You see the signs as you drive around the Cincinnati area.
The builder's community entrance sign states: "Starting in the $230s!" or "Starting in the $310s!" or some other fairly reasonable price for the area.
Those numbers are in your price range so you figure you can live there. But can you?
Is the starting price realistic?
Can you actually build a home for that "starting" price that you'd be happy with?
Most likely not because of what it takes to get that "starting" price.
First, you have to take the smallest floor plan available. You need a 4 bedroom home? That starting price is for a 3 bedroom home.
Want a basement? That's another $30,000. Want some finished space in that basement? That's another $15,000 (or more, maybe a LOT more).
The lot you want to build on? That just might come with a lot premium.
Want something besides builder grade carpet or vinyl flooring? Open up the wallet a bit more.
Want tile in the shower? Not included with another charge.
A bit bigger patio than standard? It can be done, but again, a bit extra.
And don't get me started on all the possible options to take your kitchen up from the base.
Bottom line is your bottom line can often be significantly higher than that "starting" price.
Key to knowing whether that starting price is something you can live with is having an idea of what is standard for a builder and what's considered an upgrade or option.
For instance some builders for patio homes tend to have a higher starting price, but they offer more standard. Granite or quartz counters, 42" kitchen cabinets, better flooring, all just part of the offering. You might still want to add some extras, but chances are you're bumping up 10-15% above starting price vs. 50%.
Local builders do not put price lists online. You want to know what an option costs, it's going to require a sit-down meeting with the builder's rep.
You CAN shorten the process a bit by finding a real estate agent with thorough knowledge of area builders and their typical practices. Knowing sold prices helps calibrate what is typically happening in a community and whether the starting prices are realistic, or a hook to bring you in.
BEFORE you contact the builder's rep, please find yourself a buyer's agent to help you through the process. We don't work FOR the builder, but FOR YOU. And there's no savings (or extra cost) for having us help you. Most area builders have already factored agents into their overhead, so with or without an agent, you're going to be charged the same.
Further questions about new construction homes in Cincinnati? Just contact us at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers.
Bill & Liz aka BLiz