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Central New Jersey is always a hot real estate market. The region’s small-town meets-big-city neighborhoods, breathtaking locales, and convenient access to the New York metropolitan area are huge draws among the latter’s upscale professionals.
Small-population communities like Chatham Borough, Florham Park, and Bernardsville continue to grow new luxury home markets thanks to the sustained interest in the outstanding amenities and convenient metropolitan accessibility found in these communities. Meanwhile, larger and more celebrated residential destinations like Warren, Berkeley Heights, and Summit City are not far behind; these areas continue to lure thousands of new residents due to their commendable reputations as tranquil suburban escapes.
The pros and cons of buying newly constructed homes
Purchasing a newly-built home has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages, compared to buying a previously owned one. Know your pros and cons to determine whether a newly constructed property is right for you.
- You get that “first owner” feeling of pride.
- Negotiations are not influenced by a previous owner’s emotional ties –
typically a cause of delays and stalemates in pricing discussions.
- Some new construction projects give buyers room to personalize and
customize the property (i.e. fixtures and finishes).
- New homes are built using modern materials and technologies, following
the latest construction standards and specifications. Built for efficiency,
they allow owners to save on energy and utility bills.
- New-build homes come with fresh warranties that cover repairs for
structural defects and in some cases minor redecorations.
- While you may have the luxury of peace and quiet, many new singlefamily
homes are built away from the immediate conveniences of the city
- Construction delays may cause your mortgage offer to expire.
- New constructions tend to be smaller and in closer proximity to other
homes compared to those from the previous decades.
- Some defects may not appear until the property is completed – a definite
inconvenience even if such problems are covered by warranty.
- You can’t experience the look and feel of the property until after the home
Buying tips for new-build homes
- Do your homework
Research about the area to figure out what amenities and services are available. Do your research not just online, but also by paying your future neighborhood a visit and engaging other home and local business owners. There’s no better way to get to know your community than by being there and talking to people. Learn as much as you can about the developer, as well. What were its past projects? Does it have a good reputation in the area? What is its after-sales track record like? Make sure that the builder’s records don’t raise any of your red flags before you commit to a decision.
- Ask about future development plans
As you research about your potential new neighborhood, pay close attention to local development plans. Will the view outside your window be compromised by future construction projects? Will the addition of commercial establishments nearby make noise and traffic a problem? Talk to your would-be neighbors. Find out how they influence local development projects, if at all, and what efforts they make to preserve good living conditions within the community.
- Attend open housesKeep your eyes peeled for model open houses in the neighborhood you’re eyeing. Attending these can help you visualize your future property even while your actual house or unit is still under construction. Take photos and jot down notes as you go. These could come in handy if you’re given the option to discuss specifications and customizations with your builder. Attend more than one open house, even if you’ve already chosen a favorite. The comparisons can add important new insights to your original plans. Make sure to pace yourself, though. Don’t try to attend too many open houses in one day or you might be overloaded with information.
- Cover the basics, ask about upgradesWork closely with your agent to make sure that all your needs are covered by the base home price. This can include amenities like cable TV and internet connections, kitchen appliances and fixtures, and flooring and countertop finishes. If you have specific changes or upgrades in mind, raise these ideas early in the buying process to see how these could be squeezed into the construction plans, as well as the final cost. Getting good deals on upgrades is a creative way to work around pricing negotiations, especially since builders are often hesitant to drop prices. It’s important to be able to tell which home features are essential and which ones are upgrades that can wait until after you move in. Since you’re buying a new home (and it’s assumed you will spend a few years before moving again), some long-term features can be considered essential.
- Look for extended period mortgage termsMortgage offers are typically valid for up to six months. If your new construction will take longer than that to complete, be mindful to look for an ption that offers terms that are longer than standard. This will spare you from the hassle of requesting an extension, which may also involve a reassessment.
- Schedule regular inspections and protect yourself with warrantiesJust because the property is newly built doesn’t mean it will have no defects. Arrange for an independent professional to inspect the property during each phase of the construction. This will help identify and correct any potential problems before it’s too late. Keep a close eye on your warranty terms. In addition to the standard builder’s warranty – which covers repairs for any defects on the property’s structural integrity –negotiate for a warranty covering defects in craftsmanship. Make sure these warranties clearly state what is covered and what is not; in fact, keep everything in writing as a rule of thumb. It’s in your best interests to consult a lawyer for this crucial step.
I would love to help you find a new home in Central Jersey. Call me, Janine Rose, at 908-229-6253, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll look for the kind of property that best suits your needs.