What You Need to Know Before Buying a New Build in Snohomish County
In response to a consistent demand for homes in Snohomish County, new housing developments are being added to the community all the time. These new build neighborhoods present the opportunity to live in a brand new home, offering a long list of benefits in both the house itself and the surrounding community.
Before you decide to sign on for a new construction home in Snohomish County, make sure you have a couple important details ironed out: choose a local real estate expert that can advocate for you throughout the process, and make sure you have a list of the questions you need to ask before choosing a builder.
We can help with both of these factors. Contact us any time to learn more about how we can partner together to find your new home, and keep reading for a list of things you need to know in order to confidently move forward with the purchase of a new home.
What is the builder's reputation in the area?
This is a question you won't be able to ask the builder or their sales team directly, but we can help you navigate it. Most builders have a reputation that is easy to uncover between talking with our local real estate network and looking at online reviews.
A few negative stories don't have to be a dealbreaker, and mistakes are a reasonable part of anyone's reputation, but you want a builder who has a reputation for making things right, being honest, and not cutting corners.
What is the home warranty?
Most new construction homes are going to come with some level of warranty. It likely will not cover every part of the home, but should give you confidence in the quality of the construction itself. Find out whether your builder will offer a warranty and get a clear list of what it covers, in writing.
Is the community going to feature any amenities? What are the future plans for the neighborhood?
In nearly every case, a new construction home is going to be located in a brand new housing development. Because of this, you may be looking at buying a home without being able to see the community by which it will be surrounded.
Instead, get as much information as you can from the builder about the plans for the neighborhood. Look at the plans for community amenities, ask how many homes will be added and whether roads into the neighborhood are going to be expanded. The more you can learn about the future of the community, the more informed a decision you can make.
What is included in the base price of the home?
Most new construction homes are listed with a "starting at" price, meaning that is the base price before adding in the cost of the lot and the upgrades you might make in the design center. There may also be an opportunity to adjust the floor plan or layout, which will likely impact the price.
Find out what the builder included features and finishes are so that you can more accurately anticipate how much you will want to spend to upgrade with the builder, or upgrade after moving in.
There are also many things that are not included in a new build that most buyers might find surprising. Many builders do not provide fencing, landscaping, window coverings, or appliances. Keeping this in mind will help you budget appropriately for your home.
What is the construction timeline?
Construction is always done on a tentative timeline, as there is the potential for delays that are out of the builder's control. This might include supply chain delays, bad whether, or trouble getting the right people on the job. While your builder likely cannot tell you exactly when the home will be done, find out what they estimate and ask them if they have been delivering homes when expected. You should also ask what their policy is for handling setbacks and how they communicate with buyers about things that will affect the timeline.
What will the HOA fees be?
Nearly all new construction homes will be located in a neighborhood with an HOA. Find out what the expected HOA fees will be, what they will cover, how frequently they will be due, and anything else you can about the HOA management.
Are there any incentives offered for using a builder-preferred lender?
As you near the end of the construction process, it will be time to choose which lender you are going to use. Before choosing a builder, make sure you know if there are any benefits to choosing a certain lender.
Many builders offer incentives for going with their preferred lender. If this lender is able to offer rates and terms comparable to another, it may be worthwhile to make the switch in order to receive these incentives. Common incentives include a credit toward closing costs or interior upgrade options.