Buying a home in a new development is an exciting experience for people because often they have the opportunity to select specific features and design options. In addition, the fact that everything is brand new gives homeowners the confidence that there won’t be problems to deal with for several years. But that may not be entirely accurate.
Just because a single-family home development or condo/townhouse project is new does not necessarily mean the design and construction will be flawless. Several things should be considered before making a decision:
- Check the reputation of the builder, and be thorough. Look for online reviews, complaints with the Better Business Bureau, and look at other projects recently completed and perhaps completed years ago.
- Examine the builder’s warranties. You’ll want to check specific parts covering everything from the foundation to the appliances. Because investing in a home is so substantial you’ll want to consider having warranties reviewed by an attorney who specializes in construction. If there are inadequacies, ask the builder to address them before you move forward with a contract.
- If there is an owner association you’ll want to very carefully review the by-laws and possible have them reviewed by an attorney as well if there is anything you don’t completely understand. The cost of hiring an attorney in advance can often save you many times that with problems.
- Have architectural and engineering plans reviewed by a professional. New construction projects require permits and permits are granted after review of plans prepared by licensed architects and engineers, however it’s not a bad idea to have a second opinion. Everyone makes mistakes and it is always better to catch errors early rather than later.
Justin Hall, P.E. • Structural Engineer Expert Witness
The engineering firm Justin Hall P.E. regularly handles property inspections when there are alleged or obvious defects but we also provide review of plans prior to construction. We also provide expert witness services when there are questions about the cause of defects and who may be responsible, either in design or in construction, or both. From inspection to deposition to testimony in court if necessary, we are fully competent and capable of getting to the core issues and explaining them to judges and juries in written or oral testimony. Please call us for a confidential consultation at 501-240-9213.