Should I go for the last homes in a new development?

I recently received notice that Millwheel North’s last unit is for sale. This is in a super-hot neighborhood: Dogpatch. The homes have the kind of proportions that make you dream of roller-skating in the living room, with hardwood floors, high ceilings and generously sized bathrooms with deep bathtubs. We’re talking good stuff, people.

This particular unit features three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It’s got two master suites and is just a little more than 1,600 square feet – a lot for the city. There’s a large living room, dining room and kitchen, plus built-in counter space for display or a home bar.

It’s worth noting that the last few homes left in a new-development project are often the best deals because the developer tends to be worn out by that point and ready to move on. That can translate to being ready to negotiate a better price. These “orphan” units also tend to hold up better than one might think on resale. I know that some of the last units available in a project have an ugly view on a trashy lot across the street, but area development can also make it fairly likely that this will change.

HGTV offers the following five tips when buying a newly constructed home:

1) Weigh the pros and cons. Will new construction fit your lifestyle? Are you okay with waiting for landscaping to develop and with the fact that your home is very similar to those of your neighbors?

2) Research neighborhoods and builders. Due diligence pays off.

3) Understand what’s standard and what’s extra. You need to know what comes with the place and what’s considered an amenity or upgrade.

4) Get an inspection and a home warranty. Just because a home is newly built, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to have issues.

5) Close the deal. Read everything you’re given before you sign it. Once your name’s on the dotted line, it’s a whole different ballgame.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email

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