Tag Archives: Mike LaRuffa

Buying New…What to Ask Your Builder – Part 2

15 Jun

In my last blog post, I mapped out questions to ask your builder about the community when buying new construction. Now that you have settled on a location and community, I will help you, the buyer; determine what questions to ask about your future home.

There is nothing like doing a little investigation on the builder first. Remember this is the biggest investment you will probably ever make so do your homework. The internet is a great place to start. Try Google, Facebook and even Twitter to see what is being said about the builder you are considering.  Also, do a thorough examination of the builder’s website. Reputable builders will let you know who they are and what they have done.  That said, the best research you can do is ride around a neighborhood on a weekend and chat with the neighbors…they will give you the real skinny on the builder. Continue reading

Buying New? What You Should Be Asking Your Builder: Part 1

8 Jun

Whether you are using the assistance of an experienced Realtor or going it alone, there are some questions that you need to ask before you sign on the dotted line when buying new construction. Location typically plays a large role in the decision making process, so let’s explore questions you would want to ask if you are considering a development.

First things first, make sure to find out who owns the development. Do not assume that the builder on the sign owns the development because often times the land is owned by a developer who is selling lots to the builder. In that case you would want to know who the developer is and are they financially sound?  Those great looking entrance features, manicured common areas and community amenities are the responsibility of the developer until the majority of the development is completed. If the amenities and common areas do not look vibrant and well maintained, that could be the sign of a financially troubled developer. Your section may look good because the builder is subsidizing the maintenance in the section they are building but what happens when that builder is gone? Continue reading

New Construction vs a Short Sale or Foreclosure

1 Jun

foreclosure1What can I say…I’m a new homes guy. I grew up in the business and have been involved with new construction for 33 years, so I guess I’m partial to “brand spanking new homes”. Re-sales and new homes have always battled each other. Now there are two more competitors that have entered the ring and are getting much attention. They are short sales and foreclosures.

So how do you decide which is the best VALUE for you? The old adage that the cheapest price isn’t always the best deal holds true here. So, let’s take a look at your options.

We’ll begin with the short sale which is usually a distressed property that the owner can no longer make the payments on. As a result, owners negotiate with the bank to let them pay off the loan at an amount lower than that of their mortgage. What is unfortunate is that, oftentimes, these owners cannot afford the negotiated monthly payment which means that they cannot afford to properly maintain the property. The result is disrepair. It may seem like you are getting a “deal” but after all the repairs are made…is it really? In addition most short sales are sold “as is” with no warranties, which means you have no remedy if there is a major problem with the home! To say however, that there are never warranties would be incorrect. Just be sure to specifically ask if the home comes with one. Continue reading


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