When buying a house that's newly built, you need to be con cerned about a warranty for faults that may show up during the first year. The possibilities of negotiating on price with a builder or developer are limited; their price is based on cost and, except in hardship situations, is not usually too flexible. It may be possible, though, to dicker for extras that otherwise involve add-on prices.
In many areas, you may not know what property taxes will be levied on new construction; a talk with the assessorís office is in order.
Itís important to get all promises in writing; if possible, have your attorney arrange for part of the purchase price to be held in escrow, pending the builderís attention to small matters that may come up during your first few monthsí occupancy.
Having a house custom-built to one's own specifications is a favorite daydream for many people. The chance to pick the right lot, site the house as you want and create an environment that reflects your taste and personality is a seductive thought. Before you enter such an undertaking, however, be aware that:
. Everything will take longer than expected.
. Everything will cost more than expected.
. The weather will turn uncooperative.
. Changing your mind about anything as you go along will he amazingly expensive.
. Your marriage will be strained by constant decisions and different points of view.
. Even with the best contractor foreman, large amounts of your own time and attention will be required.
Owning an Apartment
In areas where land is at a premium, cooperatives, town houses, and condominium apartments may be attractive alterna tives to more expensive housing. Many empty-nesters and busy young professionals also enjoy the absence of outside chores. Such apartments combine the advantages of homeowning with the convenience of apartment living. The Internal Revenue Service treats co-ops and condos exactly as it does single-family houses.