People choose to build a new home, rather than purchase an existing home, for a variety of reasons. Some like the idea of having a home no one has ever lived in before, while others wish to design and customize a home down to the smallest detail.
Locally here in Lancaster County, there are many options for purchasing a new home. Whether you’re looking for a townhouse, condo, or single-family home, you’ll find new construction selections in Manheim Township, Hempfield, Donegal, Lancaster, Ephrata, and more.
Whatever the motivation behind the purchase, or the location of the purchase, there are several myths surrounding building a new home that home-buyers should be aware of going into the process.
I don’t need representation. When building a new home, you often work closely with the builder or a representative from their company. Each builder has a unique process that includes a significant amount of paperwork. The paperwork is written by the builder or their representatives, and is often written in the builder’s best interest. While it may seem that the builder has a standard process that they will walk you through, without your own representation, there is no one who is looking out for you.
It is best to go into a new-build after hiring a buyer’s agent to represent you and your interests. This way you have a real estate professional to review the paperwork, address any of your questions and concerns, and help guide you through the process. Be aware that there are some home builders who require you to have your agent with you from the very first contact you make with the builder – so it’s best to choose a realtor before you even begin inquiring about new builds.
There’s no need for a home inspection. It’s easy to think that since you are buying a brand new home that there is no need for a home inspection. With a home full of brand new mechanicals, it’s hard to imagine why you’d pay for a home inspection. However, home inspectors can offer a lot of insight throughout the home building process. They are able to check the home throughout various stages of construction and assess that things are being handled properly. An inspector is a neutral third party who can verify ductwork, plumbing, and electrical are being installed correctly, along with a myriad of other things that go in to building a home, that most home buyers aren’t able to judge for themselves.
The home won’t have any issues such as water in the basement or high radon. There are a lot of outside factors that affect homes that are outside of the builders’ control. When constructing a new home on a piece of property, there is no surefire way to tell if that home will experience things like water in the basement or high radon levels. No matter how good the construction, the specific plot of land and natural environment are factors that can have an impact on the future of the home.
I can use the same financing for a new construction home that I can for any other home. Financing a new construction project is very different from financing the purchase of an existing property. With a typical mortgage, the money coming from the lender is delivered in a lump sum at settlement to pay for the house all at one time (the end of the transaction). However, most home builders will not build a home without having a significant initial deposit along with chunks of funds along the way. There are special financing programs available through certain lenders that allow this to happen, however the process is different from that of getting a typical mortgage.
These are just the four biggest and most common myths we hear when folks are buying new construction. The process is so detailed and different each time it happens, it’s nearly impossible to cover all of the specifics in one small blog post. The bottom line is this: If you’re considering new construction, hire an experienced, licensed buyer’s agent to represent your interests and educate you throughout the process. You’ll be glad you did.