New construction is on the rise in Fort Collins, with re-sale inventory at an all time low this winter and homes in established neighborhoods listing at premium prices and still going under contract after receiving multiple offers $10-$15K over asking! So with such craziness, a brand new shiny home with all the bells, whistles and mod-cons can sound pretty appealing right? There are no multiple offers and most builders will post their “specials” publicly, or sometimes they will simply state the “price is, what the price.” The questions is “is that really the best price?”
Winter is the time to buy new construction for more reasons than you might realize. Don’t be too concerned if you have a home to sell too, as contingencies don’t concern builders like they used to.
Typically when you work with a production builder (aka a “track builder”) as opposed to a custom home builder you get to chose:
a) the lot (and pay a premium based on lot size, location and views)
b) the style of house (ranch, 2-story, multi-level)
c) the elevation (the exterior finish) rock vs. brick vs. stucco
d) the number/type of rooms (called Structural Options)
e) the features and finishes (call Design Center Options.)
Builders tend to mark up the cosmetic upgrades sometimes by 300% – so I always recommend my buyers spend their money on the structural upgrades and then I provide them with a list of cost effective contractors to come in a few months/years down the line to tile the bathroom, or hardwood the floors etc.
Sometimes you can buy a builders “Spec Home”. These are 100% built, all the design choices have been made and the home is move-in ready.
On occasion you can find a home that is still at foundation, where only concrete has been poured or framing put up. If you catch the home at the right stage of construction you can still pick out the design features.
If a neighborhood is almost sold out, then the builder will sell the model home. Model homes are often upgraded through the wazoo, but there are a number of very good reasons why you should NEVER buy the “model”.
Later this month I’ll be posting a guide to the newer neighborhoods with inside information on the communities and the builders. In the meantime, if you are thinking about buying new construction, feel free to call or email me.