Pre-construction reviews are a mixed bag. The move is either the best thing that ever happened to someone or the bane of their existence. Many of the pitfalls related to pre-construction are avoidable with a little time, consideration and research though. Consider these tips as you embark on your home hunt.
Do Your Research
Every presentation ends with something along the lines of ‘act fast, this [insert property type here] won’t be on the market forever.’ While the seller isn’t blatantly lying because no property stays on the market forever, it also doesn’t mean that the neighborhood inventory is going to flip to empty by tomorrow when you finished vetting the property.
Take a moment to step away from a finessing frenzy of sales professionals and marketing tactics to consider whether this move is actually the right one for you. Take a tour of their model home. Google the developer. Consult your agent. Buying a home is a big deal, and no one should take it lightly or take it at face value. That’s why preowned homes have a tenuous phase of inspections. While it’s not always as clearly defined, consider this your time to inspect the seller and their product. As Angie Hicks of Angie’s List says, “Newer homes can have just as many problems as older homes, and it’s always better to know what you don’t know before the last piece of paper is signed.“
Consider Design Upgrades that Payoff
Now for the fun part. Having the opportunity to handpick finishes and fine details for a pre-construction home becomes a driving force for many debating whether it’s the spot for them. Before you get too carried away with upsells and luxury amenities though be sure to keep in mind your budget, long-term fantasy for your home and whether these upgrades payoff down the road. If you know two years from now you want wood floors in your whole house, do it now. As Jelani Smith highlights, “These upgrades would be more expensive to do after closing.” Also, consider how long you plan on staying there. If you plan to resell four years from now to meet the needs of your growing family, then think about a color scheme or finishes that will stay neutral or popular and improve your resale value.
Delays have become somewhat inevitable when it comes to pre-construction properties, especially when it pertains to condos. Doing advanced research about the developer and their customer satisfaction rates helps you avoid some of the hassles, but it’s still possible for things to come up. If you want to experience the pros, you have to prepare for the cons. As Nathan Denette describes “It is not uncommon for targeted move-in dates to be extended several times and by many months, as a builder could legally cite “unavoidable delay” situations, such as building-trade problems.”