Working with an agent on a new build: Part 3
Today we're wrapping up the final four items in our series about why it's important to work with a real estate agent when buying a new construction home.
Today we'll wrap up the third installment of our series on why it's important to have an agent accompany you when you buy a new construction home from a builder.
7. Soil surveys and engineering reports. When you buy a new build, these two things are a crucial part of the process. The builder will have the soil survey on hand for each lot. Here in Colorado, we have a problem with expansive soils, which can lead to foundation problems and heaving of sidewalks, driveways, and basement floors. When they start excavating, they'll test a sample of the soil for expansiveness.
The engineering report looks at the overall properties of the lot itself. These reports are available when you pick your lot, but for most consumers, it's like reading Greek thanks to all the confusing engineering lingo. A good agent can interpret these for you and help you make sure you don't buy a lot with expansive soil. Even if you choose a lot with expansive soil, it's not a deal killer. You just want to be sure the builder has the proper type of basement for that particular lot.
8. Considering which options are better to buy from a builder from the beginning versus buying later on. This is especially true when taking budget concerns into consideration. Many buyers have to keep their budget under a certain dollar amount and it can be easy to go crazy with the builder in the design center with things like the layout.
As agents, some of the things we look at that can't or shouldn't be done after the build include: high or coffered ceilings, a covered porch, choosing a wall oven over a stove, or an extra deep basement excavation. Things that are OK to do down the road include: tile floors and backsplashes, granite countertops over Formica, and stainless steel appliances over basic black appliances. An agent will help you examine each item or feature you’re considering.
9. Parts of town. In Denver, we definitely have east and west parts of town that are divided by Interstate 25. The west of town is on the mountain side and the east side is on the plains side. Historically when we see downturns, the east side sees the downturn faster and recovers slower while property closer to the mountains is more stable. A good agent will help you determine which part of town will be a more stable investment in terms of building a home.
10. Different builders in general. It's funny—every time you walk into a builder's office, they tell you about how their builders are the latest and greatest and use the best materials and best methods. I hear it from every one of them, but quite frankly, I have to call BS on it because there are big differences between builders. Some of the more high-end builders definitely build to a higher efficiency standard and use better materials. For example, some builders will use concrete window wells as opposed to corrugated steel window wells that will eventually rust out. Some might use a tile roof that will last up to 60 years versus regular shingles that will wear out in 10 to 12 years. Builders will never give you the straight story, but an agent can help you sort it out.
If you have any questions about buying a new construction home or you'd like me to expand on any of these 10 points, just give us a call or send us an email soon. We look forward to helping you!