Buy New Home in McLean VA & Vienna VA: Insider Secrets to Buying New Construction Homes

Pro Tips on How to Buy New Home in McLean VA, Vienna VA & Around Northern Virginia

If you’ve already started shopping for your next home, you may have noticed that McLean VA, Vienna VA and other Northern Virginia communities are bubbling over with options for new homes. With the introduction of developments and builders offering endless options, you can buy new home of your dreams. buy new home in mclean va, new homes in vienna va

While the idea of picking out every element of new homes and being the very first owner is appealing, the thought of buying a new home that only exists on the builder’s blueprints might be a more daunting endeavor than buying an existing home. It takes a certain leap of faith to plunk down a sizeable sum of cash on a square of bare land based on the promise of a beautiful new home ready for move-in.

When searching to buy new home in McLean VA and Vienna VA, it’s important to keep in mind that there are significant differences in the process of buying new homes versus previously owned homes. Buy new home in Vienna VA with the best realtor in Vienna VA – Natasha Lingle

Who’s a Builder’s Agent? It’s a Realtor Who Represents a Builder not the Buyer

A home builder who is also a seller, often hires real estate agents or sales representatives who “sit the model.”  These sales representatives spend most of their time in a sales office or model home.

The sales representatives must work according to the builder’s business policies and rules. They tend to mirror the builder’s right or wrong attitudes, expectations, and preconceptions.

The builders’ realtors have one product to sell—the model home and community—which often exists only on floor plans and subdivision plats. They must animate the builder’s product by selling the visible (or invisible) bricks and mortar house as a home and the future community amenities as a lifestyle.

The builder’s realtor, who you will meet at the model home office, will only have builder’s best interest in mind. The job of the builder’s agent is to get the highest price for the home the builder is selling.


Do I need to Hire My Own Realtor to a Buy New Home?

The answer is “yes”. Because the sales representative (aka builder’s realtor) at the builder’s model home represents the seller/builder, and agent’s fiduciary responsibilities belong to the builder and not you, it would be a good idea to hire your own agent who will protect your finances, your privacy, and your interests.

When you make the financial and emotional leap involved in buying new home, the advice and experience of a loyal real estate professional often makes the difference between a successful satisfying outcome or a clouded result that compromises future enjoyment of living in a home.

Your realtor will not only monitor all transaction details, negotiate on your behalf with expertise in new construction homes, oversee home inspection and offer the pros and cons, but will be your biggest advocate and an expert who will be looking out for your best financial interests.


Do Your Research on the Potential Builder

With the large number of builders in Vienna and McLean, it’s important to make builder research a priority. What do you need to know about a builder, and how can you go about gathering the information? Start by searching online for reviews, testimonials and any public information regarding legal troubles or poor construction quality.

You may even go as far as walking through one of the neighborhoods completed by the builder and talking to the home owners.

But often your agent will be your primary source of information. An agent has an “inside scoop” and knows builder’s reputation and quality of work.


Take Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) into Consideration

When purchasing a home that is a resale, the earnest money deposit (EMD) is typically 1% of the sale price, while new homes’ EMD requirements hover around 5%.

It’s very important to learn about the builder’s EMD refund policy and the consequences of backing out of the deal. For example, the builder isn’t responsible if the buyer realizes later that the home will be un-affordable.


Be Creative with Price Negotiations

When buying a resale home, the asking price is usually just a starting point for negotiations, and, often, an offer acceptance may turn on the seller’s emotional connection to the buyers—“we’ll love your home as much as you do.”

However, builders typically don’t budge much on their prices – they are not like regular sellers, and incremental, back-and-forth negotiations and emotional appeals are not part of new home sales. Builders don’t like to reduce their sale prices, because it sets a precedence for future home sales.

Builders want the buyers to have good experiences and love their new home, but it’s builders’ business, and unlike the existing-home sellers, the builders have no emotional investment and decisions to negotiate the price or offer extras are based on the bottom line.

Pro Tip: Do not expect to save money through price negotiations or changes in sales terms. A creative way to negotiate the sales price is to focus on obtaining value-adding features and amenities at cost. Builders would rather offer concessions like upgraded appliances or finishes as opposed to reducing the sales price.


What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

In most cases, the listed prices of new construction homes posted online represents the pricing of a base or standard homes and not a Model Homes available for your tour. Often, the Model Home reflects a mix of standard materials and fixtures, as well as a handful of significant upgrades.

Pro Tip: It’s critical to ask for the list of options and upgrades installed in a Model Home along with the costs for each property shown. If a list is not available, make sure that builder’s representative points out options and upgrades and provides pricing information for each.


Read The Fine Print

In the State of Virginia, there is no standard builders’ sales contract that was developed and approved by the Virginia Association of Realtors with buyer’s interest and protection in mind. A builder is in full control of developing a home sales contract.

A contract serves to define the relationship and expectations for both the builder and the buyer. It states what the builder will do, when, how it will be accomplished, and the cost.

Not surprisingly, builders’ boilerplate contracts tend to be weighted in their favor – contract’s clauses tend to offer more protections for the builder and spell out consequences for the buyer if there is a contract default. But that doesn’t always mean that the builder is out to take unfair advantage of the buyer. The builder’s sale contract contains numerous schedule and budget hedges as protection against unforeseen contingencies.

Pro Tip: Make sure that your agent requests builder’s sample sales contract for preliminary review. Take your time to go over the contract and ask questions.  Your primary concern is whether you get what you paid for. If the contract seems excessively one-sided or inflexible, you must decide to accept or reject the builder’s position.


Consider an Independent Home Inspection

Just because your home is brand new, it doesn’t mean a home inspection is unnecessary. While it is good to show confidence in the builder, you should consider the importance of arranging independent inspections to be sure the job was done right.

Qualified and reputable builders welcome an independent inspections, because it affirms their work and protects them from potential liability.

In many cases, the builders of new construction homes will allow buyers to conduct an independent inspection and agree to repair code compliance issues, but do not include a provision that would allow the buyer to walk away and retain their deposit if they are not satisfied with the result of the inspection.

Questions to askDoes the buyer have the right to enter the premises during construction for the purpose of inspections? Can the buyer arrange inspections by independent inspectors?


Understand Builder’s Warranty

Avoiding repairs and maintenance is a major advantage of buying a new home. Buyers often expect perfection, but very few new construction homes escape all problems. It can take a year of living in a new home and experiencing all of the seasonal changes to put the home and all its new systems to the full test.

Question to ask: What type of a Builder’s Warranty a builder will offer and what company will perform needed repairs?


Understand the Cost of Options and Upgrades

It is a common practice, even with spec builders, to give buyers an opportunity to make personal choices on almost everything that goes into the home, such as flooring, wall finishes, countertops, appliances, patios and decks. The home purchase often includes a free consultation in the builder’s design center to help the buyer make their personal design choices.

But even a “free” upgrade package may require a substantial deposit or prepayment. Everything has a cost and, since options and upgrades involve individual tastes and special orders, the builder doesn’t want to be left with materials and choices that can’t be undone if the transactions doesn’t close or the buyer has a change of mind. In addition to an earnest money deposit, the buyer may be required to pay up front even for included upgrades.

Pro Tip: Make sure to ask about builder’s procedures for dealing with a last-minute design change or a shortage of materials. In some instances, when builders are unable to obtain exact materials described in the contract, they reserve the right to choose materials of similar design, pattern and color without buyer’s approval.


You’ll Need to be Patient

If you are not buying finished spec home, be prepared for a waiting period. In most cases, the contract on the purchase of new home will not have definite settlement date, so you’ll need a few contingency plans if you’re selling your current home or wanting to move in quickly.

The builder reserves the right to complete construction in a year or longer. And while the builder will likely give you a rough date for expected completion, delays can be caused by weather, the availability of building materials, unavailable subcontractors, and other circumstances beyond the control of the builder.


Be Sure to Budget for the Extras

Often times, when you purchase a resale home, a previous owner will leave behind certain appliances, curtain rods, closet shelving and blinds. Since a Model Home you’ve seen during your tour was staged by a professional designers with every detail in mind, it’s important to remember that your new construction home might not have everything you expect.

At the settlement, you will get a bare home with basic builder’s paint and no curtain rods, blinds, ceiling fans or chandeliers. While waiting for your home to be finished, make sure to set some money aside for those extras.

Pro Tip: Ask builder’s representative if they offer special deals and coupons for furniture, paint and blinds’ companies.


Always Conduct a Final Walk-Through

During a walk-through, the buyers, sales representative, construction superintendent, and your real estate agent do a detailed tour of the property and develop the punch list of everything that needs to be done before the closing.

Depending on the length of your punch list, you may walk through again to verify progress or completion of the work. If work remains, you may consider delaying the closing or negotiating a portion of the purchase price to be held in escrow until all punch list items have been completed. Never sign on the dotted line until all items are either resolved or addressed in writing. Your real estate agent should offer guidance on the process. b

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Bottom Line:

Deciding between an existing and new construction homes is all about preferences. Do you want to move in immediately or are you happy to wait so you can pick out every inch of your new place? While purchasing a new construction home brings its own challenges, a qualified real estate agent that is experienced in working with builders can do all the heavy lifting for you. Enjoy the process of picking out every little detail and making your home exactly what you want it to be. Buy new home in Vienna, VA with Natasha Lingle


Vienna Woods in Vienna VA – Homes for Sale

Currently Listed Homes in Vienna Woods

Welcome to my real estate website! All Vienna Woods homes listed on this page come directly from my professional MLS account.

Use my website to browse all currently listed homes and schedule showings instantly. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and make sure to check out my Buyer’s Blog page loaded with tips and latest news.

Contact me by calling or texting: (571) 455-0178, by sending me an e-mail: or by filling out my Contact Form.


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Vienna VA Homes for Sale

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Vienna Woods in Vienna VA: A Place to Call Home

You know those picturesque neighborhoods you see on family movies? The ones where couples are outside strolling hand in hand and fathers are out playing catch with the kids? That place exists, and it’s in Vienna Woods.

Vienna Woods is one of the largest neighborhoods in Vienna, Virginia. It’s located in the southwest corner of town and is one of those neighborhoods you can’t help but feel at home. With towering trees lining the sidewalks, it’s not uncommon to see children playing in the leaves during the fall or families building snowmen on their front yards during the winter. Vienna Woods is a family community, with homes ranging from medium-sized with 3-4 bedrooms, to larger 5-6-bedroom dwellings.

Living in Vienna Woods

The space between houses gives the families space to run around and host that annual BBQ, but still allows you to greet your neighbors at the mailbox. There’s never a shortage of things to do for those living in Vienna Woods, either. With two clubs, the Vienna Aquatic Club and the Vienna Woods Swim and Tennis Club, you can join up (but hurry! The wait-list is long!) and enjoy swim meets, tennis matches, and many other club events.

There are also three parks in the area where sports and other energizing activities are always taking place. Each park features acres of beautifully landscaped grass, mature trees, picnic benches, playgrounds, and sports fields. With everything there is to do here, you can be sure that there is always some energizing activity going on in Vienna Woods!

In this little slice of Vienna-heaven, there are many events year-round to take part in. The sense of community is active in Vienna Woods, and many take advantages of the close proximity and overlap that comes from each attending the same parks, clubs, and events throughout the year.

Although the neighborhood is rural enough to feel safe letting your children play outdoors, access to shops, restaurants and the major cities is just a short drive away. In addition, being right next to downtown Vienna, Vienna Woods allows almost instant access to the local eateries and has several fantastic schools in the area.

If you are looking for an excellent place to shop, the best place in the area is just a few miles down the road at Tysons Corner Center. Tysons Galleria is also available for more of an upscale shopping adventure.

Working in DC? No problem! Vienna Woods is a short distance away from two Metro Stations: Vienna and Dunn Loring. It’s easy to hop aboard without worrying about parking and driving through traffic in the busy city.

Vienna Woods Homes

Whether you are looking for a house with that 1950’s charm or a new craftsman—there’s a home for you at Vienna Woods. The homes here are extremely sought after and average about $1,400,000 for a new construction home and approximately $650k for an older houses. This neighborhood was started in the 1950’s, but homes have been added on, remodeled or rebuild into new houses ever since. The variety of homes brings unique charm to this neighborhood.

No wonder why so many rave about living in Vienna Woods. Take a stroll on the sidewalks and look at the beautifully manicured lawns and maintained gardens—it won’t be long before you see yourself among the neighbors chatting in driveways and hosting the neighborhood potluck.

Current Market Conditions

From August through September 2018, Vienna Woods has been experiencing Buyers Market. There are 19 single family homes available for sale, and there was one (1) sale in the last 30 days.  The Absorption Rate is 19 months – which means that Vienna Woods has 19 months of inventory. The market with 4-6 months of inventory is considered to be stable. In this market conditions, you as a buyer have a lot of choices and very strong negotiating power.

Additional Information

Elementary Schools: Cunningham Park & Louise Archer for AAP program.

Middle Schools: Thoreau & Luther Jackson for AAP program.

High School: James Madison High School.

HOA: Vienna Woods has NO HOA.

Looking to buy or sell in Vienna Woods? Fill out my Contact Form to get started.