Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Buying From a Builder

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When you buy your home from a reputable builder, you think you’re fairly safe. After all, thousands of people have bought homes before you, and the builder always seems to have the purchase down to an exact science. Most people do go through the buying process without any hiccups and are happy with their decision. 

However, you should carefully consider the following mistakes that some people make. If you avoid these things, you’re likely to feel more confident about the entire process.

1. Purchasing From the First Builder You See

You want to choose a great Edmonton home builder. As you tour a builder’s show home, you may feel this builder has absolutely everything you need. You love the floor plan, you like the design options, and you love the communities they build in. Why shouldn’t you simply select this builder and get the ball rolling?

It’s always smart to just check what other builders are offering. While you might have loved the show home you saw from one builder, the next one’s high ceilings and luxurious master bathroom might put the first one to shame. You may eventually go back to the first builder you saw, but it will be better to know you’ve explored all of your options. You can even lock in your lot before you lock in your builder if you come across the perfect location but haven’t found the right builder yet. 

Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Buying From a Builder Couple Image2. Choosing the Home With the Lowest Starting Price

You want to get a great deal on your home, so it seems smart to select the builder that has the lowest starting price. But surprisingly, the builder with the lowest starting price doesn’t always have the lowest final price.

For instance, let’s say you want quartz countertops in your kitchen and bathrooms. The builder with the low starting price has laminate countertops as the standard option because it’s the most affordable. That’s one of the reasons why their starting price is so low. When you add the quartz countertops you want, the price jumps. The price increases each time you add something that’s considered an upgrade. 

Another builder might have a higher starting price, but quartz countertops come standard in each of their homes. You’re not adding as much in chosen upgrades, so the overall price is lower than the builder with a low starting price. That’s why it’s smart to think about everything you want in a home, then get quotes from each builder. Also, there are builder incentives to look for that may influence your decision; get all the facts!

3. Assuming You Have Complete Flexibility in the Design

Being able to design your home the way you want it is one of the biggest benefits of buying a brand-new home. However, you don’t always have complete flexibility. For instance, some builders will allow you to make major changes to the floor plan, but others only allow minor changes. Most builders allow you to make design choices from a limited number of options.

Community guidelines also sometimes limit your choices. If there are only a few lots left in a community, you may only be able to choose from a limited number of exterior looks. This is because the guidelines place limits to ensure that similar homes aren’t close to each other.

Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Buying From a Builder Agent Image4. Exceeding Your Budget

As you design your home, you’ll be able to include a lot of little extras. Each choice only adds a few dollars to the monthly mortgage payment, so it’s easy to keep saying “Yes” when the builder tells you about these optional features. However, those little costs add up. Eventually, you may have a home that’s stretching the limits of your budget. 

Before you start working with a builder, you should have a strong sense of how much you want to spend. Getting a mortgage pre-approval from the bank will tell you how much they’ll lend you, but you should also think realistically about how much you can comfortably afford to spend each month. Understanding your needs versus wants can keep you within budget. There are even apps to help you stick to a budget; determine your limit and stay firm about it. 

5. Forgetting to Ask About Extra Costs

When you look at the price tag, you likely assume that amount covers everything you see when you’re looking at a home from the street. However, remember there will be other hidden costs of buying a new home like lot price, landscaping, and the fees to bring utilities from the street to your home. Additionally, you might see features in show homes that are actually considered upgrades, adding to the base price of the home. When you get a quote, be sure to ask for it to include everything. 

6. Thinking the Warranty Covers Everything

When you build in Alberta, you benefit from a new home warranty. Knowing this makes you feel secure with your purchase. You assume that if anything goes wrong in the first few years, the builder will make the repairs. However, you have to carefully look at what the warranty covers. In many cases, there are things that are only covered by warranty for the first year. 

Additionally, most warranties won’t cover damage you caused on your own, whether directly or through neglecting maintenance. The warranty may not protect you as much as you think it does.

Most builders aren’t intentionally trying to trick consumers into spending more, but sometimes builders and buyers aren’t on the same page. It’s important to look out for your interests when buying a home.


Photo credits: tablet, agent, couple 
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