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I'm moving into new construction. What do I need to buy?

I'm moving into new construction. What do I need to buy?

Melissa Richter

March 5, 2024
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I'm moving into new construction. What do I need to buy?

Congrats on your new construction home! It looks spotless (for now), but it's also going to have some rough edges. Here's what to look out for.

Man GPT creates amazing images, although who puts a fridge next to a washer?

What to buy: most of the time, it won't come with a refrigerator, washer, or dryer. These can add up quickly (often $4-6k) so budget them into your move! It can help to arrange delivery and install for the day after you take possession of the house - but make sure delivery trucks aren't in the way of your movers!

Outside, it's also good to think about lawnmowers, snowblowers,  flagpoles, sprinklers, deck & patio furniture, powerwasher, leafblower, etc. Inside, you may need food freezers for the garage/basement, shower curtains & rods, fire poker set for the fireplace, a vacuum, break-in protection, area rugs, window treatments, and a toolset with hammer, drill, etc.

Overall, with just the things mentioned above, it often costs $10k to outfit a new construction home.

On new construction, there will be amenities missing. Here are some things you might want the builder to add to sweeten the deal before you buy:

  • Gutters and gutter covers
  • Stove or dishwasher of your preference
  • Vent hood or downdraft vent for the stove
  • Wifi-connected light switches or thermostat installed
  • Garage/attic/basement storage shelves
  • Gate on the deck
  • Solid-core doors to reduce noise travel
  • Dehumidifier for the basement or crawlspace
  • Radon mitigation
  • Reverse osmosis filter for water
  • Whole-house surge protector (especially if you live in high-storm area or where the grid is unreliable)
  • Sealed concrete (new concrete can crumble from ice and salt)
  • Food disposal
  • A ventless fireplace in place of any electric fireplaces
  • A tankless water heater
  • A gas stove or fireplace in a chilly part of the house
  • A quality mailbox
  • Better quality light fixtures

Builders often don't finish strong when wrapping up a house, so make sure you inspect and have a thorough blue tape walkthrough. Here are some things you might miss:

  • Loose door handles that don't lock or turn correctly
  • Doors not hung correctly, making them difficult to open, shut, or lock
  • Door jams that don't work correctly or damage trim
  • Light switches that do nothing or are in the wrong place
  • Illegible markings on the circuit breaker
  • Properly graded landscaping to keep water away from the house
  • Issues with insulation or encapsulation in the basement/crawlspace

You can usually expect a new construction house to come with a short list of items: toilet paper, towel holders and hooks, a dishwasher. But you can always ask for more!

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