By Patrick McCarran
Real Estate Broker
With new home construction going strong again you may not think it is necessary to involve a real estate professional in a transaction where a buyer can deal directly with a builder. Think again! The builder’s agent is representing the builder’s best interest. As your buyer’s agent a Realtor can guide you along the right path, smooth the rough places and help ensure you make a decision you can live with (and in) for many years. As your agent, the Realtor is representing your best interests. Just as a real estate professional calls on experience and knowledge of an area to help buyers locate re-sale homes in a community, the same applies to guiding buyers interested in newly built homes to developments and communities that match their wants and needs. Your agent can suggest builders based on their reputation for delivering a high-quality product, responding quickly to issues, and being financially sound. Your agent may be familiar with how a builder prices his products and where there may be room to negotiate price or upgrades.
Your agent can assist you as you face hundreds of design choices and consider which upgrades provide the best value in terms of resale and whether to upgrade from an outside vendor. The upgrades or options available will vary from builder to builder and the choices you make will depend on largely person decisions. Often a buyer can pay far less after the home is built by contracting with a third party but price is not always the only consideration you need to consider the convenience, cosmetic ramifications and if it is even feasible to perform after the home is built.
The lender approval process may go smoother if your agent schedules visits, accompanies you to lenders, and helps expedite required documents.
When relocating to a new area, your agent can be particularly valuable resources. In addition to providing local area information regarding schools, day care or elder care services, public transportation, proposed development, and so on, once construction is under way, an agent can periodically stop by the work site, supply you with progress reports, and photograph phases of the construction.
REMEMBER the builder will require your agent to accompany you on your first visit to the site. So let them shop with you it is not an inconvenience it is there job.
By now, you should be convinced of a real estate professional’s value as you search for and purchase a newly built home. Still, here’s one more great reason to work with an agent—the builder pays the agent’s commission. You enjoy individual attention and support at NO cost to you. What a great way to start life in a new home!
Know Your Options
Patrick McCarran can be reached at (899) 899-5536, email@example.com or www.CallPatrick.com. Patrick McCarran Broker is an independently owned and operated office. Equal Housing Opportunity.
By Patrick McCarran
Real Estate Broker
I am often asked if a home warranty is a good deal or worth the money. I highly recommend them. Considering that the average water heater runs about $1300, and a new furnace and A/C can run over $10,000 with the new SEER laws, a home warranty can save you thousands of dollars on a repair that pops up after you purchase a home.
I think it is important to understand that a home warranty is not an end all be all warranty and you should be aware of exactly what the home warranty covers. It does not cover everything that may go wrong but does cover a great many items. The warranty brochure will spell out exactly what is covered and what is NOT covered. It has been my experience that the major warranty providers do not try to “wiggle out” of paying, if it is covered and not obviously a preexisting condition then they will repair of replace. In general the warranty will cover items not covered by your home owners insurance. For example if a pipe leaks the home owners policy will cover the damage caused by the leak but not repair the pipe, the home warranty will cover the pipe but not the damage.
Be aware that if the warranty is generally only for basic coverage, if you need extended coverage, such as for pool equipment, air conditioning, or even the refrigerator, you may be able to negotiate that extra cost with the seller, or consider paying the difference yourself. It is important to note that you must file a claim with the warranty company and use their service provider, if you have a problem you can request a new vendor but you cannot generally call your own contractor and expect the warranty to pay them. Remember that although most home warranties provide coverage only for one year, but you can always for more upfront or most plans are renewable after the first year, one of my clients kept their home warranty for the 22 years they owned the home.
Take note of what the deductible or per visit cost for repairs? What’s the maximum dollar amount for repairs and what are the policy limitations such as new fittings or SEER inspections or permits? Also the warranty company will buy out the claim, sometimes this may work out better for the home owner.
A warranty is not a blanket protection form defects and no buyer should forgo a home inspection. An inspection may uncover defects or potential problems that may not be covered by the warranty—and may give you the opportunity to request the seller to make any major repairs before the closing.
But, warranties definitely have a place when it comes to protection and peace of mind. For sellers they can act as “insurance” that you won’t get an angry call about the bad water heater in the house you sold and for buyers you don’t have to worry about dealing with the added expense of replacing a major system or appliance after you move in.
Give me a call or email for more information or any questions on home warranties and providers. Know your options.