Like most new home shoppers, you've probably done a fair amount of research on the locations, communities and local builders in the areas that your interested in. But beyond those first steps, there may be a few factors that you may not have considered yet. Below are a few questions to consider as you prepare to venture out and explore for a new home:
A great home should always fit the way you live. The space and features should be designed around your family's needs. Location and size should play a key role in determining whether your new home will be the right choice. Quality schools, local conveniences, public transportation, the lot size, general amenities... these are just a few factors to consider as you contemplate your new home.
It's important to create a wish list that includes things that you would like to have but aren't necessarily essential. It's important to know what questions to ask when looking for a new home. Between the maintenance issues of a home (paint, roofs, HVAC, appliances, etc.), it's important to familiarize yourself with some of the materials and products that make up your new home. Do a little research on the more expensive items and amenities that will play a vital role in your homes longevity. Understand what the standard warranties and product life cycles should be and be prepared to ask your builder those questions. The builder should be able to answer and provide greater insight on ways to ensure reliability and quality when it comes to your wish list. Make your list ahead of time and organize your thoughts as you receive more information. Another great source to help you develop a good list of questions is the HUD Home Scorecard.
Tax rates can change from year to year, so it's important that you ask the seller for a tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office direct to find out an approximate figure. These factors will impact the ultimate cost of living in your new home.
There's an abundance of information available about the local school systems by contacting the city or local school districts. Most real estate agents will be able to offer a fair amount information about the schools in the area.
Take good notes. Most new homebuilders will provide plans and descriptions of their models. Bring a highlighter and distinguish those amenities that seem unique to their homes. These details will come in handy as you begin narrowing your choices.
On average, most homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing the one they like most. There is no set number. It really comes down to searching for the right solution until you find it. Keep your wish list handy and narrow your choices as you go. Feeling comfortable and achieving a level of trust and confidence in your builder will help you make the right choice.