THE SIX POTENTIAL PITFALLS OF BUYING NEW CONSTRUCTION IN THE COEUR D’ALENE AREA
The Six potential pitfalls of buying New Construction
There is no missing it. New housing developments everywhere in the greater Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls areas! We live in a spectacular place and as people discover what we already know, developers are trying to keep up with the demand for homes. If you are considering one of these new homes, you must know about these six potential pitfalls before you buy:
- Emotions can get in the way! Buyers can get lost in the attractiveness of the model homes that are strategically situated on oversized lots, with views uninhibited by future homes, and made to sparkle with tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades, landscaping and furnishings! Ever see that jungle gym that no kids are allowed to play on in the backyard of the model home? Just sayin’!
- Hidden upgrade costs: The $299,000 price of that new home is just the starting point. During the design phase, buyers are brought into beautiful showrooms and confronted with the potential to upgrade everything possible. “What, the rooms aren’t vaulted like the ones we saw in the model home?” Cha ching! “What, the hardware in the house is chrome…we want polished brass.” Cha ching! You get the idea. Before you know it, the covered patio and insulated garage door with windows must be left out, because your price point is already at 220,000 – the max your lender will loan you.
- Upfront costs: Speaking of upgrades, builders may want cash upfront for certain upgrades you order for the house. They do not want to get stuck with that pink speckled granite and matching bidet in the bathroom, if you decide to walk away from the sale. And don’t expect to get that money back if you do walk away. Keep in mind, your Realtor may be able to negotiate some of these items into the contract! Can’t say we’ve ever negotiated for a bidet, but there’s always a first time!
- After move-in costs: Window coverings, backyard sprinklers and landscaping, that new sectional couch to accentuate that new family room you extended during the design phase…all things you will need to set money aside for.
- Future development of the neighborhood: Developers typically build their most desirable homes on their larger lots in the early phases. If you are considering buying in the earlier phases, you will want to know what is to follow and discuss with your Realtor how those plans could impact the future value of the home. If you are considering buying in the later phases, chances are you are looking at inflated prices for smaller lots and this may be a negotiating point for your Realtor…you know the Realtor you decided to represent you instead of the sales agent!
- Buying without an Experienced Realtor: A lot of buyers use the on-site sales agent, not knowing they have a wiser choice. The on-site sales agent and their broker are heavily weighted in loyalty to their client builder. In a hundred-home subdivision, the sales agent and broker may side with the builder if your one transaction gets yucky! Secondly, the sales agent in a large subdivision will have their hands full enough with the sales side of the transactions, let alone any limited dual agency contracts they enter. Your interests as a buyer deserve exclusive and undivided attention. Keep in mind, your representation is already paid for in the price of the house, so why wouldn’t you have an exclusive and undivided agent on your side?
Experienced representation: We would love to guide you through your decision to purchase a newly constructed home. We have personal experience in building both a subdivision home and a custom home. We have guided several of our buyer clients through buying and designing newly constructed homes and would love to share our experience with you.
Written by Kory Martinelli, Realtor