With so many new construction communities popping up, many home buyers are interested in the benefits a new build can offer. But for a lot of buyers, the new build process is not one they have experience with, especially when it comes to what they can and can't negotiate. While you may have heard the phrase “everything’s negotiable” there are four key areas of the new build process where negotiation can be the key to unlocking savings and getting the most out of the experience.
Most builders work closely with a set of preferred lenders. These lenders are often experts in financing new builds and working with the builder in particular. While on the surface these lenders may have higher fees or rates than third party options, they will often offer incentives that make them a viable lending option.
If a builder’s preferred lender is offering closing costs incentives, it is certainly worth your time to explore their financing options. Negotiating additional financing incentives like having the builder cover your HOA fees for the first year, on top of the closing costs, can save you thousands of dollars up front and streamline the entire process. While certain lenders and builders are more likely to negotiate than others, it can be worth the time and effort to explore financing negotiations up front.
The Actual Build
In some situations, it can be possible to negotiate with the builder regarding the actual building costs and sales price of the home. If you are working with a real estate agent, have them look at similar comps in the area and help support your negotiation for a reasonable price. If for instance they look at all of the new homes for sale in Groveland FL and find evidence to support your negotiations, you could be in for substantial savings.
Keep in mind though that builders have a minimum sales price to realize the return on investment they require. Pushing back too much on the sales price can lead to stressful negotiations and could ultimately end in the builder selling the lot to someone else that is willing to pay what you aren't.
Speaking of the lot, the land your new home is going to be built upon is another potential area for negotiation. Some lots are priced higher than others for reasons like location, view, or access. These prime lots often come with “lot premiums” to account for the higher desirability of the land.
While these lot premiums obviously benefit the builder, there are times when you can negotiate these premiums down. For instance if a particular lot is the final one in a section or block of building and the sale is holding up construction, the builder will be more likely to wiggle on the premiums. If a premium lot isn't as important to you, consider a “less desirable” lot within the community to save on these premiums without having to negotiate at all.
Sometimes when you are unable to negotiate price or financing terms, upgrades are a great way to receive an effective discount. While you can save money by going with a base model or standard finishes, asking for additional upgrades to be thrown in at no extra cost can provide you with a lot of added value. Many of these upgrades, like kitchen backsplash, countertops, or cabinets, can be expensive and help elevate your home to the home of your dreams.
Finding new home listings and negotiating on a new build home can be extra steps in the process, but the benefits gained can far exceed the time and effort spent. Be open to creative ways of coming to a mutually beneficial agreement between yourself and the builder. Don't expect a builder to concede on each of these items, but the knowledge of what you can expect to be able to negotiate with will help you come away with your dream new build for a price that works for you.