Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Oregon

Buying a home under construction

I would like to make an offer on a new home now under construction. What can I put in my offer to insure the builder will install good quality appliances, cabinets, carpeting, etc?

Asked on 2/23/04, 6:20 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Susan Burns Law Office of Susan Ford Burns
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Re: Buying a home under construction

An offer for a home that is under construction is significantly more complicated for the very reason you identify. In order to be sure that the home is constructed with the specifications you desire (like appliances, carpet, etc) an offer for a home under construction must identify each of these items. Things like the model of each appliance, the brand, style and finish for cabinets, the brand, type, color and padding for carpets, etc.

Many builders of tract homes have a specific selection of some of these items and allow the buyer to specify which of these items they want. For example, they may have 3 or 4 choices of cabinets, one with an oak finish, one in white and another in cherry.

Others provide an "allowance" for the buyer to use in chosing these items. If an "allowance" is provided, be sure that it is sufficient to purchase the quality of items that you want in your home. For example, the allowance for carpets could be $25/ square yard including installation. This would mean that you could chose any carpet that could be purchased and installed for that amount. If the carpet you wanted cost $30/sq. yd., then you would have to pay the difference to the builder before the carpet you wanted would be purchased and installed. Most builders will require that the additional amount be paid for at the time the carpet was chosen.

Either way, you will need to be sure that the contract properly identifies these items. Building a home is a very complex project and a contract for the purchase of a house under construction is far more complex than those for the purchase of an already finished house.

You should consider having an attorney familiar with such contracts review the one you are contemplating with the builder before you sign it.

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2/23/04, 8:33 pm

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