For new construction, will a builder reduce the price of a home if I ask him not to install flooring and other amenities?

Asked by Fiveboysdad, 93555 Wed Jul 14, 2010

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John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed Jul 14, 2010
BEST ANSWER
If the builder omits flooring and certain other amenities, the local building department may not issue a certificate of occupancy for what is deemed an unfinished home. No certificate of occupancy, no loan. Even if you are paying cash the local building department might cause you grief if you try to move into an “illegal” home.

Maybe you can get the builder to install less expensive appointments, saving you money since you are going to replace them.

Good luck and let us know how this works out.
2 votes
Grace Morioka, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Jul 14, 2010
Hello Five and thanks for your post.

Only John Juarez has it right--good for you, John!

Depending on the type of building that you are hoping to buy, the builder may not be able to sell you a home without the amenities in place. In California, no new home may close escrow until a "Certificate of Occupancy" or COC is provided to the developer by the local building authority. In the case of a new home, part of what makes a home "ready for occupation" is the presence of floors, cabinetry and other amenities. So while you may want these to be left out so that you can later install the items you want at presumably cheaper prices, unless you are planning to buy the home for cash, the developer will not be able to sell the home to you.

Your better bet in negotiating a good deal is to pay for just the "standard" model home (so that a certificate of occupancy can be provided by the City) and then have the upgrades installed at a later date.

If you are planning to purchase a new home with a developer, bring your Realtor with you to negotiate your deal so that you can ensure that you do get the best deal and can prevent making errors that can jeopardize your negotiation strength!

Good luck!

Sincerely,
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
1 vote
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Jul 15, 2010
Thanks, Grace. Your comments are always excellent.
0 votes
Fiveboysdad, Home Buyer, 93555
Wed Jul 14, 2010
Wow! Great information. Thank you to all who answered this question. I really appreciate it!!
0 votes
Sue Wylie, , Los Angeles County, CA
Wed Jul 14, 2010
You can negotiate anything. However, for things like flooring, the lender may not let you close unless the flooring is finished. Flooring s not an amenity but an integral part of the structure of the house. If you mean floor coverings, you need to check withy our lender to see if the loan will go through contingent upon you installing the floor coverings - vinyl, wood, carpet, etc within a certain number of days after closing. They may want you to put up the cost of the installation in cash and hold it in escrow until the work is done, and may even specify that a licensed contractor do it. You may not save money in the long run, unless you have a flooring business yourself.
0 votes
Quest Inspec…, , Redlands, CA
Wed Jul 14, 2010
They should! Do your homework and make a list with the prices as you see it, then take that total to them . Maye they will say yes to some things and no to others. Some things like flooring have a high mark up for the builder so don't be surprised if you don't get what exactly you want. If you are in a contract with them, it could be harder. If you are not, then let them know up front what you want to do and what the new price should be. If they agree either way; get it in writing, especially the new price!
0 votes
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