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Fairfax, Loudoun County Virginia -Residential Real Estate Market Blog

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  • Northern Virginia -Fairfax, Loudoun, Alexandria, Arlington & Prince William Blog, real estate Market condition written by Ritu Desai at Samson Properties.


Northern Virginia Home Buyer Guide-Good-Bad-Absolute Truth" About buying a builder's model home "
Don't we all love beautifully decorated model homes? I know clients in Northern who spend hours going around Fairfax /Loudoun & Prince William County new construction to get decorative ideas. Many of my buyers are all drooling when I want with them at the model homes...and are intimated to pop the question "How about selling me this house to us?"

Why you should buy Model Home: Let's start with a positive note.

a) We all know model homes have that extra cherry on the top ...i.e...all the bells and whistles that would cost thousands of $ to upgrade if you are considering to be build home.
b) Everything is done for you...from window treatment to that deck on the back of the home, irrigation system and finished basement. Some builders will even sell their model home furnished all you have to bring is your clothes.
c) Custom options-Since the model homes are decorated by professional decorator you may get the custom built in or extension options that the builder may not sell on a to be build.
d) If the builder is almost ready to close out the community they may be desperate to sell their golden egg (A.K.A model home) just like any motivated seller the builder may go above and beyond to sell /unload that home and you can land a "deal".

Why you should not buy a Model home: Now on the negative side:

1. Model homes stinks- Builder is in a business to sell homes..they will put model home where they can attract the buyers attention. If you want that cul-de-sac go for to be built.
2. Sometimes the decor may be not your style. I have stepped into homes that people have bought as a model home few years ago. Since their style of decor does not match with the wall paper the builder had...the home looks like a good case of HGTV design to sell homes. Reselling takes a good stager to pull things together.
3. Next time you stop by at a model home look closing at the flooring....the hardwood will show the sign of all the high heels that have been stabbed on the floor. Some builders will replace the flooring however most of them will sell with the footprints.
4. Age of the home...since the model was constructed at an early stages of the community construction you may be buying couple year old home.
5. If the builder is in a rush to release the model home for grand opening or to be on the market...they may cut corners and complete the construction. At least with to be built you have an option to do a pre-dry wall inspection.

So what questions/notes you should ask/consider before you buy model home:

1] When will be the home delivered? If builder wants to wait out till the community is sold out it may be few year or way some of the markets are it may be more than the estimate time frame? Pin out the time frame and stick to it.
2] Negotiate furniture/rugs if you like in your contract.
3] Ask for a detail list of things that will convey with the model home in writing along with your contract paper work.
4] If not in the contract add a clause to have a right to get a home inspection done before you closing.
5] Ask them when the home warranty on the appliances and structural will begin. Some builders will sell their model home AS IS so you may want to negotiate additional warranty on the home.
6] Buying model home is similar to buying a floor model things in a big box stores...and builder know this very don't be caught up with the bells and whistles that the home offers. Negotiate a discounted price since you are buying a used home!!

Additional tips:

1. Re-key the home after never know who had access to this model home.
2. Bottom line builder can afford expensive attorney and has resources to fight back...anything and everything that is agreed get it in writing when the rent back is won't remember or may have long forgotten what was in the contract.
3. Don't make impulsive decision of buying the model home offer that was offer at your visit. Sleep over it, ask your Realtor® to check the comps in the neighborhood.
4. Shadow your home inspector...this is the time for you to know everything and anything about the home you are purchasing.
5. Get your representation by a hiring a Realtor who understands the new construction buying process


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