Tips When Buying a New Construction Home
Buying a new construction is exciting, especially if it is your first home. However, it can be different than purchasing a existing house that’s for sale, meaning that someone else has previously owned it.
Before making the purchase, it’s best if you are familiar with some tricks of the trade, so you don’t make any of the common mistakes many first time buyers make. Below are some useful tips when purchasing a new construction home.
Visit the Construction Site
The builders will most likely discourage you from visiting the construction site on your own, but they should be happy to accommodate your request for a walkthrough. When discussing the terms of the contract, it’s essential that you include a provision stating that you have the right to request and receive access to the site, provided you give sufficient notice.
While on site, it’s essential that you take lots of pictures. You want to take pictures of critical areas, such as the intersections between the roof and walls, doors, windows, and any installed flashing that is visible, like drip caps, or building paper. Other things you need to capture are the placement and number of doors and windows, that the rooms are appropriately laid out, the location of the walls, etc.
If you want to be sure everything is going smoothly, you may want to think about hiring a professional architect or engineer to perform a casual visit with you and give you any concerns or comments they may have. It’s a lot more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to spot faulty construction elements or to fix a mistake once the walls are covered.
As a precaution, it’s best if you don’t plan your visit during working hours, as there are a lot of physical hazards in a construction site. The workers could be shooting nails, stringing wires, or carrying lumber. If this is the only time you can visit, be sure and wear a hard hat, so you can avoid any injuries.
It’s also vital that you don’t disrupt the workflow, as you want your home to be finished on time. If you get in the way of construction, delays can be caused.
Get to Know the Construction Foreman
Whenever possible, get in touch with the superintendent, and be sure to ask any questions you may have. You need to ask to take photos of various specifications and details, as well as see a copy of the plans.
As an aside, you can fill out an Open Public Records Act request form (OPRA) which is then submitted to the construction office. Be aware that you are allowed to see any and all public records in regards to your building lot. These include issued permits, filed plans and drawings, inspection reports, and violation notices. These public records are a great way to stay informed about the construction process and gather any required information.
Visit Your Future Home During a Rainstorm
As part of your visits to check everything is according to plan, you should visit your house either during or after heavy rain if the opportunity arises. This will give you the chance to look at the conditions around doors and windows from the inside, and identify any possible leaks.
After the workers have installed the drywall, you will not see any water intrusion or leak manifestations for months, or possibly years. By that time, the contractor will not be responsible, and your warranty could be useless.