by Chris Scheall
on Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 at 1:32pm.
When you think of buying a brand new home built the way you want it, you expect the process to be easy without obstacles like repairs and contingencies. However, there are things you should keep in mind when buying a new construction condominium in Chicago. This is a list of tips to help you get the most for your money and what to expect when you buy a new construction condominium in Chicago.
Be Patient and Get Upgrade Costs in Writing
When you buy an existing home, you can expect to move into your home in a couple of months or sooner. However, new construction condos can take longer depending on how far along the developer is in the construction process.
Make sure the estimated completion date works for your schedule. Be prepared for delays and keep a flexible outlook because the completion date could move farther out than you expected. Keep this in mind if you’re renting with a set lease end date. It may be advisable to ask your current landlord to change your lease to month-to-month.
Please keep in mind that some new construction properties can take one to two years (after signing) until they’re ready for occupancy. It’s important to get upgrade costs in writing when you sign the initial contract because these prices could climb a year later while you’re waiting for your condominium to be completed.
Research the Builder’s Reputation
Before buying a new construction condominium in Chicago, take the time to research the builder along with any reviews you can find. A reputable builder will make the process an easy one and be proactive in preventing and solving any problems that may occur during the buying process. Make sure the builder has a good track record free of complaints or lawsuits. You can check local court records or ask your realtor about the builder’s reputation. Talking to previous buyers is the best way to get a true picture of the builder’s work. You can find references on the builder’s website. If not, feel free to ask the builder for them. They won’t perceive this as rude because many buyers ask for a builder’s references before buying.
Sight Unseen Buying
When you buy new construction condos, you’re buying sight unseen. You’re basically signing to buy a condo that doesn’t exist yet. You have rendered floor plan diagrams and images of a model condo, but not the real rooms yet. You don’t have the advantage of attending a showing where you can see and touch everything that you’ll be purchasing. When you do look at the floor plan diagram, try to visualize and comprehend the actual size of each room and imagine your furniture in that room. Will it all fit? It’s a good idea to get out the tape measure and size up your furniture. Don’t forget to measure the hallways, kitchen island, and dining room. Ask the builder’s agent to show you all of the upgrades as you tour a model home condo. Just as when you buy a car, the model condo could be loaded with special features that do not come standard. You want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
Bring Your Own Agent
While the builder’s agent can be helpful and informative, keep in mind that they represent the best interest of the builder, not you. It’s perfectly acceptable and strongly encouraged to hire your own real estate agent and preferred lender to represent you in the buying process. The builder will ask that you get pre-approval from their lender, however, you are not obligated to do so.
If you have questions about buying a new construction condo in Chicago, please give us a call at (312) 360-1060.