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Street of residential housesHousing developments are popping up all over the country, and it’s no mystery why they’re so appealing to buyers. About 34% of recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity, but new housing developments can come with a number of conveniences in addition to ease of maintenance. But before you invest in a home located within a new real estate development, keep these important considerations in mind.

Know Your Timeline

First, you should know that purchasing a home within a new real estate development often takes longer than purchasing a typical home. Experts say the sales usually start between 12 and 24 months before residents are allowed to move in. While this can be helpful because it gives you time to save up for a down payment, it can also present itself as a risk to a buyer who may be uncertain of their future plans or who needs to sell a property sooner.

That being said, if you’re moving out of a rental, your landlord may be able to have some flexibility in terms of your lease and associated costs, especially if you’ve established yourself as a reputable renter. Either way, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with the developer to get updates starting at least six months before the projected closing date. This can give you some time to adjust your plan, e.g., extend your lease if the developer’s own plans get delayed.

Do Your Homework

According to a 2011 report, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better experience, but when it comes to investing in a brand new home, it’s almost always worth paying for. That being said, it’s important to do your homework on your developer, and Forbes has some recommended questions to keep in mind when doing your research:

“Make sure to do your homework on both the developer and the contractor actually performing the work. You will want to assure that they are well-respected developers and builders who stand behind their product…More importantly, does the developer have a reputation for responding quickly when a problem arises? Are they amenable to correcting any construction defects without litigation? What is their reputation for quality workmanship?” writes Stephen Kliegerman.

In the same realm, depending on the location of your home, you may have to ensure that the building materials can hold up to any potential natural disaster that may come your way. For example, ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) construction is capable of protecting properties from natural disasters because they’re capable of withstanding 402 kph winds, but you’ll also have to assess flooding risks and establish a sense of constructional integrity with your developer.

Read Up on the Residential Rules

Finally, you should be aware that, like most apartment and condominium complexes, many new housing developments also have a set of rules that all residents must abide by. For example, in a 2017 interior design trends survey, more than a third of respondents said they would choose a neutral color palette if redecorating their home, and while you’re likely to have the freedom to redecorate your home’s inside, the housing development may have certain rules for exterior renovations. Not only that, but it’s also possible that there’s a smoking policy, a pet policy, or a subleasing policy, so read every word of your contract and think carefully to determine whether your lifestyle matches the rules that have been set.

Ultimately, there’s no denying the excitement and luxury that comes with investing in a newly built home. That being said, it’s essential to understand how the process works and communicate with the developer every step of the way.