Dear Monica: I want to buy new construction and don’t know how buying a newly built home differs from buying an existing one. What would you advise? Daniel B.
Dear Daniel: If you are buying a home that has just been built, you will have the advantage of the builder’s one year warranty for patent defects, as well as a 10-year warranty for latent defects. The process for claiming defects in California is governed by SB800. Your contract for buying a new home should include SB800 as an addendum. It would be to your advantage to buy from an established builder who will be in business for a long time should you need to request repairs.
The property should have a final inspection signed by the city, and also a certificate of occupancy, if the city provides this. Your lender, if you are getting a mortgage, will require this as well. You should do your own termite and home inspections so that you can independently evaluate the quality of the construction, as well as produce a punch list of items to be repaired before close of escrow. Once you move in, you may discover more items to be repaired and these would likely fall under the warranty.