Questions to Ask When Buying a New Construction Home

May 21, 2024
buying new construction
Buying a home will be the biggest investment you ever make. And when your future home is nothing but a vacant dirt lot, it’s not only okay to have a ton of questions but important that you ask them.

You might have questions about labor, costs, timelines, and other essentials before getting started. Or you may not even know what questions to ask.

But you don’t have to know everything to know that you would rather avoid major surprises later – and not the good kind of surprises. So no matter where you are in this process, the following questions will cover some essential questions to ask when buying a new construction home.

How long has the builder been in the industry?

Lasting success in your industry takes time, and similarly, any reputable builder has been in business for years. Whether it’s 10 or 20 years, if they’ve been building homes for a while, they know their way around various forms of contracts and probably don’t make many mistakes during the process.

buying new construction
If you’re purchasing a new construction home, the process of setting it up like you want is a bit more extensive than a tract build.

How long will the build take?

You’ll at least want to have a general idea of this because it dictates when you can move into your new home. Also, be sure to inquire about the time it takes to acquire permits since those generally take at least 30 days to receive.

Can you purchase your own appliances and materials?

Be sure to ask your builder about this, as some will not let you buy your own materials. However, some may let you bring in appliances for them to install if they’re included in the sale.

Do warranties come with the house?

The majority of new construction homes come with at least one warranty to protect you should problems arise. In most cases, the builder should cover you for the first few years. Should this not be the case, this is something you’ll need to budget for and purchase yourself.

Is the lot included in the price?

When you’re exploring new home construction options, one thing that may not be included in your contract price is the cost of land. Land can often vary in value, and it’s important to ask if your chosen lot includes this when comparing prices with other builders or looking into final product costs later on down the line.

buying a new construction
When you’re exploring new home construction options, one thing that may not be included in your contract price is the cost of land.

What if I change my mind about something mid-build?

If you’re wondering if you can request an upgrade for additional features during the building process, some builders may be more receptive to this than others. Some will charge a greater fee for changing your mind than others will. However, the goal is to put a lot of time into the planning process so changes aren’t made during the building process.

Are there incentives for using the builder’s preferred lender?

Builder preferred mortgage companies may offer you financial incentives on closing costs. These can include discounts for obtaining your loan through them, but you don’t have to decide solely based on these opportunities. Builders are only trying to help you by suggesting a lender.

It’s always good to know what benefits come with working alongside one company, though, so consider it before making up your mind about which bank will dole out cash at an affordable rate.

Can I get a home inspection upon completion?

Absolutely. While you can’t make a deal dependent on a home inspection, you still want to ensure your builder allows an inspector to come through. The reason for this is it leaves too much room for buyers to abuse and manipulate contracts. However, this isn’t something to stress about, as city inspectors will ensure your home is built to code.

Bear in mind that some states impose an additional “cooling off” period on newly built homes, so you’ll want to check into whether this applies wherever you live before signing an agreement for one of these homes.

If you want to stay informed and be proactive throughout the building process, don’t be afraid to ask other questions that pop into your head as you go. Just be mindful of your builder’s communication preferences, and remember that the process is a two-way street.