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How To Shop For New Construction

Buying a brand new home is dream for many and a nightmare for others. We’ve all heard the horror stories of new construction, but it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Be sure to avoid key mistakes, do your homework, and work with a real estate specialist who will represent your interest and not the builders. We’ve put together some quick tips to help you shop for new construction.


It may seem counterintuitive, however buying new construction requires more due diligence than buying a resale home. Mostly because there are a lot more moving parts to the process and the neighborhood is typically not well-established. It’s hard to know with confidence what you are buying into long term. Here are some new construction tips to consider when buying a new home in North Atlanta.

Start with the builder.

Ask your agent if they are familiar with the builder and know the quality of their finished product. If your agent is not familiar with the builder’s reputation, then both you and the agent should follow these tips…  
  • In the model home: Are the floor plans available for review? How about the finishings and selections? Are your options clearly identified for a standard home versus optional upgrades and how pricing works for upgrades? Do you have a clear vision of what your desired home will look like? 
  • Drive the neighborhood and look at homes currently under construction: How does the job site appear? Are you able to see homes in the different build stages? Take time to drive by the finished homes the builder has completed. A drive through the neighborhood provides so much insight! 
  • Check out the builder’s website: Are photo galleries, floor plans, and testimonials available for you to review? Providing a visual representation of their work will be helpful.

Next, research the development.

Learning up front about amenities, covenants, HOA dues, architectural standards, and more can prevent hassles and headaches later during your ownerhsip of the property. Here are some great questions to help you understand what sort of the development your buying into…
  • How many homes are proposed? 
  • Is there a homeowners association? 
  • What are the covenants and restrictions? 
  • Are there architectural standards? 
  • What amenities are available or planned for future development? 
  • Current homeowner associations fees and assessments, if any? 
  • What school district is the community a part of? 


Many buyers make a serious mistake thinking they don’t need a real estate agent and can just work with the on-site agent. However, you do need your own representation. Not only can your agent help with the homework above, but they will negotiate to avoid risky contract terms and protect your deposit money for a new build. Here are some key details to remember when considering the on-site agent vs your own agent representation…
  1. Who does the on-site agent represent?
    The on-sight agent represents the builder, not you!
  2. Who pays the agents?
    The builder/seller typically pays both agents. In essence, you get an expert representing you at no additional cost. 
  3. Can I visit model homes without my agent present?
    Ideally, it is best to visit with your agent. However, if you find yourself at the model home, simply let the on-sight agent know you have your own agent that will represent you in the event you decide to purchase in the neighborhood. BE sure you to let your agent know you’ve visited the community.
  4. How will I know what is happening with my build?
    Building from the ground up can take six months to a year to complete. Weather conditions will play a part in the length of time of your new home being built. During the construction period, your agent works with the on-sight agent throughout each stage of the build, looking at projected timelines and scheduling site visits.
  5. Should I have a new home inspected?
    Yes! You absolutely should have an inspector that is familiar with building codes inspect the work of the builder. New does not equal perfect and it’s better to catch mistakes as your home is being built instead of months or years after moving in. Your agent should be able to connect you with a trusted local inspector.

Save yourself time & money by having your own representation, working together to research and determine what new home community will be best for you.  It’s exciting to build a home and even better with your trusted advisor by your side! Contact the team at Path & Post today for a personal consultation with one of our expert, friendly real estate strategists. 

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