How to Make the Most of Your New Homes Community Visit

We recently celebrated our third Open House Extravaganza of the year. It’s a weekend where our company hosted over 100 open houses for potential buyers to tour and meet our agents.

Our New Homes division also rolled out the open house signs and welcomed visitors to the variety of models ready for tour. But, in actuality Rose & Womble New Homes Division hosts open houses everyday with our amazing collection of New Homes Communities. From the spectacular views of the York River in Gloucester Point to the growing hub of Elizabeth City, North Carolina – Rose & Womble’s New Homes Division has every type of new home open to the public daily.  Their agents are trained to handle crowds or work with clients one-on-one, both showing off the model and explaining the new homes process. And just like a “traditional” open house, many times people will discover the community from the RWNewHomes website, from their buyers agent, or from driving around and seeing open house signs.

Touring a new home community is a bit different, and very much the same, as touring an open house. Having a plan when touring a new homes site will help you get the right information and will hopefully lead you to finding the new home of your dreams.

Here are our tips for making the most of your visit to a new homes site.

1. Take a tour of the model and get to know the site agents

During Open House Weekend Doreen Giuliano is working with visitors in the Vintage Model at popular Culpepper Landing in Chesapeake, VA
During Open House Weekend Doreen Giuliano is working with visitors in the Vintage Model at popular Culpepper Landing in Chesapeake, VA

The site agents are your direct connection to the builder and an amazing resource in explaining everything from the timeline of builds and the differences between flooring options. They are on-site daily and know the neighborhood benefits and features. Plus they can introduce you to the neighbors. When you’re looking at the new home option the site agent is typically going to be working hand in hand to coordinate the sale and work with the builder for scheduling the build. Touring the model should give you a tour of the layout of the home, the features, and upgrades available. The idea is to give the buyer a chance to imagine what it would be like to live in that style of home.

2. The site agent is going to want some information


One of the jobs of the site agent is to track the traffic coming to the new home site. Often the agent will ask you to fill out a questionnaire that will include  finding out if you’re already working with an agent. Virginia law requires agents to ask that question. Other questions might include contact information, and how you discovered the property. Often your information is asked so that the site agent can follow up and keep you informed of new offerings, models, and incentives.

3. The site agent is going to ask for your time frame for moving

The time frame you plan on moving will help determine your new home needs.

This question is critical. One of the largest misconceptions of purchasing a new home is that it will take a long time to build. This is not always the case because sometimes builders and communities will have what is known as inventory homes. Inventory homes are ones that the builder has made and are typically 30-60 days away from being move-in ready. Sometimes you can purchase an inventory home and still pick finishes and paint colors, it’s a wonderful option that you should ask the site agent about. If you have a longer time frame then you can talk about reserving a lot and home style. Another good question is how many lots are still available. This helps you and the site agent realistically talk about the potential of your new home.

4. Let the site agent know if you have a home you have to sell

Having to list a home doesn’t have to be a barrier from reserving or beginning the process of your new home. The site agent can explain what options there are to still reserve the lot you want and if you need a recommendation thy can connect you with a resale listing agent. Often the builder will want to know that you already have your home listed but this varies on the builder and new homes site. Being upfront about this will help the site agent make recommendations.

5. Walk around the new community

A family touring Culpepper Landing during Open House Weekend.
A family touring Culpepper Landing during Open House Weekend.

This is just sound advice for any home purchase. Take a walk around the neighborhood, look at the amenities, what the traffic is like, and how you feel. Can you imagine yourself taking this walk regularly?  Does the community have good access to the clubhouse, pool, or other neighborhood offerings?

6. Arrange to meet with the preferred lender

Meeting with the preferred lender of a new homes site can lead to closing cost assistance, upgrades, and other items.

While you don’t have to use the preferred lender of the builder there are often buyer’s incentives that include closing costs, upgrades, and other items that come with using the preferred lender. The site agent can help arrange an introduction and an appointment.

7. The site agent will have a pack of hand outs with great information


This pack will often include floor plans, lists of materials, and community information. It is designed for you to look through at your convenience.

8. Ask to see some of the designer or appliance packages


One of the best and more popular things about purchasing your new home is picking out finishes and paint that fits your style and taste. Many builders will offer design assistance and you can arrange to have preview of available finishes and upgrade options.

9. Determine what features are the most important


Remember the model is designed to show you the ultimate options for this community. Make a note of what you love and ask the site agent what is standard versus an upgrade.

10. Ask about estimated cooling, heating and home maintenance costs


This should be asked for any home purchase – new or resale. One of the nicest things about purchasing a new home is that you know you’re getting the latest in items like windows, siding, roofing. This often leads to energy savings.