Yes, Linda has some real good points. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate... builders are not in the same market of a few years ago.
If you are interested in more new home advise, please visit our blog at http://www.1SiliconValley.com. Sara Greenwood is the Realtor who specializes in new home construction and she has a wealth of information.
Abundant blessings to you and your new home search!
Shopping for a home or townhome is really dependent on one thing, that is, is the home with the amentities you want available when you want to buy it. You mentioned several concerns which could be addressed by a search to come up with various property choices. If it is not close enough to downtown Sunnyvale and El Camino, then you may want zip code 94086. This zip code places you in that area. If you want light rail, then you have to consider area near Tasman. El Camino and Wolfe in 94086 puts you near to nice shopping and a quick jaunt to 280 in Cupertino to Vallco shopping. There are some new townhomes other than Toll Bros. in other areas of Sunnyvale that most likely fit your need. You may want a new home, but maybe a NEWER home with other amentities will also work. I can set you up to receive listings in the 94089 zip code or any other, give comparable pricing, and help you shop, besides show you the properties inside. I can take you into brand new townhomes too! There's SO many choices! Call me at 408-737-1695 or go to my website at http://www.reallycarerealty.com in Sunnyvale. I'm here to help! Once you receive thee- list, you will know if the $700K for 3/2 is comparable to others in black and white!.
A Realtor can pull up statistics for you on 5 & 10 year trends, which can help, as well as compare appreciation for other properties in your price range. There are lots of older Single Family Homes for sale in this same zip code; due to schools, just not as desirable as other parts of Sunnyvale.
Realize that most new homes immediately drop in value upon purchase; if you're planning to stay there for 10 years you should be fine. Don't buy it hoping it will appreciate in the next couple of years to help you buy something bigger.
If the home meets your needs and budget, and especially if you want to buy a brand new home, this may be the right decision for you.
The difficult part of buying a brand new home is knowing what the future real estate value will be.
I have several clients who purchased new homes who have experienced difficulty in reselling them.
Find out which schools are designated for these homes, as this will have another huge impact in the resale value.
And, lastly, NEGOTIATE the price, and when you do your buyers walk through, make sure you hire a property inspector to check out the house. You have the most leverage with the builder when they haven't been paid yet. Too many people assume a new house is built perfectly. Unfortunately, building inspectors may only look at a couple of the homes to base his decision to pass an inspection.
I guess these last couple of points indicate that it may be to your benefit to work with a realtor!