Home Buying in 19539>Question Details

bandjrey, Other/Just Looking in Emmaus, PA

Looking to move up...should we go with existing home or new construction?

Asked by bandjrey, Emmaus, PA Tue Sep 15, 2009

Is there more opportunity with negotiations with construction in process? Are the builders still feeling the crunch and would they be more willing to negotiate?

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I agree with Stacy - in Lehigh County there are currently 250 single family detached new construction homes for sale, and only 34 have sold in the past 6 months; in Berks County there are 1,133 currently for sale, and only 89 have sold in the past 6 months. Despite the fact that builders are absolutely feeling the crunch, they can't decrease the price of their houses too much without destroying the value of the developments that they've already created. What they do instead is negotiate by offering free upgrades, offer to pay sellers assistance or closing costs, offer financing, etc.

The base price of their houses is usually not that negotiable unless it's a "spec" house (not a custom house built for someone in particular) or else one that was already built for someone who then had to back out - in that case, if it's an "Immediate Possession" house, often the price can be very negotiable (but usually those are the only times you can bargain the builder down).

Honestly, in such a great buyers market, where many people who just bought new homes a year or two ago with expensive upgrades already in them are having to put them back on the market at a deep discount, I would highly recommend you work with your agent to look at homes 1 - 3 years old, where you'll get a much better bang for your buck. (You can always ask the seller purchase a one-year Home Warranty to replace that one-year Builder's Warranty on a new house, or purchase it for yourself.)

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
My personal opinion on this is if you are going to go for new construction, it's best to target the builder's standing inventory. You do not want to incur any upgrade or modification charges imposed by builders as a normal course of business during the construction process. Still, select the neighborhood/subdivision carefully. Better to buy in one that is 80% complete and occupied rather that only 20%. Be wary if the empty lots in the neighborhood are too overgrown, the on-site agent model home is empty, and there's zero construction going on.

Hope this helps!

Stacy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 15, 2009
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