The Buying Process
Finding a Home
Making an Offer
Finding a Loan
The Right Price
Getting to Settlement
Historic Real Estate
1st Time Homebuyers
Foreclosures & Short Sales
Thinking of Buying New?
Buying or building a new home has both good and bad points. It can be a lot of fun and result in a home that is more to your taste than a resale home, plus you have a home that is new and should be less likely to have problems than a resale. A new home can also be a night-mare of delays, miscommunications, cost overruns and incredible frustrations. There is no simple answer to which is better, new or resale. It is critical to have an agent who knows the entire market, including new homes, and can help you determine which is better for you. Here too, we can make the process go more smoothly and help you make the right decisions.
Some of the things to consider when comparing new and resale are:
- Financial – In this area, the cost of most new construction is well above the average home price. The prices that builders advertise are for base price, without any options or upgrades. Determining your needs and finances is critical.
- With a resale home, you see exactly what you’re getting. It isn’t always possible to view a model of a particular house and many people have difficulty imagining what the final product will look like.
- With a resale, you will usually have a more established look to the neighborhood, with trees and landscaping that have had time to grow.
- A new (or newer) home will often be on a much smaller lot than a resale home.
- There is also the question of the character of an older home vs. the bells and whistles and energy efficiency of a new home.
- Can you wait for a new home to be built? It typically takes 5 or 6 months from the time the contract is signed until the house is ready to move in to.
New Home Subdivisions
Evaluating and choosing a new home subdivision can waste a lot of your time, and you may still miss some individual or less-advertised homes by smaller builders.
Where we can help in evaluating new subdivision homes:
- Consider all new home communities in your price range
- Determine which features are important to you in a community. Do you want a strong Homeowners Association? How about a pool and other recreational facilities, even if it means higher Homeowners Association fees?
- Compare builders’ standard features and evaluate the actual costs between different builders whose overall base quality may differ substantially.
- Sort through the often bewildering array of options to get to the ones that are most important, and that won’t overprice the house for the area but will help with resale.
- Look realistically at builders’ financial programs, closing cost assistance and your actual costs if you use the builder’s financing.
- Evaluate construction quality and techniques and compare different builders.
- Look at nearly-new resale homes, which are often better buys.
- Help you make an informed decision about new vs. resale.
- Most production builders won’t change much in their floor plans, but there are builders who will permit some alteration so that you have a home that fits you better
Evaluating Custom Homes
Building a custom home requires bringing together a large number of factors for everything to go smoothly. In this area, it is usually not at all cheaper to buy a piece of land and build a house on it. The price of the land frequently makes building a custom home prohibitively expensive; the same home on a smaller lot in a subdivision will usually be significantly less expensive. There are also other costs that need to be considered with a custom home, such as preparing the site, installing a well and septic system, utilities, permits, driveway, etc. You can, however, end up with a home that is totally your design!
Some of the issues your Buyer’s Best agent can help you sort through:
- Finding the right lot; comparing location, size, house site, access, etc.
- Finding the right builder. Interviewing, evaluating, pricing, considering the degree of flexibility, talking to subcontractors, etc.
- Looking realistically at options – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Finding the right loan; construction/permanent, turn-key, lot loan, etc., depending on your income and cash situation, or using the builder’s financing.
- Finding the right floor plan; evaluating what you need vs. what you want
- Determining what the whole thing is all going to cost.
Because everyone’s situation is so different, the question of new vs. resale is a big one. It is so important to consider all the factors and to look at new homes, custom homes and resale homes with an open mind and with all the information you need to make the right decision for you. Although all builders welcome agents and for the most part, are more than happy to pay them, you usually must have your agent with you when you visit new home communities or you risk not having your agent paid by the builder. As with resale homes and open houses, that nice person showing you the house is working for the seller or builder. You can have your own representation but you do need to call me first.