5 Tips to Protect Yourself When Buying Newly Constructed Santa Cruz Real Estate

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 12:01pm.

Buying newly constructed Santa Cruz real estate isn't much different from buying an "already used" home.  What variances there are, however, can make all the difference between buying a diamond or a lemon.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying new construction:

Tip #1: Don't use the builder's sales agent - hire your own.
If they're the builder's agent, they're being paid to represent the builder, no matter what they tell you.  Your own Santa Cruz real estate agent, who is representing you, is required to tell you the negatives as well as the positives.  The builder's agent doesn't have to tell you the drawbacks of the transaction.

Tip #2: Find your own lending agency.
Again, if you go through the builder, the lending agency may offer you a deal that isn't in your best interest.  In addition, the builder may actually own the lending company, and will have full information on your personal progress.  Your Santa Cruz real estate agent can refer you to a reputable lender, if you don't already have one of your own.

Tip #3: Talk to a Santa Cruz real estate agent or lawyer.
Although standard agreements are made to keep everyone out of court, they aren't necessarily in your best interests.  Ask about cancellation rights and make sure you understand both your liability and your commitments.  Also, check your contract to make sure it doesn't contain warnings about health issues.

Tip #4: Decide what options or upgrades you want.
Remember that the profit margin for many builders is highest in upgrades.  Find out if your lender allows the options and upgrades you've chosen to be added to the loan.   If your lender doesn't allow this, the cost of the upgrades will come out of your pocket in cash. 

Tip #5: Research the builder.
It's amazing how many people think a builder is good, simply because they can build a house.  Unless you're a licensed home inspector, the chance of you catching a cut corner or shoddy building practices is slim to none.  Check out the neighbors' homes and talk to them.   Are the homes a consistent size or are they shrinking in size?  Do the neighbors have consistent complaints about the quality of their homes?  Also, check public records for lawsuits.

Owning newly constructed Santa Cruz real estate and knowing that you're the first person to live in the home can be a wonderful, exciting experience.  Make sure that you protect yourself so you can enjoy it!

Thinking of buying newly constructed real estate?  Talk with me before you start shopping.  If you visit a builder prior to working with me, I won't be able to legally represent you with that builder. 

To find out more about how I can help you save money and get the best terms when buying newly constructed real estate, call me today at 831.662.6522 or email me at lauren@laurenspencer.com

 

LINKS:

1. Lending agency 

2. Profit margin

3. Home inspector

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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