Flying home from my latest retreat in Miami I had a sudden surge of energy and decided to get some pen to paper or in my case fingers to keyboard. Spring Market can get absolutely crazy and with the cold overcast days in Philly day in and day out, I found it imperative for my own health to take a few days for myself and get away from the biz. Although I take my work with me wherever I go (I had my laptop on the beach with me the entire time), the few days under palm trees and sunshine did the body good. With that being said, on my way through airport security I got a text message from one of the agents I train saying their client was very upset over their purchase of a new construction home in Philadelphia. It prompted me to decide to write my next blog about what to expect when you buy new construction and what warning signs to look for while going through the deal itself.
First and foremost if you are a buyer considering new construction, research your contractor and seller. If the seller has put their latest property in an LLC, try to do as much research as possible on the LLC. If you cannot find any information online, ask your agent to speak openly with the listing agent about the character of the seller and ask what other homes they’ve recently built in the area. Also, always ask up front for the builder’s warranty so you have plenty of time to read through it and understand what it offers and how It applies to the home you are considering buying.
The other part of this process though comes with patience from the buyer. If you feel comfortable with the builder/seller of the home and you’ve done your due diligence by having the inspector thoroughly scope the home, you might start to feel more at ease about the purchase. Of course that’s until you’re two weeks in and you have a roof leak and your hot water isn’t working in one of your bathrooms. This is the part that I think many buyers begin to get grumpy about and panic sets in. My best advice is do not jump to conclusions, this does not mean your house is a lemon. Your home has never been lived in – the kinks have not had a chance to be worked out. There was never a previous owner who had to take care of the leaky toilet and outlet that just won’t work. I’ve said this before in my other posts and I’ll say it again, a home is 4 walls built by humans. It will not be perfect, there will be issues that arise, it will be a pain in the ass from time to time. This is part of being a home owner, albeit not the fun part but boy will you grow from the experience. Before you know it you’ll be able to re-grout your own bathtub and unclog the kitchen sink, and you won’t even blink an eye when something happens.
The best part of buying new construction in Philadelphia is the builder’s warranty covers you for the entire year. The builder, if you bought from one that has a good reputation, will hold up his end of the bargain and come back to your home to fix the items that go wrong. Be firm but fair when speaking with the seller/builder and explain the situations at hand and how they may be causing you stress. I advise that you alway be at the home when they come to fix the repairs, so that you can oversee the work being done and make sure that it is done to your liking before they leave. But don’t panic and don’t freak out. Those are the best words of advice I can give you. A wise person once told me, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do, but it will get you nowhere.” If you trust and believe in the company you bought the home from, trust and believe that they will do right by their buyer and fix the problems that have come up. Remind yourself this is common and that your home is settling. It is finding its stride and giving you a few minor heart attacks in the process.
A home is 4 walls, built by humans, it is not perfect as none of us are, but it can be fixed. And if you bought from a reputable company – it will be, and you’ll be sleeping easy in your new home in no time.
**Coming up soon – Tax Abatements Vs. The Homestead Exemption**