12 Common Misconceptions About Building a New Home
Old World featured in a blog post on Redfin...by Andrew March 3, 2021
We were honored to be one of the real estate experts asked to participate in a panel of experts that answered the question “What are the common misconceptions about building a new home?” The panel featured a wide range of construction experts from Architects, Real Estate Agents, and Builders to give you a well rounded perspective of what we all see are our client’s most commonly seen misconceptions.
Here is the article in its entirety as written by Lexi Klinkenberg of Redfin.
With the competitive landscape of the current housing market, many homes are facing bidding wars and selling for over asking. In fact, in 2021 there will be a record number of new homes built– the most since before the housing crash of 2008. If you can’t find a home you like, you should consider building a new home. Builders will often customize the home to your preferences, so you can add that home office or luxury bathroom. The process of building a new construction home can sometimes be complicated and overwhelming. That’s why we asked experts from Florida to Washington to share the most common misconceptions around building a new home and the truth behind them.
1. Assuming your designer knows exactly what you want
The level of communication between the homeowner and designer can impact the final results of the project. Therefore make sure that you communicate well and ask questions anytime that you have concerns. Also, be ready to reply to the designer’s queries. -Gosia Thurfjell, 9th Floor Design
2. You won’t need a home inspector
When building a new construction home, it’s a wise idea to hire a home inspector to conduct several inspections throughout the various phases of construction. Buyers always hire home inspectors for resales, but when it comes to a new home, buyers feel that since it’s new, no inspections are needed. I’ve seen homes in which the plumbing for a sink in an island wasn’t accounted for in the foundation, braces in the trusses of the attic were missing, recessed lighting was off-center, etc, and hiring a home inspector to monitor the construction is a smart investment. -Lauren Stark, Elite Realty
3. Custom equals expensive
Custom can mean a well-thought-out space that makes sense for any particular family to live in. We build custom $350k projects, and custom $2M projects. –Journey’s End Homes
4. Building is extremely difficult and time-consuming
Building a new construction home is not as hard or time-consuming as you think. have fun and be practical, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pinterest is great but doesn’t always meet building code and might not always be the most reliable. –Kensington Custom Builders
5. Construction will progress flawlessly and without hiccups
The most damaging misconceptions new home buyers often have is that construction will progress flawlessly and without headache during the build and that they will move into a picture-perfect home upon completion. In the real world of new home construction, there are usually delays and unforeseen issues during active construction, and then service items or minor touch-ups and repairs that need to be addressed after the home is completed. Keeping a positive attitude and rolling with the punches is key to a fun and satisfying experience when building a new home. –Joel Comino, Next Modular
6. Using price per square foot to compare custom builders
Sometimes the lowest price doesn’t include the things you would expect like garbage disposals and garage door openers. Once the items you would expect are added in the price per square foot balloons. Having a detailed specifications sheet from your custom builder is key to ensuring you have the items you want to be included in your home without lots of expensive change orders throughout the building process. -Old World Custom Homes
7. A new construction home is overwhelmingly complicated
With the right team, design, communication, and building can be a nearly seamless process. –Heartwood Builders
8. Thinking you won’t need representation
New homebuyers think that they don’t need representation because the agent in the sales office will handle everything. The agent in the sales office represents the builder and will work in the seller‘s best interest. If they have their own representation, their agent can advise them on issues that they don’t even realize are there. Their agent can also negotiate on their behalf when most buyers don’t even realize they can negotiate with a new home builder on the sales price, options, incentives, and terms. -Tony Sena, Shelter Realty
9. Underestimating the skill required to design and build modern homes
Many clients today seek our architectural expertise to design modern homes with a minimal, yet sophisticated material palette. Often these clients underestimate the skill required to design and build these types of designs, not realizing that achieving crisp lines and clean joints requires essentially zero tolerance between dissimilar materials. The truth is that executing modern design requires a tremendous amount of thinking and coordination between the architect and contractor to deliver this level of exquisite, modern residential detail. Modern design undoubtedly affirms the saying “less is more.” -Brian Grieb, GriD Architects
10. Building a new construction home is a one-person show
A good project is the result of a good team, from the design team (architects and engineers) to the construction team (GC and each sub) and finally the owner/client who needs to make sessions in a timely manner and avoid changes. –Tagliaferri Architects, Inc
11. You’ll save money not using a real estate agent
One of the most common misconceptions homebuyers have when buying a new construction home is that they think they will save money on the home by not using a Real Estate Agent. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. The commission percentage is a predetermined amount worked out by the builder and the sales representatives so the number does not change one way or the other. You’re more likely to work out a better deal with a Real Estate agent working on your behalf because they know how the process works and what to ask for. You’ll also have added protection throughout the entire home building and buying process with the resources a Real Estate Agent can provide. -Ryan Fitzgerald – Uphomes
12. That a custom build will be less expensive and happen quickly
When it comes to building a custom home, there have been a lot of changes in the Puget Sound with coverage and zoning and there is less and less land to build on that is close to areas homebuyers want to be. There’s also the fact that raw materials and labor have seen double-digit increases over the last few years which helps add to the rising costs of homebuilding. But a custom-home has a lot of rewards.It has your signature touch and hopefully has design elements that make it special to you. But it is a journey, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t had to compromise somewhere. -Joe Patterson, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Originally Published on Redfin
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