Monday, April 7, 2008

Be a savvy new home buyer

When you fall in love with a builder's model home and you are told what it would cost to build a home just like it, remember to ask these questions to get the full picture:

1. Which features of the model are included with any home that is built? Some features will be "upgrades" which will add to the cost. For example, if the model has tile in the living areas, does the base price you were quoted include tile or do you have to pay extra to upgrade from standard carpet to tile?

2. Will you have to pay a lot premium on the site where you want to build? Lot premiums can run anywhere from 2K up to 50K. Water lots are usually more expensive that "preserve" or wooded lots.

3. What are the community association fees and what do they cover? There are two types of fees. The Master Home Owners Association Fee covers such things as the use and maintenance of the "amenities" such as a clubhouse, community pool and tennis courts. The Home Owners Association Fee might include cable television and lawn care.

4. Is there a yearly CDD fee? Often new communities will have this fee which is added to your yearly taxes. It is something you want to know when considering a purchase.

5. Is the community located in a flood zone category which would require that you take out extra insurance coverage?

Asking these questions when you first consider building a new home will save you from being surprised later. Know the answers, make an offer and build your dream home!

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