Are you building a new home?

Everyone wants a new home, but buying new construction can bring it’s own set of headaches.

Before you put down a deposit in a new home development, make sure you’ve thought through the location. Ask yourself about schools, transportation and the distance to work, family and friends. If you’re surrounded by cornfields, you may have to drive 5 miles to get a gallon of milk.

If you pick a lemon of a developer, you’ll suffer through the building and purchase of your new home. Check for complaints about the developer with the Better Business Bureau, and the planning department of your local municipality. Your best bet? Check out your builder’s past developments and find out how happy the residents are 2, 3 and 4 years later.

Most builders will negotiate on upgrades and fixtures, if not the price. And, make sure the contract includes a start date and an end date. Don’t take the builder’s word on it that your house will be finished sometime soon.

If you stay involved, and visit your construction site frequently, you’ll be able to return that bottle of aspirin, and get your money back.

Oct. 23, 2004.