals to work with. These lenders typically offer an incentive for a low interest rate or something similar to entice you to use their company. It is always a good idea to speak to at least two other lenders about financing options. Before settling on using the preferred lender make sure you know what all your options are.
Have An Agent In Your Corner
When you look through show homes in communities that offer new construction homes in Maryland there is a good chance that a sales agent will show you through the house. They will make it sound incredibly easy to work together to get you the house of your dreams, however, be forewarned. Most likely this agent works for the developer and they are looking out for the best interest of the business. If you are interested in new construction you should still hire a real estate agent. Your agent will have your best interest in mind and will help you navigate the process of buying a new construction home.
Hire a Maryland Home Inspector
Are you wondering why you would need a home inspector when you are purchasing new construction? Mistakes can happen. It’s easy to assume that the house was just built and be confident that the builder has done everything to code, but the old rule “better safe than sorry” holds true. Make sure in your agreement that you are able to bring a home inspector of your choosing through the house. They will check to make sure everything was installed correctly and in working order from the plumbing to the electrical outlets and HVAC system.
Research the Company with the BBB
There are many builders in the industry that are building new homes in Maryland, and there level of work can vary greatly. Before contracting to have your home built you will want to check into the history of the company. Check to see if they have a rating or complaints that have been filed with the Better Business Bureau. This is a simple search you can do on their website.
Ask for References
Speaking with others that are currently living in homes that were new construction from the builder will help you to know what type of quality you will be receiving. You will be able to find out if the homeowners have run into any problems with the construction of the home and how the builder responded to it.
Get a Home Warranty
When buying a new construction home you should be receiving multiple types of warranties with closing. You should have product warranties on your new appliances and systems, like your heating and cooling unit. You should also make sure that the builder will be supplying you with a warranty on their work and structural issues. Builder warranties usually range from one to ten years. Understand what your coverage will be in different situations like if your roof leaks after 6 months.
There are many new homes in Maryland that are being built in planned communities. If you are looking to have a house built in one of these developments there is a good chance that you will be part of a Home Owners Association. If this is the case you will need to find out what type of HOA fees you will be paying annually and what the fees will cover. Many HOA fees will cover snow plowing for the interior roads, but not your personal drive. You need to understand what the HOA provides so you know where your responsibility lies. You also need to understand what rules the HOA has and decide if you want to live under them.
Plan For Delays
The last piece of advice that we have if you are buying new construction homes in Maryland is to always add at least one month onto the deadline you are given by the builder. The construction process always takes longer than contractors anticipate and it is not uncommon for them to run into problems along the way. Adding time on to the deadline in your head will help you not to be as frustrated later if the date gets pushed back on you.
Following these tips will help you to enjoy a smooth process along the way. Before you know it you will be settling into your newly constructed Maryland home!
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