In the 10 years that Wendy Arriz has been a real estate agent in New York City, she’s seen some of the best, selling ultraluxe new-construction homes, as well as lower-priced properties. But she’s also seen some of the not-so-best work out there.
“One of the things I’ve seen, even in the ultraluxe real estate market, is that there is not the attention to detail in craftmanship that you’d expect from new construction,” says Arriz, a broker at Warburg Realty Partnership. “I can’t even tell you what some of my clients have had to deal with. In some cases, they have punch lists that are pages long. As an agent, we’re not trained to know how to attack that for a client.”
You’re probably asking yourself the same question Arriz has asked herself plenty of times: if a home is newly built, shouldn’t it be perfect? Absolutely, says Marnie Oursler, owner of Marnie Custom Homes in Bethany Beach, Del., and host of DIY Network’s Big Beach Builds.
Ensuring your home is built to the highest standards and that you won’t have any major repairs to deal with soon after moving in comes down to the things you do before purchasing a home, says Oursler. Before signing any contracts, research the homebuilders you are interested in working with to gauge customer satisfaction. And, don’t be afraid to ask builders questions.
Oursler suggests speaking with past clients to see how satisfied they are with their home and how the builder dealt with any changes or repairs. “That’s going to give you a lot of good insight,” Oursler says. “No process is going to be smooth the entire way. You have to trust and know the builder.”