New Constuction Tips | Austin TX MLS | Ask Agent Aaron | 512-845-4204
Since I am a former homebuilder, I get a lot of questions from clients and potential clients about buying a new construction home in and around Austin TX. It makes perfect sense.
Sometimes questions are about the quality of homebuilders in Central Texas. Other times about neighborhoods (which homebuilder is better, etc). Now, don't get me wrong, I love to answer questions about builders of new construction homes, and I answer as candidly as possible. But I do have to be careful what I say.
I try to keep things general — such as large, publically-owned homebuilders being more efficient, and therefore more cost-effective, than custom builders; you get what you pay for, etc. But in reality, where most homebuilders in and around Austin TX fall down on the job is customer service after the sale is made and the closing happens.
To me, this is the hardest thing to discuss with my clients, because sometimes the fault of poor customer service with homebuilders falls on the shoulders of the new homeowners in the form of unrealistic expectations.
When I built homes, every single person that was involved in the building and selling of our homes was a real part of the team, and communication was key. We did our best to make sure this communication trickled down to the new homeowners, too. We were very successful in my opinion in this department. But, invariably, disagreements arose. It was in these kinds of situations that we really shined.
If Central Texas homebuilders were better at managing expectations with their customers, I think complaints would drop considerably. Because of my experience, I do what I can to set the bar for my clients — not to protect the homebuilders, but to protect my clients and their enjoyment of their new Austin TX home.
In gerneral, I think build-quality is very good in the new construction neighborhoods in and around Austin TX — including Dripping Springs, Buda, and Kyle TX, too.
Other questions I get are about extra amenities; specifically which ones add to resale value and overall enjoyment of the new home.
Among my suggestions:
- Spend money in the kitchen first, the master bathroom second.
- Hard-wiring for networks (CAT-5) is virtually obsolete, and still very expensive.
- Wiring for home-theater is a very good investment. If you need to save money, just do the rough wiring for built-in speakers now, as this will save tons of cash down the road. (Remember, building new is always cheaper than remodeling).
- If you plan on being in the house for less than 7 years, keep the crazy colors to a minimum. Same goes for flooring options, too.
- Get elongated toilet bowls in the powder and master bathrooms.
- Make sure all tile is sealed with a high-quality sealer before you use it the first time.
- If you actually cook in your kitchen, don't necessarily spend the money on stainless steel just to keep up with the trends. Stainless steel appliances show fingerprints and grime more than black or white appliances do. Keeping them clean might just drive you to the funny farm!
- Crown moldings in living areas can be a relatively inexpensive way to make the home seem much richer than it is.
- Get a sprinkler system in the front and back yards.
- Check the utility companies for the particular neighborhoods you like most. Most newer developments are part of MUDs — municipal utility districts. These are entities created to pay back the expenses caused by neighborhood infrastructure, and things like water and sewer can be much more expensive until they are paid off, which can be many years away. (If you are going to spend extra money, why not put it in the house, not the utility company's pockets?)
Of course, there are many other things, too, that make sense if you are planning to buy a new construction home in or around Austin TX. Doesn't it make sense to have a former homebuilder on your side in such a major transaction? Remember, when you visit model homes in new construction communities, the agents on-site work as employees or contractors for the homebuilders, not you.
Call me, Agent Aaron, at 512-845-4204 to represent YOU in what is likely to be the single biggest purchase of your lifetime. Thanks for stopping by!