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New Development


Thinking of buying new construction? Consult the experts at The Magnani Team.

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Kristen Magnani was recently contacted by Trulia to lend her expert advice on purchasing new construction.  

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New-Construction House
By Blake Miller | August 5, 2015 TRULIA'S BLOG \ Real Estate 101

Heed these 6 tips when buying a new home to avoid problems down the road.
It’s exciting to build a home from the ground up. There are fun choices to be made, from selecting the hardwood floors for the dining room to choosing between subway tiles or penny tiles for your kitchen backsplash. But don’t get so caught up in your love affair with your soon-to-be completed house that you forget about the things you really need to focus on.

“The key with new construction is really making sure you have the home inspected and follow up that the builder remedies the problems,” explains Keith Thompson, a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty in Charlotte, NC. But there’s much more. Heed these tips when buying a new-construction home and avoid major issues down the road.

1. Hire a real estate agent
Oftentimes, buyers don’t feel a real estate agent is necessary when building a new home. After all, there’s a sales agent on-site to assist you with your questions, right? Wrong.

“Many people figure that they do not need the help of a Realtor,” says Ali Johnson, a Florida-licensed real estate agent who specializes in new construction and gated communities in Venice, FL. “They feel they can handle it themselves, and that they have a sales representative working for them in the new community that takes care of and explains everything, including the paperwork. That person works for the seller, though. They represent the developer’s interests.”

A real estate agent will work on your behalf — and because the builder pays their commission, it costs you nothing to have someone represent you during the new-construction process.

2. Do your research

The same way you may research a new car is exactly how you should look into a builder. “Make sure they have a good standing with your state’s Construction Contractor’s Board, and that there are no pending complaints or judgments against him or her,” advises Patty Brockman, a licensed real estate broker at Windermere Stellar Real Estate in Portland, OR. “Ask questions about whether they use independent subcontractors, and verify their licenses and bonds as well. Always know the amount and kind of insurance they carry, as well as the amount of their bond.”

3. Read the fine print

Many builders use purchase contracts that are much different from state-issued real estate agent documents. “Be sure to read these contracts carefully and have an attorney and your Realtor review them before signing anything,” says Brockman. “Builders’ contracts pretty much only protect the building company, not the buyer, so make sure your Realtor writes addendums that keep you protected during each phase of the purchase.” Also, make sure you review all of the warranties so you know what is covered, and what is not.

4. Ask what’s included

“A lot of buyers have a ‘what you see is what you get’ attitude when it comes to building a new home and looking at the model home,” explains Kristin Magnani, an associate broker with Rutenberg, a real estate brokerage firm in New York City.

Model homes are decked out with all the bells and whistles, explains Magnani, including high-end light fixtures, appliances, trim work, architectural detailing, and more. Avoid assumption and ask questions about every add-on or, better yet, ask the sales agent for a complete list of the extras in the model unit such as extra can lights, heights of doors, tinted windows (found mainly in high-rise apartments), and more.

“Does the house come with appliances? Window coverings? AC? Landscaping in the front and backyards? Automatic garage door openers? Sprinkler system?” says Brockman. “Always list in detail anything that you expect, if it is not expressly disclosed in the contract.”

5. Get inspected

Home inspections aren’t just for previously built homes. In fact, the majority of real estate agents will recommend that you have the home inspected not only after it’s completed but also before drywall is installed.

“As the housing market has heated up, the pace of construction has also increased,” explains Keith Thompson. “Overworked subcontractors and city or county inspectors are human and can and do make mistakes when they have too much on their plate.” Avoid things such as uneven walls or electrical or cable outlets in unfortunate locations (e.g., 4 feet to the left of where your TV is supposed to hang) by having pre-drywall inspections.

6. Do a walk-through

After an inspection, it’s critical to do a walk-through with the builder. It’s during this time that you can point out major cosmetic issues (such as nail pops or chips in cabinetry) or any other major issues, such as missing landscaping that was included in your contract.

“Never close on a new-construction house without doing a final walk-through to ensure that all of the punch-list items have been completed to your satisfaction,” recommends Brockman. “The last thing you want after you move in is a bunch of contractors doing touch-ups and finish work while you are trying to enjoy your new house.” Plus, if you don’t address it before closing, you may have a hard time getting the builder to fix anything once the home is officially yours.



Magical Mystery Tour…at 190 Bowery

If you've ever walked down the Bowery, you've probably been curious about the old graffiti covered bank building on the corner of Spring.  Like most things in NYC, it's being converted into condominiums. (Keep an eye on our New Development Rundown).  If you've ever been curious to step inside, now is your chance.  Developer Aby Rosen and Vito Schnabel are hosting an art show at the grand former Germania Bank, opening May 16th.  This will be the first time the doors have been open to the public in nearly five decades.  Don't miss out on a chance to see this slice of classic New York.

Vito Schnabel is pleased to announce the opening of First Show / Last Show, a group exhibition at 190 Bowery on May 16, 2015. Featured artists include Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Jeff Elrod, Ron Gorchov, Mark Grotjahn, Harmony Korine, and Julian Schnabel. “The artists included in First Show / Last Show are seven of my favorite painters. I have had the privilege of living with some of their works and have long wanted to show them together. There are very few artists whose work immediately conveys its significance, like each of these seven. They represent three generations of great American contemporary art, ranging in age from 35 to 85. I grew up in New York City, walking by the former Germania Bank countless times. I always wanted to go inside, thinking it might be a perfect place for an exhibition. This is the first time this 1899 landmark building will be open to the public since the bank closed in 1966 and it became a private residence. I am most grateful to Aby Rosen for letting me use this space and for his continued support. I’d also like to thank the artists, all of whom I am honored to be able to work with. Joe, Dan, Jeff, Ron, Mark, Harmony, and Julian—thank you.”

Photo Courtesy of Nathan Kensinger / Curbed.


New Development Rundown: 100 Barclay

The Building:  Ralph Walker's dramatic art deco crown jewel. Floorplans promise 10'2" ceilings, large windows and lofty layouts. Beautiful public and private terraces.

The Neighborhood: On the cusp of Tribeca, proximity to the MTA's new Oculus hub provides plentiful access to public transportation. Tribeca proper is a quick jaunt by foot.  West Side Highway nearby plus valet parking makes for quick airport/out of town getaways. New retail developments at Brookfield Place and the World Financial Center render a trip uptown unnecessary for those needing a quick shopping fix.  

The Neighbors:  Floors 1 through 11 will remain as Verizon facilities.  Can you hear me now?

The Amenities: Featuring 40,000 sq ft of amenities, including the usual pool, gym, playrooms etc. Unique additions include a wine tasting room with private lockers, private storage for each unit, special Verizon 1GB internet service that is 20x faster than normal Fios and a grand lobby level entertaining space.  Post your party pics faster than anyone else in the neighborhood.

The Pricing: Starting around $2,500 psf. 

ur Verdict: Somewhat skeptical of being in the same building with a bunch of Verizon workers. Traditional interior finishes are clean and tasteful - may not raise your pulse but not as heavy handed as some other developments in the area.  High floor units will offer birds eye view of 1 WTC and vistas to the north and west with a more open and lofty feel than what you will find in other Financial District buildings.  

Photo courtesy of

Need an expert eye to help with your new development search?  Contact us today. >>