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6 Critical Questions to Ask When Buying New Construction

If you’re in the market for a brand-new home, you’ve got a ton of options. Sales of new homes surged to an eight-year high in 2015, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, and single-family production is estimated to reach 840,000 units in 2016, an 18 percent increase over 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Unfortunately for home buyers, new residential construction is coming at a steeper price: Last year the average price of a new home jumped to $351,000, up $100,000 from 2009, reports the NAHB. Nonetheless, there are still ways you can save when buying a new home. It’s like shopping for a new car: You need the right strategy to nab the best deal. Ask prospective builders these six questions in order to find the right home at the right price. “What financial incentives do you offer for using your preferred lender and title company?” The bad news: Production builders are often reluctant to set a precedent for negotiating sales prices. (Custom builders tend to be more flexible.) “If a new home is listed for $370,000 and it sells for $360,000, the next buyer in the development is going to want to pay that lower amount,” says Craig Reger, a real estate broker at Keller Williams Realty in Portland, OR. However, many offer handsome incentives to buyers who use their preferred lender and title company. Some may even knock off up to $10,000 in closing costs, says Peggy Yee, a supervising broker at Frankly Real Estate in Vienna, VA. Others will sweeten the deal by negotiating prices on finishes, such...