6 Important Tips to Consider Before You Buy
There is nothing like walking into a freshly painted and decorated new home that is up for sale, and picturing ourselves coming home. We look around: do we feel comfortable here? Do we like the style? Do we like the layout? Do we like the décor? Every time we walk into another new home for sale, we emotionally decide if it works for us or not.
But are we judging logically as well? What looks and feels perfect at the time that we walk through that new home is only scratching the surface of finding our dream home in which we will be living for 10, 20, 30 or more years. It is like going on a first date. Sure, the person looks good on the outside, but what about inside? Are we too quick to judge what is truly right for us just by a first glance at a seemingly attractive new home?
If you are shopping for your dream home—maybe your “forever” home,” here are six tips to consider before getting emotionally serious about building or buying.
1. Before you even begin to seriously look, decide on a budget. What can you afford to buy? Nothing is more depressing than looking at a $500,000 home when you know you can only afford a $100,000 home. That just eats at the soul. Visit your bank. Get to know your banker. Find out from him or her what you qualify for, and, if you can, get prequalified. That solves a lot of problems!
2. Pick a city and a neighborhood. Remember, you will be living here for a long time. If your job is in Flour Bluff but you begin looking in Kingsville, there can be problems ahead. And if you like Padre Island neighborhoods but look at homes in Annaville, again you are defeating yourself.
3. Find a reputable builder. Any “Joe Schmo” can build a home. And there have been “builders” out there who were here one day and gone another. You want to find a builder who has been around a while and who has a great reputation, both with customers and with suppliers (lumber companies, building supply stores, etc.)—suppliers being just as important because you can tell a lot about a company by the way it treats its vendors. The Coastal Bend New Homes Guide magazine is a perfect place to start your search, as it features some of the area’s finest builders and suppliers.
4. Go look at model homes & newly constructed homes to see what you really like. This 2018 Coastal Bend Parade of Homes was a perfect venue for driving around and looking at some of the finest new and model homes in the Coastal Bend area. If you missed the Parade this past Spring, consult this magazine or go to our website—www.coastalbendnewhomes.com—online to find neighborhoods and builders.
5. When you look at a builder’s new home for sale, remember that it may be only a model for you. For example, that builder’s new house you see in Portland can be custom built for you in the area of your choice. All the builders listed in our magazine would be happy to work with you in choosing a neighborhood and lot, in assisting with design & layout, and in helping you select options that fit your budget and desires. You are not limited to what you see in a model home. You CAN design your home and have it built in an area of YOUR choosing!
6. Most important, ask if the builder constructs homes, or can construct your dream home, certified under the Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR® program or under the new Built to Save® program. Both of these programs guarantee, through third-party testing, that your home will have cleaner inside air, be more comfortable with stable temperatures, and help save on utility expenses—far better than a similar new built-to-standard-code home. With energy costs and global warming rising, your dream home needs to be energy efficient, and these programs guarantee your home will comply. Another excellent qualification is the Coastal Bend Green Built Program, guaranteeing your home will be more environmentally friendly. All of these special programs will ensure your home will keep hard-earned money in your pocket, and if you ever need to sell, will guarantee you a better resale price.
Hopefully, these 6 tips can get you started and on your way to your “Happy Ever After” new home. Don’t choose just any house that is available. With the right tools, the right choices, and the right attitude, building and buying a new home can be a wonderfully personalized and life-changing experience.