Buying a home from a builder can be very confusing, more confusing than buying existing inventory homes. My advice – work with a good Realtor who understands the local market, the builders, their floor plans, and hopefully the local sales reps for the various builders.
In Colorado the buyer agent fees are paid to your agent by the seller. Thus it is at no cost to you to be represented by a quality professional.
Here are a few more tips.
1) Buy location, location, location – Forget the free washer/dryer/granite,cherry cabinets & candy canes at Christmas. They are all ploys from the builders to distract you from a good decision. A sucker’s bet in Vegas.
As a general rule of thumb, houses farther out or in less desirable areas will be less expensive and may be significantly larger in size and priced less price per square foot. The builder may offer better incentives with free washer/dryer/granite,cherry cabinets, & candy canes to entice you to buy. My advice – stay away. Those homes will not appreciate in value as quickly as new homes from builders that offer no incentives. And they may be difficult to sell at a premium in the future.
Builders are pro’s. They know the market, expected growth, prices, and have been looking for investment land for many years. Typically builders bought the land years ago and are now building since the market has come to them to maximize their investment. Builders offer incentives based on location, location, and location. They work to maximize their profits. If they offer free “stuff”, typically it is one of two reasons: 1) They are competing against another builder (and losing). 2) They need to “push” buyers into a contract because houses are not moving as quickly as they want.
The reasons they do this: They can’t sell the houses at top dollar in less desirable land plats. They know these houses are a harder sell. Builders got a better deal on the land as a bulk purchase farther out and are actually making more of a profit on the outlaying properties because the costs are that much lower – not a good purchase, investment, growth potential, etc.
2) What is your drive time, cost of vehicle, and cost of not being at home for many of those hours? Huge! Divide that over every day you get out of bed, on the road to work and not around your family.
3) Now that you have determined the right area, decided to spend more money with less square footage, did not get free granite, are in a growth area, you now buy square footage and the right lot. Forget the granite, washer/dryer, cherry cabinets & candy canes and go get the full basement as additional space, pay for the walkout basement versus garden level, and get those extra bathrooms to compensate for the kids bedrooms, etc. Those will pay huge dividends in the future when you go to sell. Be wary of bad floor plans that are not functional, like 3 bedrooms for the kids and one bathroom. I have seen that many times.
If you are looking for a local Realtor in Douglas County or are interested in buying a new home from builder and would like more information, contact me.
Originally published at castlepines-realestate.com on January 21, 2014.