Existing or New? (March 18, 2017)

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    by Rich Rodenburg

    Many buyers over the last couple of years have become frustrated finding the perfect pre-owned home, so they explore building a home or buying a spec home. Here are some of the pros and cons of each.

    An existing home usually costs less than a brand new one. It often comes with “character” not found in the suburbs, like mature trees, a diversity of neighbors and home styles. Existing homes will also likely be closer to our city center. Lincoln’s inventory of homes actively on the market is very low. At last check, there are only 300 on the MLS (multiple listing service) market in Lincoln, and that includes all prices and styles.

    Buyers who are serious need to be ready to act. They should be working with a realtor who has them on Auto-Prospecting (much more accurate and immediate than most of the commercial search sites). They should be pre-approved with a lender. Buyers need to be ready to drop everything, see the home, and write an offer quickly, as many homes sell on the first day, often with multiple offers. The days of offering below the asking price are behind us, at least in this cycle. We, as realtors, can help assure that your offering price is a fair one. Existing homes are coming on the market every day, so don’t give up hope. But, if you do…

    Ask your realtor to suggest a builder. Most builders are represented by realtors, but we all work together. We can connect you with a builder that caters to the style, price, and area that you want. We will walk you through the process, even after you move into your home. Spec homes, new homes built without having a buyer, are often purchased before completion with enough time to do some custom finishes. Often builders will build a custom home. You choose and tweak a floor plan and have the opportunity to choose everything from flooring, exterior finish, lighting, fixtures, etc.

    Lot availability has been in the news recently. Currently, that is the bottleneck for many who are looking to build a home. Lot prices are also at a premium.

    Whether looking to build or buy existing, please rely on your realtor to guide you through the process.

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