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Anyone who bought a new construction home... What mistakes or lessons did you learn from it?

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1. Get an independent multi-stage home inspector and have the builder respond to all findings. You’ll want them to inspect before the foundation is poured, after framing and before drywall is put up and final inspection 2. Be friendly to your builder / project manager, but let it be known that you’re around a lot. I always stopped by the construction office whenever I was around. Never let them know you are coming (unless you have to do a walk-through of course) and vary your arrival times 3. I always made a point to be very friendly to the construction crew. I paid for quite a few lunches and dropped off drinks a lot. Gatorades and water during the day, case of beer at the end of the day. If you’re known as the friendly homeowner, you’ll get the better crews wanting to work on your home and they will cut fewer corners. A lot of homeowners treat the construction crews like slave labor. 4. Read the builder specs and your state home construction warranty guidelines so you know what the builder is on the hook for. For example, my builder spec said that the temperature change moving from room to room shouldn’t be more than 4 to 6 degrees (I think, this was a while ago). We had one room over a garage that just wouldn’t cool down during the summer and was about 8 degrees warmer than the hallway outside. The builder had to redo the duct work and add more supply / return runs to get the room within spec. That would have been a pricey repair job after the fact

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One last thing - I would highly recommend that you not be the most expensive house in the neighborhood. It seems nice to throw in all kinds of whiz bang upgrades when you are building it, but if you are the most expensive house in the neighborhood you will never get the value out when you put it up for resale.

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Just built one. Most new construction homes use contractor grade stuff - from flooring, to electrical fixtures, plumbing, tile, interior doors, countertops, appliances, etc. Make sure you are not overpaying because it’s new - pretend the house is 10 years old and then think about what it’s worth.

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Agreed. After being around a few years and having bought/sold 2 houses and toured many more for potential investments, even the pricier new home communities in my area have cheaper finishes and fixtures -but you’d have to have an eye for it. If you’re less experienced it’s kind of hard to tell past the “shiny newness” of it. But if your happy with it that’s all that matters 🙂 Some things to look out for -if it’s a regional or national builder that churns out tons of new construction subdivisions per year, you want to check the quality and reputation of the builder and how they handle any issues when they arise. They put these up so fast that there is shoddy work sometimes. Also don’t use the best materials, just the bare min. But as a homeowner You should expect any home to require maintenance and to eventually have issues or replacement needs, so make an informed decision. Best of luck!

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Buy D.R. Horton, great builder! Mark of quality especially here in California.

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Buy the construction crew lunch periodically. Then when you or your inspector sees something that you need fixed, just ask the crew to do it rather than going through the builder.

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