Buying a new construction condo in Philadelphia can really try one’s patience. From delays in proposed settlement dates, to varying opinions of what constitutes a finished product, many issues can really become a pain in the butt.
Be forewarned- if you are buying new construction- there is a ONE MILLION percent correlation between the amount of interference you run, and the amount of time it will take the developer to deliver that new product. There is one building in town where the developer allowed NO alterations to the finishes he is offered. You had two options- finishing package A, or finishing package B- that’s it! This approach may leave a buyer wanting to customize a bit more, but certainly kept delivery dates on schedule as the developer was not having to dance around a buyers every whim, change, complaint, etc. about their special customizing choices.
Buyers don’t seem to understand that every choice they make runs amok with the developer’s original plan. And takes additional time to alter the plan, get the product shipped in, or installed to the buyer’s specifics. And buyers also don’t understand what it takes to build any given project, or unit. Until a buyer has walked a mile in a developers shoes, he or she should not expect that they are somehow “helping the developer” by making changes to the design, or the finish of any given unit. And some developers aren’t off the hook either. They have a tendency to enable a buyer to choose finishes, in order to sell a given Philly condo, then get resentful when a buyers takes them up on their offer- often to the “nth” degree and beyond- but the door was opened by the developer, and he or she needs to suffer the consequences of a buyer who wants to participate in the finished product.
Buyers and developers should set boundaries, and layout all details up front, with no option for future alterations or changes. Every punch list should be decided upon at the time of presenting an offer, and both parties in good faith should know that they need to be bound by such options, and not let the customization take over the project. A little bit of planning on the part of both parties can help minimize the delays, and help bring two parties together for a successful and happy transaction.