How to buy a New Construction home in Franklin, TN
The Relocation Engineer is an experienced REALTOR with helping families buy new construction homes in and around Franklin, Tennessee and thus is sharing his knowledge with you on the steps to buying a New Construction home.
- Connect with a great REALTOR
Buying a new home is often more complicated than buying an existing resale home. This is due to the number of decisions to make from selecting the neighborhood, the perfect lot, a floor plan, flooring, lighting, and a wide array of upgrades. Also the on-site agent is there working for the builder only and though the treat you very nice and are knowledgeable of their product they have NO fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interest. Meeting with a local knowledgeable REALTOR like The Relocation Engineer can help you in selecting the correct neighborhood, review similar developed neighborhoods by this developer or builder to understand what the finished product will likely be. The Builder will compensate the agent for bringing you to the neighborhood and representing you in the purchase. That expense is built into the cost of the house and is just a part of their marketing budget. So you have no additional expense to have an agent on your side helping you understand your options and the process.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: Understand new home sales office REALTOR registration policies. You may need to be escorted to the FIRST time by your agent, while some will let you register with your agent on their website. Don’t lose your right to representation by not registering timely.
- Review your FINANCES
Each buyer is unique and so are his or her finances. You need to have a discussion with your lender and REALTOR to decide the best way for you to structure your new home purchase plan. For example a couple currently renting could just go month to month on their rent at the end of their lease while their dream home is being built and they just need to have the deposit money and prepare for the closing. While another family may need the cash from the sale of their existing home to make the down payment and get loan approval. The Relocation Engineer is experienced in evaluating the situations of each buyer and helping provide them with counsel on options that would suit their situation and then connecting them with a qualified lender to verify that the options meet all of their needs. Something to consider is that the builders usually will not start construction of your new home until they have a sizeable non-refundable deposit. You have to understand the market to make sure that if you have a home to sell it will be sold by the completion of your home so that you can move forward with the purchase and loan. There are options like taking a bridge loan on the equity in your current home and the risks of those loans need to be reviewed.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: be open and honest with the REALTOR and lender on equity in your current home, you tolerance for risk, and your ability to make two moves, meaning a temporary rental while the home is under construction. Make a strategy and have a plan B in case it doesn’t work out exactly as planned.
- NEGOTIATE Wisely
Buyers want to negotiate on the home they buy, and the REALTOR should provide market data to educate the buyer on how well homes are selling in the area. However the builders want to protect their future sales prices and when they are building a community with the same floor plans built frequently they do not want to show price drops reported in the local MLS. However, when the market allows, builders are willing to negotiate on upgrades and added features.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: Get a report on how sales are progressing and decide on which upgrades you want and negotiate for those versus price. Also consider negotiating for an allowance for upgrades that you can decide on during construction.
- Be Prepared for the UP-SALE
Avoid the sticker shock feeling when you sit down to go over design review process. The prices that most builders market the home for sale for is a base model pricing so you should be prepared to have an increase in the price. Things to consider that may have an upcharge: lot premium, elevation selection, added trim packages, flooring selections, added features, custom changes, etc. A good way to understand the upgrades is to get a list of standard features and once a floor plan has been selected get a complete list of possible upgrades and their cost for that floor plan. With custom builders you can only get the standard list of specifications, after that make sure to ask for quotes on each upgrade individually.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: Ask the sales representative for the builder what the average upgrade percentage is in that community from that builder. That will give you a general idea of where your pricing could end up before you go to far into the decision to buy.
- DOCUMENT Everything
This is a big investment and not one that you should rely on a handshake or the word of a sales representative. If you want a feature or a change then you should get it in writing signed and agreed by all parties. Meetings in the field at your new house can be complex and many agreements can be forgotten when they are not in writing for the builder to relay to his team. Although builders do things differently and some have all the plans printed and changes can be noted on the prints, some processes will be decided upon by walking the home during construction. You should still get your agent or the sales representative for the builder to put those agreements in writing.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: I like to have my camera and my iPad with me for meetings at construction sites so notes and photos can be used to document agreements at on-site meetings.
Before going into a contractual agreement you can do online research about the community and the developer/builder. Just remember that both good and bad things are likely to be reported on a builder and you have to way what you read with the understanding that the experience must have made them go online to make such claims and evaluations. More important is to understand that the construction is still local so you will want to understand how your local superintendent is performing, so look at homes around the community you are interested in to see how they are built and the way the crews are performing their job. You will likely see many homes in various stages of construction so you can see the insides of those homes to learn about the quality.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: Connect with other new home owners that have just been through the process of building with a builder you are considering and make sure that they would recommend them.
- Get their WARRANTY
Builders will have a home warranty and you should ask to review that before going into contract to see if the terms are acceptable to you. Builders are not likely to change their warranty for you but you should know the terms before you go into contract and they build your future home before you know that fact.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: Ask the builder about all their warranties and how they plan to help you maintain your home during the first few years.
- INSPECTION before you purchase
Builders take a lot of measures to make sure that they build a quality home but you should still have a third party independent contractor come in behind them to check to make sure the home is built according to the highest standards. Many times the inspector can suggest things that need to be improved before the closing while you still have leverage in negotiating the repair/improvement. You should also do a walk through for cosmetic and minor functioning items before the closing date and The Relocation Engineer has a checklist to make sure nothing is overlooked on this exciting day when you see your totally finished and cleaned home for the first time.
The Relocation Engineers Advice: Ask about radon mitigation and passive devices being installed, as radon cannot be predicted prior to construction. Understand who is responsible for the cost of adding systems to mitigate radon if found.
The Relocation Engineer has helped families make the move into NEW CONSTRUCTION homes in Franklin, Spring Hill, Thompson’s Station, and Brentwood. If you would like to meet and discuss whether a NEW HOME is right for you and your family, please reach out at the number below. We can go over new construction developments that meet your needs and also see how to make it financially viable for you.
The Grumbles Team's Mike Grumbles is The Relocation Engineer in Franklin, Tennessee 615-587-5843.
EXIT Realty of the South | 1227 Lakeview Dr. Suite 1 | Franklin | TN | 37067 | 615.550.5555 Each EXIT Office Independently Owned and Operated