The thought of living in a practically perfect, completely clean home is irresistible to many buyers. Add low-maintenance living and a slew of customization options to the mix, and it’s easy to see why buying a brand new home in London, Ontario, seems like the obvious choice. However, many buyers are caught off guard by the hidden costs of new homes. If you’re considering buying from a builder, make sure your wallet is prepared for some of the following potential costs.
Consider Post-Closing Costs and Utilities
You would think that it’s the builder’s responsibility to run water, electric and sewer lines from the street to your house, but in many cases, it may not, depending if the lot is serviced or not. Hooking your house up to these utility lines can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand. On top of that, you’ll likely be responsible for paying the installation fees for your gas and electricity meters. Likewise, if you purchase a home that requires a septic tank, few builders cover that cost. Instead, they leave that up to you to handle, draining your bank account even further.
More often than not, new construction homes come with a host of hidden fees. To make matters worse, these charges are rarely discussed until it’s time to sign the dotted line. These unexpected costs can include development charges, mortgage discharge fees, deposit verification fees and more.
Consider the Home’s Upgrades and What’s Included
In most cases, builders will have you tour a model home that’s complete with every upgrade they offer. While the hardwood floors, granite countertops and travertine tile may look nice, keep in mind that they are strictly upgrades, meaning they don’t come with the home automatically. Many buyers are shocked to realize that the house they toured and fell in love with is not at all the house they’re actually getting.
When buying a brand new home in London, be sure to ask which features are included and how much the upgrades cost. If you decide to move forward with any add-ons, realize that the quoted price likely includes a steep profit margin. With this in mind, it may be cheaper to do the upgrades yourself.
Consider the Home’s Exterior and What Might Be Missing
Focusing on making the interior as appealing as possible, builders often neglect a property’s outdoor living space. Most new builds lack decks, fences, shutters, landscaping and more. If you have a young family or simply want some privacy, a fence is a necessity, and installing one yourself can cost thousands of dollars. As you tour homes, take note of any outdoor elements that are missing, and figure their costs into your overall budget. If you find that you can’t afford your outdoor essentials, negotiate to have the builder pay your closing costs, freeing up the funds you need to build a deck or install a fence.
While buying a brand new home can come with costly surprises, it may still be the right decision for your family. To avoid these post-closing bombshells, be sure to ask the right questions before purchasing, and consider adding room in your budget to cover unexpected fees.