Fay, Home Buyer in 10562

How best can I buy builder built homes?

Asked by Fay, 10562 Fri May 30, 2008

I heard at this time of the market, sometimes the best deals comes from builder homes. But how should one go about it? how to find a renowned and respectable builder in an area one is not familiar with? how does one know one is getting a good deal?

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Jeff Fellers, , Summit, NJ
Fri May 30, 2008
You have good advice from the three answers I read below. Most agents familiar with the area you would like to live in will know most of the builders. Agents should know the builder reputation, quality of work etc. On another note, if you are trying to get a good buy there are a few approaches you can take depending on how far along the builder is to being finished.
1. If the house is not yet started you want to approach the builder and inquire what their policy is on buying a “to be built house". Many times you can negotiate with the builder up front since they will be able to calculate all their costs for building, carrying the project, overhead, etc.
2. If the house is partially built you want to inquire about "the specifications" they will be installing in the house. You want to know type of cabinets, windows, faucets, towel bars, type of heat, all the details. The list provided should be long and comprehensive. Many times when you negotiate at this point you can pay the asking price or a little off but get extras included in the sale. Maybe hardwood floors instead of carpeting or a larger deck, etc. This way the builder can still cover his/her costs, expenses and profit. You win with "extras".
3. If the house is already completed and just sitting there you want to offer a fast closing to attract the builder’s attention and then negotiate the price.
It's all in the delivery and circumstance.

Let me know if I didn't cover everything for you,
Jeff Fellers
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Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Fri May 30, 2008
Use your agent to show you the existing homes already built and standing. These spec homes are costing the builder a lot more to carry than the vacant sites. If your agent is knowledgeable they may have experience and knowledge of the builder. Knock on doors of the homes they built and sold and ask the owners how they were. You may be tempted to not use an agent and deal directly with builder but that can be risky as the builder isnt likely to show you other builder's homes nor point out deficiencies in his own construction. I am currently representing buyers who are getting a 1 year old home for about 25% less than the seller has invested. Seller didnt do an inspection since it was new and now has to deal with a number of issues such as high radon. (The builder apparently never tested this or checked some other areas that created concerns during the resale)
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Jim Johnson, , 78233
Fri May 30, 2008
Jeanne gave you the best advice you can get. I just want to add a selling point or two. It will cost you no more if you use a buyer's agent, and the agent will cut through the fluff that the builder's sales person may use to take advantage of any lack of knowledge about buying a new home.
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri May 30, 2008
Hi Fay, my recommendation is to connect with a local Realtor. You will be empowered by the knowledge a good agent brings to the table both in terms of builders, inventory, and market conditions. I believe that your chances of getting the fairest/best deal will come by working with an agent rather than on your own. And remember, that it is customary for the seller in a transaction to pay the realtor commission to both listing and selling agent and so for all the service you receive, you will pay nothing.

You can find me online at http://www.feenick.com If your area of interest coincides with my area of expertise, I stand ready to assist you!

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
Cell 908-337-0943
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
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