Let me preface this post by saying we absolutely love our new build home and we're so looking forward to the day we move in - our closing date is now a short 11 days away - but through out this process we have experienced a few details dealing with new construction that are not always present with a traditional re-sale.
1) Interest rates. Fortunately we were able to take advantage of an extended lock, but the longest extended lock we could take advantage of was 150 days - this unfortunately meant that although we initially signed our paperwork and "bought" the house back when the interest rates were 3.5% (!) we are now locked in at a rate that was available shortly before the government shut down.
2) Setting up utilities. Right now the earliest day Verizon Fios says they can set us up is April 2nd - almost 3 weeks after we close. This is because it is in the system as new construction and the computer doesn't know if the lines have already been run to the house. We're hoping this will move up to March 17th, but we may be without phone/internet/cable for a while. Not exactly something easy to deal with when both of you work from home most days. I see a wireless hotspot in our near future.
3) Not being able to visit the home since new home orientation. We had our new home orientation back in February and haven't been able to see it since. I'd love to go revel in it, once again, actually, many times, but it's technically not ours until closing and Ryan Homes remains liable for anything that happens inside. I completely understand and appreciate the reasoning, but it doesn't make it any easier to squelch my desire to be in the space and start planning. Ryan Homes was really wonderful and did say I may be able to stop by one time to do some measurements, but that just too much pressure on the situation to get everything I wanted to get done, done - I wouldn't be able to do what I really wanted to do, which was revel. :)
4) The time. I never thought it would take us over a year to get into the home. Ryan Homes did what they said they would do, which was have the house built in 90 days, but our own life hiccups combined with permit delays courtesy of the DC government, we will be closing exactly 13 months after we signed the initial paperwork and provided the first deposit.
I know we'll encounter even more new home quirks when we move in - the house does a lot of settling in the first year. We'll see nail pops, cracked dry wall, and perhaps even some cracked windows. We already saw a doozy of a cracked window when we did our new home orientation - fortunately, the house is under warranty that first year and Ryan Homes will come back to fix all of those settling side effects. Every home purchase, whether new or not, has it's own obstacle course to navigate (at least we didn't deal with a bidding war)! I think, overall, the quirks/growing pains associated with our new construction purchase have been worth the end result - but I'll give another update on that when we're actually IN the house. Don't want to get too far ahead of myself! 11 days and counting...