Many home buyers are taking advantage of new home construction opportunities. Developers have been building homes and residential communities to keep up with the increased buyer demand of recent years. Some homeowners are taking it upon themselves to buy their own land on which to design and build their dream homes.
Moving into a new construction home is a little different than transitioning to a previously owned property. No one has lived in this house before and that brings some unique challenges. There may also be a few surprises early on with new roads, driveways, utilities and other elements that haven’t been used by any previous homeowners. It may take a little more time and effort to make sure the home is truly ready for your everyday life. This is especially true if you are buying a new house in a third-party development and it’s not a property where you were intricately involved in the design and construction processes.
Here are a few move-in tips we recommend for new construction homeowners:
Change the Locks
One of the first things you should probably do when moving into a new house is to change all the locks. You don’t want anyone else who may have an old key getting into your home. New construction homeowners often assume this is no big deal because they are the first people to live there. However, construction workers, contractors, real estate agents and other service providers may have copies of the original keys used while building the house. Play it safe and replace all the locks.
Another major priority should be checking the duct work and perhaps having it professionally cleaned by an HVAC provider. A good builder might take care of this step for you after construction is complete, but a lot of dust, debris and other things can end up in the duct system during the home building process. You should at least have it inspected before firing up the heating/air conditioning system or running your clothes dryer.
Replace Air Filters
Along with cleaning the ducts, you may need to change your air filters before you move in. They may be quite dirty from construction. If you live in a neighborhood where construction is still happening, you will want to check and replace your air filters more often. Work at the other properties may kick up a lot of dust and other nasty stuff that will quickly clog your air filters.
Know the Warranty
Before you buy a newly constructed house, take your time to read and understand the warranty. Know what the warranty period is and exactly what is covered. New homes can have unexpected problems once you move in, so make sure you are protected for any flaws the builder may have missed. If your warranty is 12 months, it’s smart to schedule an inspection and/or walkthrough with the builder at 10-11 months. This will ensure any issues can be resolved before the warranty expires. Make any notes during your time living in the house. Keep track of any loose nails, damaged drywall or anything else that is worth noting to the builder.
A radon test just before the warranty expires is another good idea. Again, you are just playing it safe with a brand new house and all its new building materials, appliances, etc.
One more tip is to watch where you drive in the neighborhood, whether it’s just your house that is new or other construction is going on around you. It’s very common for there to be loose nails, screws and other nasty items that can puncture tires. Check your tires regularly for any damage and just be careful where you drive around your new house. Also, wear shoes around the house and in the yard/driveway. You don’t want to step on anything the construction workers may have left behind!
These tips are just to help you avoid problems and be able to enjoy your new house as much as possible. Otherwise, new construction is a great idea to get a brand new house that suits your needs. There’s something nice about being the first one to live there.
If you are interested in new construction or buying a recently developed home in the Southeastern Pennsylvania or Northern Delaware areas, contact The Cyr Team. We can help you with all your local home buying or selling needs.