Luckily, there’s been new construction happening all over Boston Midtown in the past couple of years. In fact, the City of Boston has been issuing new construction permits in the last few years, but things look like they could be changing), but these are a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds under construction and planned in Boston suburbs
Another hurdle to cross is that new construction homes can just feel uncomfortable – nobody’s lived there, and it can be difficult to imagine a neighborhood springing up around what may currently be a series of half-built homes and empty lots.
Here are my real estate agent tips for smarter new home construction purchases!
1. Get the lay of the land. If the home is in the City of Boston, use Boston.gov to research the lot where condos are being built. You can learn a lot about the site before you even step foot on it — whether it’s in a flood zone, what the grade is (which affects the stability of the soil) and what might have taken place there before it became a home site.
2. Research the builder. Do they have experience with residential construction? What do their previous new Boston high rise condo developments look like today? Builders are completely different from one another. One builder may only build to code while another goes the extra mile to make the home green, or to make it with better quality materials in general. We know many of the builders in town.
3. Bring your real estate agent every time you go to a new Boston high rise condo development, even if it’s just to look around. Looking around leads to stopping in a model home, and suddenly you’re in the grips of the builder’s representative! Your own buyers agent representation in any real estate transaction is important, and it’s strategic to get us in early, especially when it comes to buying a new home. The builder’s representative is working for the builder. In addition, having your buyer’s agent there at the start of your home search process allows us to start learning what you are looking for in a home and help you discover even more options.
4. Decide if you need a custom build. Many home buyers look to new construction because they can buy “semi-custom”, meaning you get to decide on finishing touches like paint colors and cabinetry. This is where a lot of builders make extra money, so check prices carefully. Even then, some folks who go semi-custom end up redoing or adding on to the home at a later date. This can add up to tens of thousands more than what you would have paid originally! As your real estate agent, I can help you find the perfect lot to build your custom home, and put you in touch with trusted architects and builders who can create a truly customized masterpiece — perhaps even for less than some of the spec homes out there.
5. Look at the community, not just the home. Most new Boston high rise condo construction in and around Boston is happening in planned blocks around the Seaport District. Each developer has their own specific vision for the group of Boston high rise they are assembling.
6. Condo association do your research. Find out what the rules are, and what dues and condo fees are involved. Is there a general maintenance fund? If so, how much is in it? Even in new Boston high rise condo developments, something can go wrong, and homeowners could end up footing the bill. Typically condo monthly fees start out really low, and then jump up after a few years.
7. Don’t rule out the ‘burbs. While there is some new construction happening in spots around downtown Boston, most of the homes are going to be out in places like Somerville, Arlington communities, 15 minutes or less to Boston And yes, this my buyer’s team can travel.
8. Find out about services to the development. . Your new home may include a cable hookup, but unless the cable company has already built infrastructure out there, you may not have TV or internet for a while!
9. Ask your real estate agent. There’s a lot of research to do when it comes to new Boston high rise condos. It’s not all up to you! A good buyers agent will help you consider what you may not have on your own, and present you with all the information you need to make a well informed decision.
Interested in a new Boston high rise condo? Want to talk about housing availability? Contact us today.