As you begin the process of purchasing a home, your research is likely to bring you quite a few options. You will likely find most homes on the market are resale with a few new construction listings. Of course, if you’re looking to purchase, you’ll probably notice all the new construction home sites in your area. If you are thinking about buying a new construction home in Arizona, keep these tips handy as you consider your new home purchase.
Options For Buying A New Construction Home In Arizona: Quick Move In or Plan to Build
Depending on your timeline, there are two different ways to consider buying a new construction home in Arizona. The first is purchasing a spec home and doing a quick move in. A spec home is a home that is close to finished being built. Typically, a spec home was under construction for another buyer and they backed out for whatever reason. Spec homes could also have been built by the builder without having a buyer in place. Both scenarios mean that you could go under contract and close quickly on your new construction home! Purchasing a spec home is the ideal situation for a buyer that wants a new construction home, isn’t picky about finishes, and wants or needs a quick close.
The other option for buying a new construction home in Arizona is doing the build from start to finish. This means that you select your lot, elevation plan, model, and finishes. You have complete say in every customizable aspect of your new construction home purchase. When you do a complete build, estimate that it will take 6-12 months to close. The closing date will completely depend on the builder and where they are at in their development but when you build from start to finish, your closing time will take longer.
Upgrades And The New Home Construction Builder Design Center
One of the biggest consideration when buying a new construction home in Arizona is the design center and upgrade costs. Depending on the builder, most model homes that you visit are not the base model. When you sign a contract to purchase your new home build, you are purchasing the base model. So, the prices do not reflect the upgraded cabinets, countertops, paint colors, flooring, etc.
During the 6-12 months after buying a new construction home in Arizona and during the build phase, you will have the opportunity to pick your upgrades or meet with the design center team. At this meeting, you will be presented with the different options for paint, flooring, cabinets, countertops, and some finishes. But…this is where you need to be careful!! The design center and upgrades are one of the top reasons buyers go over budget on their new home purchase. It’s easy to add on $20,000 to $30,000 in upgrades, and sometimes even more!
So, how do you avoid going over budget or overspending on upgrades when buying a new construction home in Arizona? This is where your realtor comes in. There are certain upgrades that are worth having done during construction, versus others that you can do yourself. An example would be paint versus kitchen cabinets. It’s easy to paint your home after moving in and it’s pretty affordable as well. But, upgrading your cabinets can be a much more costly upgrade and more difficult if you’re doing it yourself. If you have the budget for some upgrades, I would recommend upgrading the cabinets versus upgrading the paint colors.
If you’re not worried about budget, you don’t necessarily need to worry about the design center and upgrades. But we like to help our clients get the best deal. I will help make upgrade recommendations and give you the pros/cons for those upgrades. Of course, having upgrades done during the construction frees up your time later. It’s much more convenient to have the builder put in the upgrades and have them in the home when you close and move in. Convenience does have a price tag, so this is another consideration when it comes to buying a new construction home in Arizona.
Using The Home Builder’s Preferred Lender
Do you have to use the builders preferred lender? Nope. It’s a common misconception that you are required to use the builder’s preferred lender when buying a new construction home in Arizona. The builder’s agent may ask that you do that, but it’s not required. As a home buyer, you have the right to choose which lender you work with. There are benefits to working with a builder’s preferred lender in some instances, but it’s best to make that decision for yourself. If you are being told that you are required to use the builder’s preferred lender when purchasing a new construction home, know that you get to make that decision.
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Does The Home Builder Offer Incentives
Sometimes buying a new construction home means that there are builder incentives that you can take advantage of. Builder incentives are one of the biggest perks when buying a new construction home in Arizona. What do these builder incentives look like? Builder incentives can be in the form of closing cost assistance (this usually means that you need to use the builder’s preferred lender), upgrades, appliances, or move in specials. As a realtor, I often get notified of new construction incentives and they can be beneficial for a buyer! Buying a home is a huge investment! So, any additional benefits and incentives that come from the builder are a great bonus!
Should I Get An Inspection For A New Home Build
Many buyers think that you do not need to have an inspection done when you’re buying a new construction home in Arizona. While you can always choose not to, here is why we recommend getting an inspection for your new construction home purchase. The builder will conduct a blue tape walkthrough with the home buyer about a week or two before closing. At this walkthrough, you and the builder (most likely a contractor for the builder) will walk through the home and mark any errors or damages with blue tape. The builder will then have their contractors repair these items before your final walkthrough. Many builders will tell the buyer that this is enough because they offer a one-year home warranty. But this blue tape and final walkthrough do not professionally examine the construction of the home. We recommend that you hire a home inspector around the time that insulation is installed as well as when you do the blue tape walkthrough. This ensures that any major issues are found and fixed before you move in. Also, we recommend a home inspection because builders do miss items. Home inspectors are licensed and trained professionals to help you identify cosmetic and operational defects within your home. Highly consider using a licensed inspector when purchasing a new construction home in Arizona. This is an investment that you want to make to protect yourself and your asset.
Using A Realtor When Buying A New Construction Home
Most home builders will allow you to be represented by a realtor when buying a new construction home in Arizona. Now, when I say that, there is a caveat. Most builders will require that you come in to the model homes with your realtor for the first time. At that first showing, the home builder representative will do a realtor representation and ask you and the realtor to sign in. They will register you as a client with your realtor.
So, here’s why it’s necessary for you to work with a realtor when you’re buying a new construction home in Arizona. The sales rep at the model home represents the home builder, not you. What does this mean for you? It means that they will sell you the house unrepresented, but they have the builder’s interest as their main priority. This is the same for any other real estate purchase. The listing agent wants to get the best deal for their client. Having your own agent is necessary so that you have someone representing YOU, your wants and needs, and that you have someone working for YOUR best interest. Your real estate agent wants YOU to get the best deal.
You need an agent that specializes in helping buyers buy a new construction home in Arizona. They’ll be able to help you navigate through your new construction home purchase because they know the process. Buying a new construction home in Arizona can be tricky. Every builder has a different contract, different terms, and different incentives. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to purchase a new construction home with a real estate agent. Having an agent work for you and represent you means that you have someone on YOUR side that is there to help you through each step.
Negotiating The Best Terms For Your New Home Build
Many buyers don’t realize that you can negotiate terms when buying a new construction home in Arizona. Most builders want to set the terms. It can be more difficult to negotiate a new construction home purchase, and that’s why it’s necessary to have an agent on your side. Negotiating for our clients is one of the main pillars of our job. Whether it’s the closing date, purchase price, closing costs, or upgrades…it’s necessary to negotiate for the terms that YOU want.
Buying a new construction home in Arizona is a slightly different process than buying a resale home in Arizona. Hire the right real estate agent for your new construction home purchase in Arizona to help you keep your budget and timeframe top of mind. Having your dream home built new can be an exciting process with the right preparation. So, if you are thinking of buying a new construction home, make sure you have someone advocating for you. With these tips in hand, you are sure to have a successful new home build.
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Desert Charm Living Real Estate Team
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