The Value of Talking to the Neighbors

Prince William County New ConstructionToday was a follow up day with a new development project in Prince William County.  It was apparent that the neighborhood has come a long way since I took my first look two years ago.  The club house and amenities are in, the grounds are fantastic and the streets are all paved.

One of the things I've learned with new construction projects is to not only take a look at the furnished models, spec homes and amenities but to let my buyers talk to owners to get their feedback on living in the community.  So we stopped in to the community center which has everything a homeowner could want, cyber café, indoor pool, exercise rooms, party room and more.  Talking to the homeowners it was obvious that they were ecstatic about the community amenities and their neighbors.  However when it came to talk about the construction process and the quality of the homes themselves they had some issues

My clients were surprised to hear some of the concerns which made them realize that my suggestion regarding having an independent home inspector checking the project during the building process was a good one.  In the past I've had new construction buyers hire their own home inspector who performed inspections pre-drywall, post drywall and prior to closing.  It is amazing the number of items that an inspector will find, not all of them critical during these inspections.

Based on the issues that some of these homeowners encountered an independent home inspection might have saved them time and aggravation.  The level of some of the problems made us wonder how they managed to get by the Prince William County inspectors.  One homeowner mentioned that they had 16 cracked floor joists that had to be replaced and another had a bathtub which did not have proper support under it.  The most surprising issue was to hear an owner say the builder did not wrap the homes with Tyvek and would not allow them to have it done on their own during building.  As a result they had to put plastic on their windows last winter to keep out the drafts.  They are paying to have an independent contractor come in this fall and remove all the siding and wrap their home to keep their utility bills down.   Prince William County New Construction

If you are thinking about buying new construction in Northern Virginia don't let the lessons that the homeowners in this development learned the hard way happened to you.  Make sure that you take your own representation with you.  Not only can a Realtor® help you get the best deal but we can advise you about the construction process and help you avoid some serious post closing headaches.

                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Comment balloon 6 commentsCindy Jones • October 07 2007 07:13PM


Interesting. You think new construction would have to  be up to code even if it standard building codes. I'm surprised stuff like this can pass. Thanks for the info. 
Posted by Maria Couto, Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You' (RE/MAX Premier) over 11 years ago


Some things never change with new construction.

Posted by » Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator (» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator) over 11 years ago
Cindy that is an example of you being a pro and not a walking commission.  This type of effort will reward you not only in new construction deals.
Posted by David Bennett, Yorba Linda Real Estate (Tarbell, Realtors) over 11 years ago
Great points, Cindy...what a great idea taking a walk to the community center!
Posted by Faith LaRosse, Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties (Springer Realty Group) over 11 years ago
Yes, new construction homes many times are not what they should and very much could be.  Get a inspector, and for god sakes have a Realtor represent you in the transaction. 
Posted by New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor (RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Cindy - Couldn't have said it better.  I have no idea why people feel differently when i comes to new construction.  You would think the building inspecor would resolve these things, but it just depends on the inspector.
Posted by Dale Campbell (Virginia Real Estate) over 11 years ago

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