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Old 01-15-2015, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
9,608 posts, read 6,170,727 times
Reputation: 25369

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Pay close attention to the quality of the foundation cement, roof shingles, siding materials, and windows/doors. Builders tend to "cheap out" on house fundamentals in favor of more obvious (to the buyer) upgrades like granite countertops and crown molding. But while it's easy to swap out builder-grade appliances, it's a lot more difficult to fix builder-grade windows, shingles, etc.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:54 PM
 
Location: City Data Land
17,081 posts, read 11,120,840 times
Reputation: 32822
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Do yourself a BIG favor and look for an existing home in an established neighborhood.

And find yourself a good RE attorney to review ANY contract you might sign.

This includes RE agent representation agreements.
Why and why? OP doesn't need either. Why not buy a new home as a first time homebuyer? I wouldn't myself because I think older homes have better bones, but that's just me. And he/she doesn't necessarily need an RE attorney either. Any person who is willing and able to read a long contract thoroughly should be able to determine whether or not he/she is willing to agree to the conditions stipulated in it.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in USA
656 posts, read 624,178 times
Reputation: 562
we are closing on a brand new construction today and below are some pointers for you. This is all depending on whether you have a townhome or a single house. I will speak for the townhouse.

check for:

1. Kitchen countertops leveling, make sure they level them and aligned
2. Outlets throughout the house, make sure there are ample of outlets for you to use
3. lightings, if egress lightings are to be installed, make sure they cog them correctly.
4. ceiling paintings, make sure the painting coats are even and are the same across all ceilings and walls
5. bathrooms, ensure to check water on the sink, the shower
6. heating and A/C as well as insulation between walls
7. windows, what type of windows are being installed, are there missing screens on the windows...make sure they are double screen window instead of single (depending on your contract).
8. Flooring, check the woods, if they put enough fillers to help ease the wood chips coming off by little things dropping on it. Check the carpets to see if they installed correctly for every corner, check for no cutting lines between the carpets.
9. Check for cog levels between the wood pieces. If you have tray ceiling, check for the wood connectors between them to ensure they cog them correctly and paintings are done properly
10. check for mirrors in the bathrooms, sometimes they are internally cracked and they installed them anyways
11. stairway rails, check if they are sturdy enough or loosed
12. Check for cabinets doors and inside the cabinets to see any wood cracks while they installed them, or nail holes in them.
13. If you have a deck, if it's maintenance free, check for the coat level of the deck protection, check under the deck for wood poses holding the deck to ensure they are properly secured and screwed in.
14. Check the A/C unit outside of the house, sometimes they put stuff in the unit like trashes or house building materials for the next units.
15. Check the attics for insulation level, have the RA or the builder's supervisor to get you or someone up there to check for the attic for any holes or possibly not enough insulation level.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:10 AM
 
7,175 posts, read 8,419,842 times
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Are we talking "building" a new home, or are we talking buying a spec home from a builder/developer? So far the responses look like you are considering buying a spec home.

Just be VERY careful. The builder will use the cheapest "contractor grade" ( i.e. highest margin) products that he can find. It will LOOK great...some granite countertops (cheapest he can find) and a couple of pieces of crown molding and buyers go "ooooohhhhhh...this is really 'high quality'.

It's not. Depending in the builder, it will be good for a few years, and then the cycle of "replacing/upgrading" starts.

One yardstick to use is cost per square foot....sure, he can charge you $200 and use $65 materials, but it is one measure of what you are getting. These days, depending on location, less than $150/sq foot deserves a lot of investigation; over $200 and you are probably looking at a well built home...maybe.

Have an independent contractor come in and take a look. They know where you can skimp, and what quality materials/workmanship should look like.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
948 posts, read 2,599,649 times
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Researching sewer, water and power hookups in regards to charges is important as is their location, depth of hookups, soil and rock types. I have seen these factors burn people many times when looking at the design of the home, the foundation, how much rock the area deals with and if there are additional hookup fees for utilities. A lot of contractors have a "rock clause" which can increase costs above the bid/estimate and put them on the buyer for blasting rock or the removal of expansive soils which then have to be replaced with topsoil and gravel.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:52 PM
 
18 posts, read 30,662 times
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I am talking about building a new home. In-fact yesterday we had a meeting with my realtor and builders realtor. I am wondering generally how much incentives are given towards upgrades.That would help me.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
39,200 posts, read 67,938,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amukherj View Post
I am talking about building a new home. In-fact yesterday we had a meeting with my realtor and builders realtor. I am wondering generally how much incentives are given towards upgrades.That would help me.
Incentives vary greatly between builders and communities.
Nothing is free, no matter what they tell you. It is in the price.
Incentive credit is smoke and mirrors, to help make you believe you are getting a great deal.
Look at the final price you are to sign for compared to the cost of other builders' products.
Don't pay a premium to get an incentive discount.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:18 PM
 
18 posts, read 30,662 times
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Thanks for the advice Mike. The quote I got from them for the upgrades like fireplace, bay-windows, a study room door and few minors , adding a third car-garage and finishing the basement is about 40k more than what we anticipated paying. We have given them an initial offer for which we are yet to hear back. Lets see what they come up with.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:23 AM
 
7,175 posts, read 8,419,842 times
Reputation: 19272
Quote:
Originally Posted by amukherj View Post
Thanks for the advice Mike. The quote I got from them for the upgrades like fireplace, bay-windows, a study room door and few minors , adding a third car-garage and finishing the basement is about 40k more than what we anticipated paying. We have given them an initial offer for which we are yet to hear back. Lets see what they come up with.

This is the absolute WRONG way to build a house.


You give him a price/offer, and then he builds to as cheap a standard as is possible. He maximizes his profit, and you are stuck with a Ryan type home.

No, No. No!~

Start with an idea. Put the idea into drawings. Put the drawings into a plan. Have at least three builders bid on the plan.

There are several options...once you have an exact plan which will lead to a contract which will have every board, block, pipe, mol; shingle, brick, finish, etc. in it. Exactly. There will be nothing left to the discretion of the builder: this is exactly what you will build. If it goes into the house, it will be in the contract. Then...you can go in several directions: Fixed Price; Cost plus a markup; Cost plus a fixed fee, etc.

You have to decide which is best for you.

I recently went with a cost plus a fixed fee for the builder's overhead and profit. I didn't look at every receipt, but spot checked, and I checked to make sure that the materials which were supposed to be in the house were the exact materials specified in the plan and the contract.

Do No Leave it up to the builder so say "I will build you this house (and shows you a picture or a model) for this amount of money". You will get scammed out of a lot of money, end up with a poorly constructed house, and every "upgrade/change" order will end up costing you a bundle.

Start with a good architect, and go from there.....
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Old 01-24-2015, 02:42 PM
 
18 posts, read 30,662 times
Reputation: 17
Thank you for the suggestions!
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