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Home Buying & Selling

Buying a Newly Built Home? Watch Out for These Nightmares!

4 Minute Read

If buying a high-maintenance home sends chills up your spine, a new home purchase may be right for you. But does brand new really equal hassle free?  

We asked Dave’s Facebook fans whether their newly built home came with any unwelcome surprises. A few common themes came to light.

Icky Houseguests

Most people expect to be the first residents in a brand-new home, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, Mother Nature rolls out the welcome mat.

We had a lovely family of mice living in our attic that we assumed moved in during late construction,” said Angie D.

Tiffany H. encountered an especially stinky situation. “We had skunks spray underneath our house weekly,” she said. “We finally got them out by pouring cement all the way around the house. Our house, clothes, furniture and everything we own still stinks two months later.”

Human Error

A new home may seem perfect, but things can still go wrong when people are involved. Take it from these folks who found out the hard way:

“A month after buying our first home, our air-conditioning unit's condensation wasn't exiting like it was supposed to. Water built up in the ceiling over our dining room table, then the whole ceiling fell in over our kitchen table,” Brandy P. said.

Curtis G. found plants growing out of his bedroom floor molding. The cause? A worker’s nail gun had punctured a ceiling pipe, causing a months-long leak. “When we took the drywall off, it was totally black,” he said.

Judy B. has seen it all first-hand. “I did home inspections on new construction occasionally. One home had no insulation in the attic,” she said. Other major oversights she uncovered included a main sewer line that was dumping into the crawl space (yuck!) and a flue that had never been connected to the water heater (yikes!).

Budget Busters

Of course, new home horrors aren’t always home inspection finds. Unexpected expenses threw many of Dave’s fans for a loop.

One aha moment that frequented the list was the realization that brand-new homes don’t come with basics like mini blinds, sprinklers, fencing and sometimes even grass. “These items added up to thousands of dollars more than expected—and that was cheap!” Natalie L. said.

Tax adjustments caused heartburn for a few homebuyers. “Our real estate taxes were not calculated correctly. When the property was assessed properly, our home payment jumped up by $500 a month!” said Jessica P. “That was a lot for two broke Oklahoman teachers!” Heck, an extra $500 is a big chunk for most people!

Lessons Learned

If you’re considering a newly built home, all’s not lost! It can still be a blessing. Despite the long list of nightmares, Dave’s Facebook fans were quick to share their secrets to success.

“Be sure you know what is ‘standard.’ I have no regrets that we built, but the extras add up,” Lori O. said.

Levi L. just finished building his new home and had this to offer: “Do your homework on the builder. We visited the site weekly and monitored everything. Take lots of photos.”

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Dana P. emphasized the importance of working with pros who have your best interests in mind. “Don't rely on the builder to know everything or the county inspector to keep tabs on the construction project. Have a new home inspected in stages. Do a foundation inspection and a pre-drywall inspection. Once drywall is up, you've lost out on the best chance to see what's inside,” she said. “Last but not least, get an experienced agent who cares more about your needs than his/her commission. It's a big purchase and the right representation is important!”

We couldn’t agree more! If you’re looking for a real estate agent you can trust, try one of Dave’s real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs).

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