There’s nothing quite like that new home smell. New construction homes in Georgia are a great option for anyone who wants to move into a never-before-lived-in home, but it’s important to understand what buying new construction entails. Read on if you’re located in Georgia or looking to relocate there and interested in purchasing a new construction home.
What to Know About Buying a New Construction Home in Georgia
A new construction home is a newly built or soon-to-be-built home, often in a new subdivision or development. With new construction, the builder is typically the seller. Here are some important things to keep in mind when buying new construction:
- Timing Is Important
Although builders are not typically up for negotiating price, they will likely be more flexible when selling the first few units within a development (because they need to demonstrate interest in the project) and the last few units (because they might be anxious to wrap up the project or meet a quota). If you’ve found yourself in one of these situations, it’s worth asking for a lower price to see if they’re willing to budge.
- Researching the Builder Is Crucial
A new construction home will only be as good as its maker. Unless this is the builder’s first ever project, you should be able to visit some of their previous developments and ask current residents their thoughts on the builder. You can also look up reviews online or ask the builder for references.
- Price Is Rarely Negotiable
As mentioned above, builders are rarely willing to budge on price, but they might consider offering upgrades, assistance with closing costs, or a prime lot location instead. Because they often get things at cost and have in-house agents and inspectors, it can be much cheaper for them to negotiate in these areas.
- Check Which Features Are Upgrades and Which Are Standard
When you tour the model home, you should ask exactly which features are standard and which are upgrades. Upgrades can add up quickly, and some things you would think to be standard are not always included in the basic package.
- Get an Inspector
Ideally, you’ll want to hire your own independent inspector and have them conduct two separate inspections at different times in the process, one after the foundation and wiring are complete, and another when construction is finished.
- Understand Your Warranty
Thoroughly check your warranty to see what exactly is covered—appliances, electrical, the yard, and so on—and how long the warranty lasts.
- You Might Be Moving into a Construction Zone
If your home is one of the first few completed within the development, be prepared for several months of construction noise.
- Be Prepared for Delays
The home will almost certainly not be ready by the estimated move-in date, so it’s a good idea to have backup living arrangements prepared.
Steps for Buying a New Construction Home
Before jumping into the home-buying process, it can be helpful to get an idea of what to expect. Here are the general steps for purchasing a new construction home in Georgia:
- Find a Buyer’s Agent
The builder might try and convince you to use their in-house agent, but it’s always a good idea to find your own to make sure they’re representing your interests, not just the builder’s. Shop around for a good agent, and choose one with plenty of experience and good reviews.
- Work with a Lender
Unless you have the cash to cover the entire home purchase, you’ll need to secure financing with a new construction loan. Be aware that not every lender will loan money to fund the construction of the house. For example, at radius financial, we can loan money to purchase a newly constructed home, but cannot fund the construction.
- Research Builders
Check out various developments to determine which builder best suits your tastes and needs. Once you’ve settled on one, look up reviews and talk with current residents about their other builds to get some candid feedback.
- Choose Your Home Style
With new construction, you will often have some choice about the exact layout and details of your home. Tour model homes and ask exactly what choices you would have when it comes to the home’s style.
- Select Standard Items and Upgrades
As you walk through the model home, ask which features are standard and which are upgrades. Then choose which upgrades you want to pay extra for. Upgrades can include anything from stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors, to marble countertops and heated flooring. Some of these features might be worth splurging for, while others you could do without or install yourself. Check the prices for how much the upgrades would cost to buy and install yourself, and compare to see which is a better deal.
- Figure Out Your Moving Timeline
As mentioned above, there’s a good chance the move-in date will be pushed back due to construction delays. As your home nears completion, you can start to pack up your belongings, schedule the movers, and call to set up utilities.
- Have the Home Inspected
As mentioned above, you should find an experienced inspector and aim to have them inspect the home at two different times during the construction process. The reason for this is that it’s easier to spot and address structural and electrical issues before the drywall is put in and the finishing touches are complete.
- Review and Sign Documents and Warranties
A real estate attorney is required in Georgia, so be sure to have yours look over all the documents and explain everything to you before you sign.
Once you’ve signed the papers, all that’s left to do is move into your brand-new home.
Discover How to Expertly Navigate the Home-Buying Process
Purchasing a new home is a lot easier with a little good advice. Discover tips from our experienced loan officers for navigating the home-buying process in our Home Buying 101 e-book