Alright, the Seattle PI blog has had some okay articles about new condo construction this week, but this blog post is a must read for all buying or considering buying new construction: New Construction Condo’s (new doesn’t mean perfect). The post, while short, talks about why you want your own representation, what happens when the builder runs out of your countertop, the concerns with upgrades, etc.
Most people have the preconception that when you are buying something “new”, that means it’s void of any defects and no one has used it. The buyer has a pretty exact expectation as to how their unit is going to look and feel. Often this is not the case, particularly in units that are sold as the “model unit” or when the contract is not in favour of the buyer. When you read the fine print of the Builders Addendums (they are all different), there is often some pretty strong language that protects the seller (the builder) and takes away most of the power the buyer has in any say of how their unit is finished and when it’s finished. For example, if the builder runs out of a particular material for the countertops they have the right to substitute it with whatever they see fit as long as the “value” is similar and they don’t have to consult the buyer. Things like finishes can be changed at the builders whim if it’s a problem to get a certain appliance or they didn’t plan their orders carefully and it happens fairly frequently.