The Perfect Property

Tips For Looking At A Newly Built Home

by Zachary Thompson

When you are typically looking at houses, you'll pay attention to things like the age of the furnace and whether or not the windows are leaking. But what if you are solely looking at newly constructed homes? In this case, there won't be a lot of concern over how old things are or whether they are still working well since they will presumably be new. So, what do you pay attention to when looking at new construction homes?

Assess the quality of the workmanship.

Look at the walls and trim closely. Do you notice a lot of nail pops where the joint compound has popped out from the drywall? (These look like little raised areas the size of a pencil eraser.) Is the trim straight? Are there any streaks in the place? If the workmanship in general looks a little shoddy, you may wonder whether the builders skipped corners elsewhere, too. On the other hand, if the finishes are completed nicely, the more important elements, like the plumbing and HVAC system, are probably top-quality, too.

Check how the land drains.

When building sites are excavated, the builders do not always do their due diligence to make sure the land drains properly. You don't want to buy a home and find out later that the yard becomes a swamp whenever it rains. Try to visit the home during or after a storm to ensure the yard looks dry. If you can't manage to visit during wet weather, at least check whether there are ditches and drain tile in place.

Ask about warranties on appliances.

Even though the furnace, air conditioner, and other appliances are new, there is some chance they could malfunction or break down. If this occurs, you want to be sure they are covered by a warranty. Ask to see a copy of the warranty information for all appliances that are being sold with the home.

Check the quality of the surfaces.

Mainly, pay attention to the materials used for the floor and for counters. If the floor is stone tile, for example, that is a higher-quality surface than vinyl tile. If the counters are granite, that's higher quality than laminate. There's nothing wrong with lower-end materials if that's what you can afford, but make sure you're not paying high-end prices for lower-end finishes.

Pay attention to the elements above when touring new homes. Talk to your real estate agent to learn more.