These days, rather than scope out existing homes with a real estate agent, many veteran homeowners and first-time home buyers alike prefer buying new construction homes directly from a builder like Lowder New Homes.
That said, the home buying process is a bit different with a new construction home than with an existing resale home. Whether you are buying one of a builder’s completed inventory homes or building a custom home from the ground up, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to make the most of your experience and get the most value for your money.
1. Carefully consider your building site.
If you are building a new house from the ground up, remember that where you build is every bit as important as what you build. Your new home’s location is as permanent as the home itself, so make sure you’re comfortable with the building site before you start construction. If you’re purchasing a lot in a new subdivision or on a separate piece of land, be sure to spend time walking the site.
Lowder doesn’t build on any properties except those in their current active neighborhoods. Each of those neighborhoods, in areas around Montgomery and Auburn, offers different amenities. Please review these neighborhoods on the website. Take in the surroundings and make sure this is the spot you want. Don’t start building until you’re certain.
2. Make as many decisions in advance as possible.
The more customization decisions home buyers can make before the building process begins, the smoother the process will go. Work with your builder to make decisions on floor plans, dimensions, materials, and upgrades in advance.
Ask your homebuilder about your options for countertops, landscaping, appliances, flooring, energy-saving choices, smart home features, and even drywall.
Changes that are made once the process begins may result in additional expenses and delays. Some changes may be inevitable, but you can keep these to a minimum by making choices sooner.
3. Choose your add-ons wisely.
One of the best parts about new home construction is that you don’t have to buy what you don’t need or won’t use. When looking at upgrades for new features or more expensive materials, weigh these choices carefully. Keep in mind that a spec home often comes pre-fitted with upgrades. When you’re customizing, you can shave thousands of dollars off the cost of your home by eliminating features that don’t matter to you. This means you can reinvest those dollars into upgrades that do matter to you.
4. Ask the builder about incentives, concessions, and special financing.
Many builders offer special discounts, incentives, and concessions such as allowances toward free upgrades, no closing costs, etc. Builders also sometimes work with preferred lenders who provide special loan products with low down payments and interest rates, making homeownership much more affordable for buyers than working with their own mortgage lender. At Lowder New Homes, we run promotions throughout the year, including a special deal for military relocations to Montgomery’s Maxwell AFB.
The bottom line? Asking about builder incentives could save thousands of dollars!
5. Invest in energy efficiency.
When building your custom new construction, consider upgrading to as many energy-efficient options as possible. These options could include EnergyStar appliances, double-paned windows, upgraded insulation, even solar electricity. While some of these options cost a little more upfront (some don’t — and some even come standard), they will more than pay for themselves in lower energy bills. (Not to mention you’re doing your part for the environment in the process.)
6. Don’t skip the home inspection.
You might assume that a brand new build doesn’t need a home inspection, but you’d be wrong. Even in a new build, even with the best craftsmen and highest-rated contractors, a home is still a complex structure. Mistakes or building code violations can sometimes happen during construction. It’s better to have a home inspector find problems up front so they can be fixed before you complete the home purchase. Many lenders still require a home inspection on a new build — and if they don’t, you should still have one.
7. Buying a completed inventory home offers additional advantages.
While building a custom home gives you more flexibility on options, the builder might also have several inventory homes available. These are brand-new homes that are “built on spec” with many of the builder’s most popular features — already completed and waiting for buyers.
There are some additional reasons to consider the inventory home option:
Faster closing, faster move-in
Many people believe that buying a new construction home takes a lot of time — you start building in the spring and hopefully get to move in by the fall. However, if you buy an inventory home that is already finished, the timeline works pretty much like buying any other existing home. Upon closing, you can move right in.
Same low maintenance and new home warranty applies
Not only is an inventory home effectively “turnkey,” but the builder also includes a warranty, so if anything is found to be wrong or defective, the parts and repairs will be covered. At Lowder New Homes, we offer a full ten-year structural warranty on any new home purchase.
In many cases, you’ll find financing to be easier with a completed new construction than one that’s being built, or even an existing home, especially if you work with the builder’s lender. Title costs are often cheaper because the builder often maintains a relationship with the title company. In addition, with a home that’s already completed, you don’t have the added complication of getting a construction loan and rolling it over into a mortgage.
More possibility of concessions and deals
One often-overlooked benefit of buying a move-in ready new construction is that the builder (who is also the seller) is motivated to sell it. A finished home that sits vacant costs the builder money, and the longer it sits, the more likely the builder is to offer concessions like bonus cash, paying the closing costs, or price reductions. If you built the exact same home from the ground up, chances are you’d pay more for it.
New Construction Homes in Alabama
When you’re ready to buy a new construction home in Alabama, the experts at Lowder New Homes offer many decades of expertise, quality workmanship, and a reputation for quality at affordable prices. Contact us today to learn more about our new construction homes.