If you’re considering buying a new construction home in Colorado Springs, you should make sure you understand some of the similarities and differences to buying an existing home. Here are three things you should know…
The people inside the model home represent the BUILDER.
You know that fencing that directs you through the model home office before you get to see the house? The person you meet inside there is usually a real estate agent who WORKS FOR THE BUILDER. They don’t represent you, or your best interests unless you enter into an agency relationship with them. This person is there to not only push the Builder’s agenda, they’re also there to try to represent you too if you come in without an agent. This makes them a dual agent, which means you’ll only receive limited representation. Dual agency is a controversial thing, and many agents will refuse to practice it. Your best bet is to go into the model with your own agent. If the person inside the model home asks you if you’re working with an agent, let them know that you are and you can move on to viewing the homes. The builder’s agent may also offer you financing with their preferred lender. Sometimes, that lender can help save you money, but not always. The only way to know for certain is to get quotes from several lenders and compare them all.
Investigating the house can be more difficult.
When a neighborhood is so new, there are several challenges that aren’t present if you were buying an existing home. Bear in mind that even new home communities in Colorado Springs can have issues.
- Be sure to visit the existing homes in the neighborhood and stop to chat with the residents you see. You can ask about their experiences in the neighborhood, in their homes, and with the builder.
- Ask about the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and the monthly fee. Ask to see the governing documents, like the CC&Rs. Make sure you read and understand them before you purchase!
- Figure out if internet and TV/cable are or will be available in the community when your home is completed.
- Visit the city planning office to see what is planned for the surrounding area.
- Remember – new construction can be noisy! If you move in before the community is completed, you may have to put up with dust and noise for some time.
Invest in worthwhile upgrades
The model home is almost always upgraded to the nth degree. Chances are that you are not going to invest in all of those upgrades, and your home is not going to look like the model. Most base homes have very basic flooring, appliances, cabinets, and fixtures. Make sure you understand what is included in the price and what is extra. All the upgrades are where budgets get busted. There are a few upgrades that are almost always worthwhile. Making these upgrades later on is generally more expensive once the home is built. You can change the carpet any time – but you can’t easily add to the footprint of the house.
- The lot. The larger, more advantageously located lots nearly always fetch a better price at resale. The one upgrade that you can make that will hold value is to get the best lot that you can.
- Structural and size upgrades. Getting the 3 car garage instead of the 2, or adding an extra bathroom are popular upgrades. Trying to add these things after the fact can be significantly expensive.
- Plumbing and electrical upgrades. Upgrading to a hyper-efficient HVAC or water heater can be worthwhile investments. You’ll pay significantly more to replace them later on.
If you’re considering a new construction home in Colorado Springs, give us a call and we can talk about how to protect your interests and get you the best value for your money.