To Build Or Not To Build?

by Jonathan Daniel // January - February - March 2021

As spring approaches, people often begin cleaning out their homes and thinking about making a transition into a new house. This is something that happens year after year in the real estate world. As people begin thinking about making a move, there are numerous factors to consider. One of the biggest decisions is settling on a newly built home or a resale in an established neighborhood. This conversation – an important starting point, after first understanding their budget – is one that I have with all my clients as we kick off the search for their perfect home. In this article, I’m going to focus on buying a new build.


It’s important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of both. For instance, a new build provides the opportunity for personalization of your home and lower maintenance costs because building materials are brand-new, while an existing home provides mature landscaping. In contrast, new construction means a longer wait-time before you can move in and the potential for temporary construction noise as neighboring homes are built. But if you opt for a resale, costly repairs may be needed after you move in and there is a lack of opportunity to customize the design of your house.

As you are thinking through this decision, you should be working with your own agent. The agent that is on-site in a new community represents the seller and is there to get the best deal for the developer. Your agent will advocate for you throughout the building and selection process. When looking at new construction, you should consider some of these questions. (These are just a few to ponder when deciding – your realtor will ask these, and more, before showing you a new build to make sure it’s a right fit for you).
– Are the homes what you are looking for architecturally?
– Does the landscape in the neighborhood appeal to you?
– Do you want to be the first person who has lived in your home?
– Do you want to be able to make selections on design features?
– Will your moving timeframe accommodate the months the building process will require?

For many home buyers, these questions can be answered with a simple yes or no; but for others, they may need to seriously contemplate whether a new build home is right for them.

What is Standard And What Costs More?

It’s especially important to understand the answer to this question when buying a new build so you stay within budget. Making sure you have documentation on what you are getting in your home is critical to ensuring you get what you want. There are certain selections that you must make when going through the building process. There will be a lot of options from which to choose, so make sure you understand what is designated as “Standard or Tier 1” and what is offered as an “Upgrade or Tier 2.” It’s imperative that you know the difference in the two. Standard selections will be options that come with the home at the price point at which you are buying it. There may be a couple of different options when you are looking through these selections, and the majority of these options are stock for the homes they are building (these are considered Tier 1). Tier 2 or upgraded material selections are the features that will add money to the cost. These may be upgrades in flooring, granite countertops, carpets, and bathroom selections. When considering these options, make sure you have a full grasp on what their additional costs are going to be as they will need to be added into your budget. Your agent should be able to help you in the selection process, and it is always a good idea to have him or her communicate with the developer for documentation of price quotes and final cost. This will ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for within the budget you have established.

Final Walk through and Closing

Typically, when buying a home through a builder, there are incentives offered if you use their preferred lender. These generally include some appliances and money towards closing cost. It is worth knowing what they offer when using their preferred lender, as it might help you to save a little bit of money at closing. Your agent can help you walk through what the builder is offering and whether or not it is worth it for you to do so.

During the building process, there will be chances to visit the home to witness the progression. An official walk through, typically about two weeks prior to closing, will allow you the opportunity to walk through the home with the contractor and your agent to point out any flaws. At this point, the contractor has time to make any necessary repairs before closing, ensuring that the home is in prime condition when you move in. Typically on the day of closing, a final walk through will be performed. This is to confirm that all the repairs that were discovered in the initial walk through have been completed, and that the home is ready for you to move in. Once you have wrapped up the final walk through, it will be time for closing – and then that dream home will finally be a reality!

While there is much more to buying a new construction home as opposed to an existing one, the building process can be fun. Just remember that having your own agent is important, as he or she will help guide you through the extensive process while making sure you are able to get what you want and within your budget.

Keep in mind, the agent representing you is paid by the seller, not you, so he or she will be working fully to make sure you are happy in the home of your choice. Now more than ever, there are many new developments being built throughout the Triangle, so it’s a great time to create the home of your dreams. If you follow these simple suggestions, you will be able to enjoy a seamless process.

Jonathan Daniel

Realtor with Bespoke Realty Group.