If you sit and think for a second, there is absolutely no reason why would should buy from a realtor when you can find the same home for less. This again, helps give the buyer instant equity and avoids 10’s of thousands of dollars in interest.
You should be clear about the kinds of materials that will be used in construction, the presence, type of or absence of any features or amenities (e.g. heating, air conditioning, recreational facilities, access for the handicapped, landscaping, parking, etc.). All of these can be crucial to the ultimate value of the property. Also be clear about any zoning issues or legal permits that may be needed. The developer is responsible for securing these, but make sure this is all covered.
Many Californians are moving out of the state and going to Oregon. When this market turns around (which it will by mid-2009, you could even be up a lot more than what I’ve mention before.