Finding the right home is one of the biggest challenges for potential buyers today. Right now, the supply of homes for sale is still low. But there is a bright spot. Newly built homes make up a larger percent of the total homes available for sale than normal. That’s why, if you’re craving more options, it makes sense to see if a newly built home is right for you.
But it’s important to remember the process of working with a builder is different than buying from a homeowner. And, while builders typically have sales agents on-site, having your own agent helps make sure you have proper representation throughout your homebuying journey. As Realtor.com says:
“Keep in mind that the on-site agent you meet at a new-construction office works for the builder. So, as the homebuyer, it’s a smart idea to bring in your own agent, as well, to help you negotiate and stay protected in the transaction.”
Here’s how having your own agent is key when you build or buy a new construction home.
Agents Know the Local Area and Market
It’s important to consider how the neighborhood and surrounding area may evolve before making your home purchase. Your agent is well-versed in the upcoming communities and developments that could influence your decision. One way a real estate agent can help is by reviewing the builder’s site plan. For example, you’ll want to know if there are any plans to construct a highway or add a drainage ditch behind your prospective backyard.
Knowledge of Construction Quality and Builder Reputation
An agent also has expertise in the construction quality and reputation of different builders. They can give you insights into each one’s track record, customer satisfaction, and construction practices. Armed with this information, you can choose a builder known for consistently delivering top-notch homes.
Assistance with Customization and Upgrades
The most obvious benefit of opting for new home construction is the opportunity to customize your home. Your agent will guide you through that process and share advice on the upgrades that are most likely to add long-term value to your home. Their expertise helps make sure you focus your budget on areas that will give you the greatest return on your investment later.
Understanding Builder Negotiations and Contracts
When it comes to working with builders, having a skilled negotiator on your side can make all the difference. Builder contracts can be complex. Your agent can help you navigate these contracts to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. Plus, agents are skilled negotiators who can advocate for you, potentially securing better deals, upgrades, or incentives throughout the process. As Realtor.com says:
“A good buyer’s agent will be able to review any contracts before you sign on the dotted line, ensuring you aren’t unwittingly agreeing to terms that only benefit the builder.”
If you are interested in buying or building a new construction home, having a trusted agent by your side can make a big difference. If you’d like to start that conversation, connect with a local real estate agent.
If you’re in the process of looking for a home today, you know the supply of homes for sale is low because you’re feeling the impact of having a limited pool of options. And, if your biggest hurdle right now is that you’re having trouble finding something you like, don’t forget that a newly built home is a great option.
As a recent article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:
“Home buyers continue to be met with limited housing options during what’s typically the real estate market’s busiest season. . . . The current supply of existing homes is about half the level it was in 2019 . . . Meanwhile, the market for new construction is a bright spot.”
Here’s a look at a key metric that shows just how much new home construction is ramping up nationwide. It’s called new residential completions. Basically, completions are newly built homes that are finished and ready to move into.
The graph below uses data from the Census to show the trend of new-home completions over time, including the long-term average for the number of finished housing units (shown in black on the graph):
As you can see on the left (shown in orange), leading up to the housing crash, builders exceeded that average. The result was an oversupply of homes on the market, so home values declined. That was one of the factors that led to the housing crash back in 2008.
Since then, the level of new home construction has fallen off, and builders haven’t built enough homes to meet the historical average (shown in red). That underbuilding left the housing market with a multi-year inventory deficit. And, that deficit is part of what makes inventory so low right now.
But, here’s the good news. The green on the right shows that according to the latest report from the Census, builders are matching the long-term average right now. And that means they’re bringing more newly built homes to the market than they have in recent memory.
And residential starts and permits are also gaining momentum. Starts are homes where the construction has officially kicked off. Permits are homes where builders are planning to break ground soon. Since both are up, it’s a sign there are even more newly built homes coming soon.
What This Means for You
More newly built homes in various stages of the construction process means your pool of options just got bigger. If you’re looking to move right now and timing is important to you, reach out to a local real estate professional to explore the homes that were recently completed in your area. If construction is done on those homes, you should be able to move in quickly.
But, if you can wait a bit and the idea of customizing a home from the ground up appeals to you, ask that same agent about the homes in your area that are in the process of being built. If you buy a home that’s still in the works, you can help pick the features and finishings along the way. And when none of the homes you’ve looked at so far are to your liking, being able to tailor one to your taste may be your best option.
Either way, a trusted real estate agent is a crucial part of the process. They’ll know exactly what’s available in your area and can base their recommendations on your unique needs, desired neighborhoods, and more.
So, if you’re having trouble finding a home you like while inventory is so low, it may be time to consider looking into new-home construction. If you’d like to start that conversation, reach out to a trusted local real estate professional who’s an expert on what’s available in your area.
If you’re looking to buy a house, you may find today’s limited supply of homes available for sale challenging. When housing inventory is as low as it is right now, it can feel like a bit of an uphill battle to find the perfect home for you because there just isn’t that much to choose from. If you need to open up your pool of options, it may be time to consider a newly built home.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Census, there’s positive news when it comes to new home construction. When you look at the first three months of this year, you’ll find:
- More new homes were completed and are ready to sell. This gives you more move-in-ready options for your search.
- Builders broke ground and started construction on more single-family homes. This means there are more homes intended for one household in the beginning stages of construction, allowing you the opportunity to customize one to your liking.
- The number of permits for building new single-family homes ticked up. This shows builders are ramping up to start on even more home construction soon.
And, while this is all good news for broadening your options for your home search, there are other perks that come with considering a newly built home.
When you buy a new home under construction, you can tailor it to your unique needs and taste. Bankrate says:
“Building means customizing. . . . instead of wishing your home had a certain kind of flooring, a sunroom or some other special amenity, you’ll be able to tailor the property to your exact needs.”
Brand New Everything
Another perk of a new home is that nothing in the house is used. It’s all brand new and uniquely yours from day one.
And, because everything is new, you’ll likely find there are fewer maintenance and repair needs up front. As Realtor.com explains:
“. . . if something does go wrong with your new home, not only are there likely some manufacturer warranties in place, but many builders also include additional home warranties . . .”
Lastly, building a home gives you the opportunity to incorporate more energy-efficient options that can help lower your costs over time – which can feel especially important when inflation’s raising many of the costs around you.
If you’re having trouble finding your dream home in today’s market, it may be time to consider newly built homes as an option. Partner with a real estate professional to learn more about what’s available in your local area.
There are plenty of good reasons you might be ready to move. No matter your motivations, before you list your current house, you need to consider where you’ll go next.
In today’s market, it makes sense to explore all your options. That includes both homes that have been lived in before as well as newly built ones. To help you decide which is right for you, let’s compare the benefits of each. Regardless of which option you choose to explore, working with a trusted real estate professional throughout the process is essential.
The Benefits of Newly Built Homes
First, let’s look at the benefits of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new house, you’ll be able to:
1. Build your dream home
If you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, landscaping, layout, and more. Bankrate puts it like this:
“Building means customizing. . . . instead of wishing your home had a certain kind of flooring, a sunroom or some other special amenity, you’ll be able to tailor the property to your exact needs. You also won’t be limited to a specific location or neighborhood.”
2. Take advantage of builder concessions
In today’s market, a lot of home builders are working hard to sell their current inventory before they add more to their mix. That means many of them are offering concessions and are more willing to negotiate with buyers. That could work to your advantage in the process.
3. Minimize home repairs
Many builders offer a warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind on unlikely repairs. Plus, you won’t have as many little improvement projects to tackle. As realtor.com says:
“. . . if something goes wrong with your new home, not only are there likely some manufacturer warranties in place, but many builders also include additional home warranties . . .”
4. Take advantage of energy efficiency
When building a home, you can choose brand-new, energy-efficient options to help lower your utility costs, protect the environment, and reduce your carbon footprint.
The Benefits of Existing Homes
Now, let’s compare those to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can:
1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans
With decades of homes to choose from, you’ll have a broader range of floorplans and designs available.
2. Appreciate that lived-in charm
The character of older homes is hard to reproduce. If you value timeless craftsmanship or design elements, you may prefer an existing home.
3. Join an established neighborhood
Existing homes give you the option to get to know the neighborhood, community, or traffic patterns before you commit. Plus, they have more developed landscaping and trees, which can give you additional privacy and curb appeal.
4. Move in faster
If you have a short timeframe to move or you just don’t want the process to take several months while your home is under construction, buying an existing home might make sense for you. U.S. News explains:
“When you’re choosing a home, existing or new, you should also consider how long it might take to move into that home. Just because you have a contract doesn’t mean that your new home will be completed (or even started) at the time you agree to the purchase. It can be a struggle waiting for the walls to go up as you wonder what your home will become.”
When thinking about where you’ll go after you sell your house, remember your options. As you start your search, think about what’s most important to you. By working with a trusted real estate agent, you can be confident you’re making the most educated, informed decision.
If you have questions about the options in your area, meet with a local real estate professional to discuss what’s available and what’s right for you.
Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows sales have dropped by 3.7% compared to the month before. This is the second consecutive month that sales have slumped. Some see this as evidence that the red-hot real estate market may be cooling. However, there could also be a simple explanation as to why existing home sales have slowed – there aren’t enough homes to buy. There are currently 410,000 fewer single-family homes available for sale than there were at this time last year.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains in the report:
“The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory. Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising.”
Yun’s insight was supported the next day when the Census Bureau released its Monthly New Residential Sales Report. It shows that newly constructed home sales are up 20.7% over the previous month.
Buyer demand remains strong. With more of the adult population becoming vaccinated and job creation data showing encouraging signs, existing-home inventory is expected to grow in the coming months.
What will this mean for home sales going forward?
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) have all forecasted that total home sales (existing homes and new construction) will continue their momentum both this year and next. Here’s a graph showing those projections:
Living through a pandemic has caused many to re-evaluate the importance of a home and the value of homeownership. The residential real estate market will benefit from both as we move forward.