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Building A New Pittsburgh Home...  
Here Are 11 Tips To Help Your Through The Building Process!




When shopping for your home, you’ll discover that most homes on the market are resale homes. However, one out of four homebuyers purchase a new home. Both new homes and re-sales offer advantages. Before you make your decision, let’s…




Compare A Few Points!


New Homes:

  • Offer innovative use of space and style...
  • Typically have a greater energy efficiency...
  • Provide a choice of options and upgrades to personalize your new home...
  • Everything is new, modern and designed to your specifications!


Existing Homes:

  • On the average are less expensive…
  • You typically get more house for your money…
  • Homes have already settled, virtually eliminating possible problems that arise from settling over time…
  • They are often in established neighborhoods with mature landscaping!


As you can see, there are advantages to both. Most people consider both new and existing homes before they decide to purchase. Should you be thinking about buying a “new” home? Here are 11 points to consider before you visit your first model home.

  1. Get in Touch with Your Agent and Lender - Before you visit your first model home, sit down with your agent and lender and do your homework. You'll want to be prepared so that you can determine a comfortable price range for your new home.
  2. Determine a Comfortable Price Range - If you own a home, you'll first need to know the net proceeds from its sale in order to determine how much cash you'll have to work with. Don't simply estimate this, but carefully calculate every possible selling cost. If you're a first time buyer, you'll need to first qualify your income. Determine the size of your downpayment, then work out a monthly debt-to-income ratio so you can determine a comfortable price range.
  3. Seller's Agent vs. Buyer's Agent - Here's a good point to remember... the sales agent in the model home represents the builder, not you. They are known as "Sellers' Agents". As a buyer, you can (and should) work with a buyer's agent at no additional cost to you. It's their business to represent your needs by being knowledgeable about home construction, warranties, financing, differences in pricing, quality, and even lot selection, so that you get the best value for your money.
  4. A Builder For All Reasons - Like all tradesmen, builders very in their fields of expertise. For example, there are builders who specialize in craftsmanship, others who are known for their innovative use of space, and those who offer below-market financing or customer attention during the construction process and after move in. Determine your own specific needs or preferences then shop around for a builder that will best address your requirements.
  5. Get The Facts About Your Builder - Before making a final decision, it is wise to check out the reputation and financial strength of the builder. Get "spec sheets" on home features covering everything from floor plans to energy efficiency, including lot availability and delivery of your home.
  6. Choosing Options and Upgrades - The less expensive the base price of the house is, the more options and upgrades you can add wiothout the fear of overpricing it for the neighborhood. Options are items the builder installs during construction, such as adding usable space like a sunroom or a powder room. These features can add the most to the resale value of your home. Upgrading means selecting quality above the "builder's standard" such as carpeting, ceramics, detailing, kitchen fixtures and appliances. Be sure to take advantage of the builder incentives that offer free upgrades or credit off of the sales price. Remember, you can add a deck, finished basement or landscaping later and sometimes for less money.
  7. Negotiations - Often buyers don't realize that there may be room for negotiating the price, upgrades or options. For example, you have some scope for negotiating with the builder if they have completed the home and haven't sold it. Also, some "premium lots" are priced higher and are sometimes saved to be sold last. Keep in mind that typically, all lots cost the builder about the same, so be sure to enquire about lot pricing. Builders may offer discounts or special financing to help close a sale.
  8. Be Sure the Contract Works In Your Favor - When spelling out the particulars of an agreement with your builder, ensure that you protect yourself by having safeguards written into the agreement, such as:
    1. Placing your deposit in escrow
    2. Detailing your upgrades
    3. Allowing you access to the construction site to check in on the progress
    4. A 30-day advanced notice of the closing date
    5. An explanation of what the fine print means in the warranties of the builder and manufacturer.
  9. Financing… What’s Best For You - Some builders, especially in high-volume communities that place large numbers of loans can offer special financing packages. However, because “home loan” lending is highly competitive, you have many financing choices other than those being offered by the builder. Shop around for everything, from rates to lender fees. Appraisals, inspections, surveys, attorneys and closing fees can very as well.

  10. Just Because it’s New… Doesn’t Mean it’s Perfect - Yes it’s new and typically it’s built with modern materials that are durable, low maintenance, stronger, quieter, and safer. But because nothing is perfect, even if it’s new, consider hiring a reputable, licensed (ASHI Approved) home inspector. Then create a builder “punch list”, from what you’ve learned to address any problems before closing. Consider budgeting for items to be modified or added later on. Many new home buyers use a real estate agent to help them negotiate the best price and terms with the builder.

  11. Buyer Advantages Your Builder May Not Reveal - Here’s a fact that you may not be aware of… some builders have newly - constructed homes available for immediate delivery. Usually these homes are ready to move into within 30 days. Even if some builders are eager to sell, they’ll probably keep that knowledge to themselves. Immediate delivery of homes are often available for various reasons:

    • The community where new homes are being constructed is nearly complete, so the builder proceeds to have the on-site-contractors build “spec” homes (homes built on speculation for sale) on the last lots;

    • The model home is for sale;

    • The contract on a home has fallen through;

    • Builders include constructing homes for immediate delivery for buyers who are relocating or who have sold their previous home and need one to move into quickly.

Immediate delivery homes may be more desirable because, sometimes builders offer financing incentives or free options. This may be done in a place of chopping prices to appeal to buyers purchasing later in the building phase. An immediate delivery home is and advantageous way to purchase a home if you need to move quickly, or need a physical space to walk through and see before you sign a contract.


To:  Kevin Shaner


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