To Build or To Buy...

Posted by Gary Hall on Apr 30, 2018 4:17:16 PM
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What to look for when considering building or buying an existing new home

You’ve made the decision to move into a new home. With the inventory of existing homes low, and interest rates still historically low, it’s a good time to consider building or buying an existing new home. Here are some of the matters you’ll want to consider ensuring the home you're having built or the existing home you want to buy, will meet your needs.

Building a New Home

You will have some great options when building a new home, that may not be available to you when purchasing an existing home. When you build a home, you can design the kitchen you want, complete with the exact kitchen cabinets, flooring like hard wood or tile, and color combinations. You might even have a say in the floor plan, or making modifications to an existing floor plan to get the style of home you want.

Building can also create some additional challenges, including making sure your builder is reputable, the community is sound and will grow. You will also need to make sure your home will be ready when you are ready to move in.

When you begin your search look closely at the subdivision and the location. Make a visit and talk to the neighbors.  Think about what you want in your new home. Keep the size of your new home consistent with the neighborhood or subdivision where you want to build. You don't want to price yourself out of the market.

Buying an Existing Home

If you are considering buying an existing home, some of the same analysis applies.  Location is a big one.

But other concerns include the structure. From a reasonable distance look at the house. Make sure the walls appear to be plumb and flat, and make sure the home feels solid.

The ground needs to slope away from the base of the house and you need to determine if there is any evidence of water damage.

Look at the roof and ensure that it is in good shape.  Also check for signs of quality workmanship in the finish details such as moldings, tile work, hardware and paint.

It’s important to make sure that kitchen and bath fixtures work properly, that the water pressure is good when the faucets are turned on and toilets are flushed.  

Other items important to review in an existing home include the electrical system with a main circuit breaker marked at least "100 amps;" the water heater, plumbing and heating are all functioning.

Buy or Build—Both Need Home Inspections

It’s important to understand that a home inspection is important whether you are buying an existing home or building a new home.

You may think you don't need to have a newly built home inspected, but getting an independent inspection before closing is always a good idea for any home purchase. You’ll want to be at the inspection as well so you can learn more about the home.

Newer homes can have just as many problems as older or existing homes, and it's always better to know what you don't know before the last piece of paper is signed. In the case of a newly built home, a good home inspector can help identify problems before a builder's warranty expires.

Know How Much You Can Afford

Whether you buy or build, it’s an exciting time in your life. Make sure you do your homework and work with a real estate agent who can help you with either transaction and also give you the pros and cons of buying versus building. And most important – get preapproved for your home loan right away so you know how much you can afford and you have the power to deal. ChoiceOne can preapprove you in 20 minutes and close you loan in less than 28 days. When home inventory and interest rates are both at all-time lows, you’ll want to be ready to move on your new home!

20-Minute Pre-Approvals and 28-Day Closings

All pre-approvals and mortgage loans are subject to approval of credit. Final loan approval is contingent on property appraisal, clearance of title and confirmation of current loan application information. A 28-day mortgage loan closing timeline is not applicable to government insured loans such as VA, FHA, USDA or MSHDA. Timeline calculations are based on completed application and is not a guarantee. Equal Housing Lender.

Topics: Mortgage