Buying a New Home Question....

Updated on November 24, 2010
R.D. asks from Haysville, KS
9 answers

Hey everyone! This is probably a really dumb question, but I thought I'd ask anyway :)

My husband and I are ready to buy a bigger house. We are going to wait until the end of the school year to put our house on the market, just to be safe and make sure that I receive a contract renewal (I'm a first year teacher, and you never know if they are going to cut jobs or not right now). We have been looking at homes for awhile, and found a house that we really like. We are buying our next home as our "forever home" so we do not want to move again. The home we looked at is a model home, and we don't want to change a thing about it. Now, of course there is a specific price point and we would be building. So here's my dumb question: can you negotiate a price on something like that? I would think you could if you were buying the model or if it was a spec. home, but I wasn't sure on a new build. The builder is the same one that built our current home. Our current home is a small spec. home that we bought when we were first married, and we paid full price without even thinking about bringing the price down. After talking to neighbors, etc. we have realized we paid wayyyy too much for our house. Now that we have a kid, we like to save money wherever possible haha :) What would you suggest doing? Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the advice! I feel as if it was a dumb question just because I wasn't sure what the rules were if we are building, asking for the same upgrades, and wanting even more. We can afford it, and we have already been pre-approved. We have no debt other than our current house payment. We do not have credit cards; we are very finally savvy (we as in my husband :)) and we make good money. Even without me working we would be able to afford a new house because of the cost of daycare and my hour long commute (one way). The builder is actually talking trade with us....they buy back our house (or something, I'm not sure) and we move into a new one. We have just heard that word, have not looked into further detail with that option. Luckily for us, houses our size are seling. Bigger houses, you can build for what you can buy "used". We have a very small, nice starter home that is only three years old, so hopefully that will help. Thanks again for the info!

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answers from Tulsa on

Hire an experienced, successful realtor. They can negotitate a free yard(spray on mulch grass only costs a builder around $300) and sprinkler as well as tell you exactly what everyone else paid.
We dealt directly with the builder who insisted we use a realtor. To me, that is 6% down the toilet, but it would have saved us $$. I loathe most realtors, but there are a few worth the money.

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answers from Boston on

Around here (central Mass) home prices -- even on new builds -- are negotiable. We've found, though, that builders are more inclined to give upgrades than to reduce the price (better quality cabinets, extra windows, adding a free deck, that kind of thing). You might wind up spending the same amount of money but get more house for your dollar.

Our best investment was in hiring a buyers' broker. Not sure how it works in Kansas, but here a real estate agent always works for the seller (even if he or she is not the listing rep) unless specified up front as a buyer's agent. In our experience, it didn't cost us any more (in fact, we felt ours wasn't paid enough out of the deal so we gave her a bonus ourselves). It saved us a TON of money -- like, thousands.

Good luck! May you find your dream home (as we did) and have many happy years under that roof.

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answers from Washington DC on

In homeselling everything is negotiable.
In NC the new homes are now being offered at a reduced price, with dealer incentives, closing costs allowances, and a new lawnmower and people are still not paying full price on these homes. It's making it a nightmare trying to sell an older home.
So yes put in a bid.
That being said I had a friend who just last week had a home in KS go under contract and she got full price beause there was a bidding war. So you need to also check out the specs and see at what price the other homes are being sold.

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answers from Atlanta on

Before you do anything else check out Dave Ramsey......He gives some really good advice when it comes to Refinancing to purchasing a home all the way to saving money for college, retirement and becoming debt free. It's well worth the knowledge beforehand rather than AFTER the fact just like you found out after you purchased your first home :()(

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answers from Portland on

Why is it a dumb question? Do you feel like you know the answer but need reassurance? Never offer to pay full price. Not for cars, not for a house.
We just bought a house a month ago. We thought we got a good deal based on last years appraisal of the house. However, the market has been dropping and last week, when I went to the courthouse with a petition to appeal the value of my house so that we don't have to pay so much tax next year, I found out that the value of the house was even less than what I was appealing for.
The market does not support the price of land, building and even the improvements or finishes of a house anymore. (My realtor helped me come up with this for the petition.)
Yes, a broker will be helpful in helping you get the best deal. In some states, a real estate agent may not need to be a licensed broker. So when you get a real estate agent, make sure that person is a licensed broker. This is helpful in both selling and buying a house.
Overall, it's not a good market to sell a house. We bought our old house 9 yrs ago and we did not make any money of the sale of our house.
If you buy a house, even though it may seem like a good deal, if you aren't sure you're going to financially able to keep the house for a long time, you need to be aware that the value of your house may still continue to go down for a bit and for some reason, if you can't pay the mortgage, you may lose your house. For this, I would suggest talking to a financial advisor to know what you can afford.
Your realtor should also know a lender or loan officer you can talk to. Ours actually refinanced our loan last minute so we got a little money back. Besides, you need to be pre-approved before you can even apply for a mortgage anyway. And I tell you, it's a lot more of a hassle than when we bought our old house 9 yrs ago. They want to know EVERYTHING. They even wanted my husband's job to guarantee 3 yrs worth of pay! My husband's job guaranteed 2 yrs but my job wouldn't. We were moving to a new state and we hadn't started working yet. So they made my husband's job give him an early start date and my husband's new employer had to...ok, you don't have to know all the details but it was a HASSLE! And it made us wonder what kind of impression we were making on our new employers with all these demands!
Anyway, someone had already bid on this house we wanted. We bid the most we were willing to pay and won the bid. But it was only because we needed the house right away and we were able to sell our old house and pay for it. And it was definitely not full price. But like I said, the market is still not doing too good so even with research, a financial advisor and a realtor, the value of the house is now less than what we paid. We had a good deal based on last year's tax assessment but not for next year's. But what helped the most is knowing that we could afford it and not worry about paying the mortgage.
Good luck!


answers from St. Louis on

Negotiate...always negotiate.....
you earn and save money in the moment you BUY a house NOT when you SELL it. Always remember it is your money, and there are PLENTY of houses. I have been there more than once, more than twice. You can get the house of your dreams but always negotiate!! By the way, this the best time to buy.
Good luck!!!



answers from Kansas City on

I work for a custom home builder in the Kansas City area. I know from experience that everything is negotiable. If you do a cost plus then you will see every quote that the builder gets. You can also do a fixed fee and you will see every invoice that comes through. If the builder is still talking then it's still negotiable. If the builder truly is willing to talk away then you have asked too much but remember they will not lose money on a job. We get initial quotes then go back to every sub and ask for a 2% discount. 2% isn't much to each sub but when added together it's a lot for a client. Before you let your builder buy your house back on trade make sure you know what it is truly worth. Just like a car - you get more from selling your car outright than if you trade it in.


answers from St. Louis on

If they are willing to trade it sounds like they are motivated to sell. You need to consider what you need. In other words if you can sell your home then use that leverage to get a discount. I built my home 18 years ago and paid $30,000 below asking. There is always room to negotiate when building, this isn't some byproduct of the economy.

Another thing you may want to consider about your job security is getting a blog, website or some way to communicate with your parents. It helps with getting the students to study and increase test scores. Plus the parents know your name. A school is less likely to let an effective teacher go than one the parents can't quite recall their name. :)



answers from Harrisburg on

definately try! in this time of such crappy economy, people are desperate! We just bought a model home in PA. Asking price was 400,000 and we got it for 380,000 plus lots of perks. Do some homework and get an experienced agent and go for it!!

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