6. Choose Options and Upgrades for Your New Build Home
Options and upgrades are additional items that can make your home stand apart from the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. Since real estate is an investment, you don’t want to overprice the home for the neighborhood, but the less expensive the base price of the house is, the less you have to worry.
Options are items the builder installs during construction—including adding usable space such as a sunroom or a powder room—which add the most resale value to your home. An upgrade, on the other hand, refers to selecting quality above the builder’s standard. This can include enhancing carpeting, ceramics, detailing, kitchen fixtures, and appliances.
Whenever possible, take advantage of builder incentives, which offer free upgrades or credit of the sale price. Remember, you can add a deck, a finished basement, or landscaping later—sometimes for less money—so don’t let these touches distract you from otherwise good homes.
7. Be Aware That Your Newly Constructed Home Might Be Ready Sooner Than You Think
While they don’t typically advertise it, some builders have newly constructed homes available for immediate delivery—meaning they’re move-in ready within 30 days. Even if some builders are eager to sell, they'll probably keep that knowledge to themselves.
Immediate delivery homes are available for various reasons, including:
- The community where new homes are being constructed is nearly complete, so the builder proceeds to have the on-site-contractors build spec homes—houses built on speculation for sale—on the last lots
- The model home is for sale
- The contract on a home fell through
- The builder constructs these homes for buyers who either sold their previous homes or are relocating and need to move swiftly
These move-in-ready homes may be more desirable because some builders offer financing incentives or cost-free options. An immediate delivery home is an advantageous way to purchase a home if you need to move in quickly or need a physical space to walk through before signing a contract.
8. When Buying A Brand-New Home from A Builder, Make Sure to Negotiate
Many buyers take the sales price as-is without realizing that there can be room for negotiating price, upgrades, or options in the contract. Though this isn’t always possible, you have a bit of room for negotiation when a builder has completed a home but hasn’t sold it.
Premium lots present another potential point of negotiation. These lots are typically priced higher than the rest of the development, and they are sometimes saved to be sold last, but all lots cost the builder the same amount of money to develop. There’s no harm in inquiring about lot pricing or wiggle room throughout the contract, so be sure to ask. Some builders may even offer additional discounts or special financing to help close a sale.