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Buying a New Home Before it is Completed


Buying a new home under construction can be a great opportunity to have a voice in the finishing of the home. You may be able to choose the paint, carpets, wood floors, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and other details. On the other hand, your choices may be very limited, say, perhaps between two paint colors, or between two shades of carpet. You may want to obtain the services of a qualified interior decorator, so that decisions you make will result in a harmonious home environment.

When considering the purchase on a home under construction, be certain you have a good working relationship with the builder, and a clear understanding of what choices will be allowed. Find out what features are standard, and what are considered upgrades. For example, what does the builder consider to be “standard plumbing fixtures?” All of these decisions should be captured in writing, to minimize the margin for error. Often a builder will allow a certain budget for interior items, and allow the buyer to choose within the constraints of that budget.

A builder will most likely need you to make decisions based on a certain timetable, to keep the project on schedule. You should also determine with the builder when you will be expected to pay for upgrades. Will you be expected to pay as they are installed, or will you be allowed to pay at the time of closing? Deciding each of these factors in advance and having an agreement in writing can save a great deal of heartache and stress as the home is completed.