Homebuyers are out looking again; despite the news reports we have been hearing…there are buyers! I have received many calls from clients who are contemplating new construction or a resale home. In my St George Utah real estate market, buyers have an advantage with plenty to choose from, no matter what you want to buy. Builders have record number of homes available and the St George MLS reflects an unusually high number of listings. The high inventory coupled with lowering interest rates is making for a great buyer opportunity.
New construction is always appealing. To own a home that no one else has lived in, a blank canvas to create a home that can be yours (and the fact that everything is new) is desirable to most buyers. However, something to consider is that blank canvas can ultimately become an expensive masterpiece. With new construction, you must consider the costs of landscape (sod, trees etc…), window coverings, patios or patio covers, concrete work, and possibly block walls or fences. This is not to say that you should avoid new construction, it is only expenses that are occasionally overlooked. Selecting a home with a reputable builder who is familiar with environmental issues within the region is imperative. With all of the lending issues currently present, homeowners that are having problems also includes home BUILDERS facing financial concerns. A homebuilder could possibly bypass construction requirements in an attempt to make the home appear complete in order to place it for sale. Possibly they are risking foreclosure on the home and rushing to get the home sold could potentially provide profit. A home inspector is a necessity even for new construction. It will be possible that the home inspector can uncover potential problems, however if you are dealing with a builder who will essentially vanish after closing, upon moving in you may uncover severe structural issues or incompleteness. This is why you must exercise your due diligence and select a homebuilder with a local reputation and credibility. A new construction home will have the luxury of implementing your own personal design and color selections within the home.
Considering a pre-owned home, usually the former owner has already incurred the costs for window coverings, landscape and other items mentioned above. Having already done the changes and still offering a lower sale price will allow the buyer to save the money and avoid the aggravation of doing it after closing. Take into consideration the age of the home, as you may have to replace or update carpet, appliances or other personal preferences which will add to the cost of the home. A preexisting home within an established community may provide the evidence of structural integrity within the neighborhood, as any problems may be obvious if the home has had time to settle. A home warranty from a reputable company is recommended. A home warranty can cover the homeowner for future problems, such as electrical, plumbing, appliances, and even the garage door opener. The home warranty company will repair or replace covered appliances or home issues, for a small deductible. This will give the homeowner peace of mind for home repairs. This will be comparable to a new construction home warranty; however, keep in mind that if the builder disappears, it may become impossible to have your warranty honored.
Always research any home, new or pre-owned. Never make a purchase without utilizing the services of a qualified home inspector. Use a Buyers Agent, preferably a REALTOR, to represent you in any transaction. In addition, remember the rule of thumb…if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Paula Smith is a REALTOR in St George Utah. I specialize in residential and investment real e