For many homeowners who purchased brand new homes in 2003 – 2006, the years since have been long and disappointing. They bought before talk of a housing bubble began to slow new home purchases in the national and here in the Corona market -- before there was an inkling that they could soon find themselves underwater on their home loans.
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Despite the protracted economic slowdown, and despite some predictions that the national housing market might stall again or even fall further, some recent months have shown residential sales figures that are higher than predicted. This would seem to be counter-intuitive. It makes you ask yourself: who’s doing it – and why buy new homes in a dicey real estate market?
Of course, there are the ever-present common sense advantages to buying a new home in any market. The foremost is condition. When you buy a brand new home, you are the first person to live in it, and will be able to shape it exactly as you wish without having to undo or redo someone else’s choices. New homes are fresh and clean and offer the promise a fresh start for the buyer who purchases them.
But beyond the common-sense advantages to purchasing new homes, there are also some reasons peculiar to the current situation.
For starters, this Fall/Winter’s
new home buyer may find he has an upper hand in negotiating with a
builder. Builders are likely to have
many new homes to sell. While they may
not wish to drop the asking price significantly since that would affect all the
other homes he has in inventory - you can likely negotiate a number of free
upgrades. When new homes are purchased
before construction is even complete, as a buyer you can try to negotiate free
kitchen and bathroom upgrades (slab marble in your master bath? stainless steel package in your
kitchen?). Free landscape upgrades can
be very valuable add-ons with new homes, too, since the cost of landscaping a
bare yard can be significant. Keep in mind, too, that builders also know that
landscaping adds value to the entire area.
Maybe you can negotiate a year of free HOA (Home Owners Association)
dues, or in some cases, buyers of new homes might even negotiate a free pool! Corona
Composing fair offers for new homes within a development is also somewhat easier than writing offers on older homes, since home models tend to be readily compared with one another. There might be slight lot size differences, or 3-bedroom versus 5-bedroom model variations, but to a large extent a new home buyer can know what he or she is paying for in unambiguous terms. For example, even if a development already has a few homes in foreclosure (or homes which sold via short sale), as a potential new home buyer you and your real estate agent can judge how another given property compares with those.
Considering the purchase of new homes in a dicey market might at first seem like a hazardous proposition, but when the accompanying rare buyers’ market situation and resulting potential negotiating advantages are factored in, it’s hard to ignore the possibility that this just might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for landing a new home.