To Build Or Not To Build

Dated: July 2 2018

Views: 547

The term "Low Inventory Market" has been overused, hasn't it?  Okay - I promise not to use this term again (at least for the rest of this post)! 

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Let's get real though.  You are a hungry, hungry buyer who has been looking and looking.  Searching for the right one, and you are time and time again coming up short in your search.  Frustrated yet?  I have been hearing this all year!  It's okay - you are not the only thinking outside the box.  Let's build!   But wait.  Isn't it more expensive to build?  Maybe you want more land?  Do you want everything in the model home?  Do I need a Realtor? 

With all major purchases, there is a lot to consider.  Here is what I say to a few of the most common questions and phrases thrown my way when a buyer is considering all options: 

"I want to build a custom home on more than 2 acres"

My reaction: Great!  Have you done your homework?  There are many custom builders in MD and you will want them and your agent along for the entire ride.  Be forewarned: This is probably the most expensive and most time consuming endeavor.  There is a process of finding and purchasing land (hopefully land that has a well already installed and near utilities you can tap into), finding a builder, finalizing home plans, additional lending requirements...the list goes on and not necessarily in this order.   Of course, the reward is you have your dream home in your dream location and land.  

"I want the house that looks like the model home" 

My reaction: Did you know that builders put almost every bell and whistle they have up their sleeves into the model home?  I am talking upgrades on upgrades.  Typically, builders advertise base pricing and then show photos of the model home.  Be careful that your expectation isn't too high from your budget.  

"We have a buyer's agent, but we are going to pop into this model home just to look" 

My reaction: Bring your buyer's agent with you no matter what!  If you walk into a model home, register your name - that's it - you probably just lost your agent's representation.  Most of the time, if a buyer walks into a home without and agent, the builder is not liable to pay that agent for bringing them a buyer.  YES, even in a new build scenario you will want a buyer's agent to help you through the process.  The builder rep that is there at the model home is the BUILDER'S rep and does not necessarily help you as the consumer.  You aren't saving a dime (at least if you chose me as a buyer's agent) if you don't have an agent to help you build. 

"I want to build new, but my long term plans are up in the air" 

My reaction: I equate this statement with: I want the brand new car because it's new...but I will probably trade it in two years.   There is a reason new builds can demand a certain price.  It has that fresh new-home smell, new build warranties, never-been-lived-in feeling that comes at a price.  I don't have a crystal ball to determine what the market will be like tomorrow....but experience tells me that you should want to stay in the new home for as long as possible with hopes of building equity in the long run.   

To build or not to build....the answer is yours and yours alone.  It will depend on many factors including your finances, life goals, time constraints and beyond.  Either way you go - get a buyer's agent involved.  I can help guide you through the entire process either way.  This is your biggest asset new build or resale and should be treated as such! 

Written by Kat Royer

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Kat Royer

Kat Royer is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and minor in Real Estate. She worked for 7 years in operations and sales for a major internat....

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