Every scenario is different, but as a general rule, with inventory at 3 months, most sellers (especially builder's) will not come off their price much. You may want to consider asking for some closing cost incentives instead. Also, something else to consider is have representation to help you navigate the offer. If a case can be made for a lower offer, that can be leverage you can use to get a fair price.
Best of Luck!
When dealing with builders I agree that moving off the listed price is not normally done and given the market I would say asking for some upgrades or help in closing cost would be more likely. I have found that over my 20 plus years as a lender that this holds no matter what type of market where in.
In 97225 there's not much inventory for the price you want. That's an expensive area in town and this kind of money will only bring you some older or smaller (or both) property. Most likely upgrades/repairs needed too.
In 97229 is a little better. Not a whole lot but better. However if your expectation would be for a fancy house on a good size lot I just need to warn you that the expectation won't come close to the market reality at all. So my advise to you is to get along with a realtor (of your choice) who can present the market conditions and what the inventory has to offer and (for you) to be realistic when making an offer because low offers don't have any chance these days. The listings priced right will attract multiple offers with a snap of fingers so you'll compete with other people interested on the same things so who "wants it more" will be the one gettin' it eventually. Your agent can draw a strategy on what it has and needs to be done so you'll be the happy owner of a house in the months to come. Don't forget to get pre-approved at first because an offer without a strong back-up lender endorsement won't help you at all.
If I can help you in any other way feel free to contact me. All the best to you.
The best way to come to terms with any seller is to present a strong offer that shows that you are qualified and have the ability to close the transaction. An experienced Realtor will be able to represent your interests, help negotiate the terms of sale, and help navigate the transaction to closing. I would be happy to meet with you and discuss how I can assist you in the buying process. Please contact me at 503-720-9393 or Jon@portlandhometeam.com.