If you are looking to buy a brand-new home, you will have lots of options in California. However, not all new homes are created equal. Making this type of investment requires that you take advantage of the best tips for buyers – including these essential questions to ask before choosing a new construction home.

Are You Offering Any Financial Incentives for Using Your Lender and/or Title Company?

It is often the case that you are not able to negotiate much – if at all – on new construction. Why? Because if you pay $10,000 under the asking price, the next buyer will want to do the same. However, you may have access to significant financial incentives if you agree to use the lender and/or title company that the builder recommends. This could mean as much as a $10,000 reduction in closing costs.

Which Finishes Are Standard?

When you go through the model home, it is almost always true that every finish you will see is the highest-end version. The model home will likely come with tons of extras you’ll have to pay significantly for if you want them. As a result, when you are touring the home and find you love an appliance, finish, type of flooring, etc., be sure to ask if it is standard so you know if you should get attached to it or not.

What Are the Long-Term Plans within the Neighborhood?

One thing you cannot see with your own eyes is how a neighborhood will come together before buying a new build. For example, if only a few homes have been built and sold, you may need to consider that 50 more homes could be built – which would mean construction near your home for years to come. You may also have to deal with the builder losing funding and stopping the subdivision altogether.

Can You Tell Us About the Homeowner’s Association’s Rules?

If there is an HOA at the new home, you will want to read the CC&Rs, which give you information on what is allowed and what is not. For example, you may not be able to install a storage shed in your own backyard, or erect a fence. Some CC&Rs even have something to say about adding solar panels. Some areas are more restrictive than others so be sure you know the rules before you sign.

Consider as well what your HOA dues will be and what they cover. It may be that the builder pays these fees until at least 50% of homes are sold, which is standard. Again, there are many options that may work for you, just be sure that you know what you are getting into.

Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021 if you need the help of a professional to get into the home you are looking for.