Life Events

Life events pose a unique challenge because each is a new or infrequent occurrence for which many people have little or no prior experience.

For many, buying a home is the single largest transaction that we will ever make.

Not only is the mortgage likely to draw off a considerable chunk of our paycheck for up to 30 years, but the care and maintenance of a home is equally consuming.

Here is our advice on this topic.
/ Housing / Buying a Home /

Custom Built or Existing Homes

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If you can afford it, the idea of a custom-built home may appeal to you. That way, you can (at least in theory) get a home entirely to your specifications with all the features that you want. However, you always run the risk that the home builders you have engaged for the project will not deliver exactly what you want, when you want it, and at the cost that you have agreed upon. In the real world, unforeseen events inevitably will create construction delays and may force deviations from plan. This can be a huge headache if you need to target a specific move-in date, which may be dictated by job considerations, the process of selling your existing home (or terminating your lease on rented living quarters), and/or your children’s school calendar.

Should you decide to have a house built for you, be sure to consult an attorney who specializes in these matters. Your contract with the builder should have appropriate, enforceable provisions that protect you in case of excessive delays, defects in workmanship, and deviations from specifications. You also should seek contract terms that allow you to bring in independent experts to assess the quality of construction and adherence to specifications before you consider the contract fulfilled. Also look for expert guidance in the matter of what warranty terms you should demand.

By choosing to buy an existing home, you avoid certain problems associated with custom-built houses, such as completion delays and a final product that was not what you expected. Nonetheless, an existing home has possible problems all its own. The building or systems, such as plumbing and electrical wiring, may have
deteriorated in areas not obvious during a casual inspection. It may be infested with destructive insects such as termites or carpenter ants. The list is virtually endless. Accordingly, it definitely pays to seek out reliable contractors whom you can hire to inspect the home before you buy it, and render their opinions on its condition, including any necessary repairs or refurbishment that it may require.
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