Thinking about buying new construction in Alameda County? There’s nothing quite like that new-car smell, and there’s really nothing like moving into a brand-new, never-lived-in-before home. If it’s within your budget, buying new construction seems to have no cons at all. But there can be drawbacks – sometimes hugely costly ones. So it’s critical for buyers to understand what to look out for. To help you out, here are 5 things you should know about buying new construction in Alameda County.
1. Builders Vary Widely
The first thing you need to know about buying new construction in Alameda County is that not all builders are created equal. Some have more experience than others, some hire better tradesmen, others use substandard materials, still others cut too many corners, and a few just do shoddy work. So you must check out builders carefully.
Here’s what industry pros recommend if you’re thinking about buying new construction in Alameda County: “When choosing a builder for your new construction home, look beyond the pictures on their website and seek out more information to ensure you’re making the right choice. Check out homes they’ve completed, talk to homebuyers who have previously built with them, and make sure there are no major complaints filed against them. You shouldn’t have trouble finding a great builder for your home; you just have to do the work to make sure whoever you go with will deliver what you’re looking for.”
2. The Model Home Isn’t Necessarily the Standard
Another thing to be aware of is that the beautiful model home you tour may not be what you can actually get. Those model homes are sales tools more than anything. They serve as interactive showrooms and so are fitted out with all the premium upgrades that you may not be able to get or even afford.
So when buying new construction in Alameda County keep in mind that the model home does not reflect the base sales prices. These prices are based, rather, on what are called “builder-grade options,” not the premium options you see in the model home.
Most of the time, though, you can get the premium options – if you’re willing to pay for them. And here’s where a local agent can provide invaluable assistance. To discover more about this, call (408) 893-1866 .
3. You May Have Fewer Options Than You Think
Similarly, you may have fewer options than you think or have been led to believe. If the home isn’t yet completed, you can, of course, customize to some degree, but that degree is often smaller than many people think when buying new construction in Alameda County, according to industry experts.
“While you do get to customize, there are far from limitless options dictating your choices. For example, you won’t be able to add a sunroom that isn’t listed as an option on the original plans or choose a different placement for the fireplace. Many builders will only let you choose between one or two paint colors for all of your interior walls . . . [F]or things like countertops and carpeting, you’ll likely only be able to choose among the options presented by the builder.”
4. You Need to Be Warranty Aware
Another important point to keep in mind regarding buying new construction in Alameda County is the importance of paying close attention to warranties. Typically, builders will issue a limited warranty on their work as part of the sales contract/purchase agreement or as a separate warranty document. Most commonly these warranties cover labor and materials for one year and structural defects for up to 10 years.
Builders’ warranties, however, cover far from everything that could go wrong. So you need to pay particular attention to what is and what isn’t covered. A few of the things to keep an eye out for in the warranty are:
- Roof and roofing
- Electrical system adequacy
- Guttering and downspouts
- Exterior (brick, siding, stucco)
5. You’ll Have Less Negotiating Room
A final thing you should know about buying new construction in Alameda County is that you’ll typically have far less negotiating room than you would buying an existing home. And here’s why . . .
“When you’re buying new construction, however, what you see is typically what you’re going to pay, plus any upgrades. Builders don’t like to lower the base prices on homes because that alters the comps of the development and will result in more buyers looking for ways to negotiate down. They may, however, offer some discounts or financial incentives, so look for those instead of expecting to convince a buyer to lower their price.”
And the upshot of this is that your agent’s negotiating expertise becomes almost a necessity. If there’s less room to negotiate, buyers are taking a risk when they don’t rely on their agent to negotiate the best deal possible. So if you’re interested in buying new construction in Alameda County, be sure to contact us today at (408) 893-1866 .