Discounts and choice lots are two very enticing perks for buyers to venture into new neighborhoods with builders, but in the current market it might be a better bargain to hold back and see if the promises of parks, infrastructure, and amenities come to fruition.
The showroom has it all: giant poster size designs of the community and amenities, the color coded chart depicting all the sold and available lots, and the smiling faces of future residents actively engaging with neighbors, but be careful if all you see is posters and verbal promises of FUTURE development. Builders typically depend upon sales to secure the funds to develop the amenities and the HOA (home owner association) fees to maintain them. The longevity of the current down turn in the economy has led to lackluster sales and delinquent dues resulting in some home owners in newly developed planned communities being left with unfinished projects and no recourse.
Such is the case in one neighborhood in Colorado Springs as investigated by a Gazette reporter Bill Vogrin in his blog Side Streets. The economy has hit everyone's pockets including builders and to defend them they had good intentions of finishing the projects but the harsh reality is that the necessary growth has come to a screeching halt to where the priority is paying the subcontractors and staying afloat.
Doing research prior to signing on the dotted line should include current news articles, Google searches, and most importantly talking to current residents. What the Realtor can't say the homeowners can and they will. They will give glowing recommendations where deserved and harsh feedback if they have been left frustrated and disappointed in results. The joy of having a home built can be one of the greatest pleasures to home ownership so protect that emotion and your investment by doing the upfront work and partnering with a professional Realtor that is familiar with your neighborhood.