By Meghan Belnap
Buying a home is all about getting the best deal. However, while you can negotiate prices on a home that's already built, if you're buying new, you're at the builder's mercy. Or are you? It's a common misconception that, if you're buying a new build, the prices are set in stone. The reality is there's quite a bit of wiggle room—if you know where and how to find it.
Walk the Lots
Builders know that some lots are preferred over others. A cul-de-sac, for example, is quieter and less busy than a corner lot. And those two lots are priced accordingly, with the cul-de-sac lot selling at a premium. Of course, your builder will probably show you the more expensive lot. However, if you don't particularly care about having a premium lot, or you'd be just as happy on a corner lot if it saved you a few thousand dollars, take the time to walk the different lots and choose one that better fits your budget.
Look at Comparable Sales
Just because it's a new build doesn't mean the home doesn't have comparable sales in the area. By looking at the prices of comparable homes in the area, you'll get a better idea of how much your new build is truly worth. You'll still pay a bit more for the privilege of being the home's first owner, but you'll be able to negotiate a better price based on similar home sales. Ask your builder to pull comps for you or access the public county records yourself. This is also a good way to ensure you don't overpay based on the current selling climate.
Price Check Upgrades
One of the big draws for people looking at new homes for sale are the upgrades. Higher end floors and finishes, and being able to choose exactly what you want, allows you to make your new house a home that's all yours—but it comes at a price. That price doesn't have to be outrageous though. You can check with other contractors to see what they would charge to install the same upgrades your builder offers and then either use that to negotiate a better price with your builder or have the less expensive contractor install the upgrades. You can also look for a builder that includes upgrades as a standard option that doesn't cost more.
Ask About Incentives
To attract buyers, builders will often offer incentives. You might get a credit for closing in a certain month or a discount for using the builder's preferred lender. Ask your builder about any incentives they offer to see how much you might be able to save. One incentive that you may want to ask about is purchasing a model home. These homes are built on premium lots and have all the available upgrades to persuade homebuyers to buy. But because they've been used as a model, they're no longer considered new or custom, so you can get them for much less.
Buying a new home is a big dream. To be the first owner, put your own touches on it and know that it's all yours is a very satisfying feeling; but it's a satisfying feeling that comes at a cost. You can keep that cost down by knowing where expenses can be cut without sacrificing quality or luxury. With the right information and some easy negotiations, you can have the home you're dreaming of within the budget you can afford!
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She finds happiness in researching new topics that help expand her horizons. For information about new homes for sale in Salt Lake, Utah, Belnap recommends working with Hamlet Homes.