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29 October 2009 @ 11:19 am
More personal thoughts on home searching  

More and more I've been coming back to this new construction. I really like the lot (it's in woburn, far enough from the highway to be quite, the lot backs on a wooded parkland with a brook that you can hear from the house (I need to go spend more than a minute there to make sure the babble of the brook is a good thing) It's a slopped lot and the plans make it seem because of that fact they plan on keeping a majority of the trees (I'm not a fan of lawn.) It's on a dead end road, far enough from the next major road that the traffic noise isn't horrible.

The house plans are not completely perfect. It only has a one car garage, oil heat, unknown access to the attic and not enough closet space on the first floor (though I if one moves the wash and dryer to the basement and adds a pantry cabinet I think that gets fixed.) These all feel very livable problems. I like the layout of the house and comparing the room sizes to laura lee, it seems like it has good room sizes (it doesn't have the laura lee in-law suite, but I didn't really want an extra kitchen anyway) and it has a walk in closet, which laura lee did not.

The websites sometimes say that it's good to buy a new construciton before it's broken ground, though they seem to waffle on this. It would be good to bid on it while prices are still low and before there's any possiblity of a bidding war, but I worry...

Am I just happy with this house because I can't see it? Once it exists am I going to find something wrong with it that will make me unhappy? This is a huge commitment of money, though if we get a good enough deal, we could just turn around a sell it and not take a loss. The problem is that a 15% low bid (which is accepted as the standard lowest low ball you really ought to bid) is about at the top of our budget. We have a little wiggle room for various reasons, especially on a house we won't close on until April or May.

Should I pounce because I like the lot? I could ask them, since it's not build, how much it would cost to make some of the changes above.

Should I wait because I've only been looking a month and half and maybe there will be something better (though my list of constraints is pretty hard to meet.)

It would give us time to get this house in shape and packed on a schedule. If the housing market is recovering (that's a large if) then we could buy now and sell a little higher in March.

I really worry that the house just seems nice because it doesn't exist. But I also worry that it might be what I want and that I'll loose it if I wait until it's framed. I also really wish I knew if now was a good time to bargin or not, or if now is just a good time to make the builder say, "oh, well, we'll do a bad job because you bid so low."

Anyway, just wanted to write the tangle of thoughts down. See how things go.
Jeredjered on October 29th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
One of the big reasons to buy new construction before it's built is that you will have upgrade options in advance. Some of the things you don't like can be changed. For example, if there is gas service to the neighborhood you can ask for gas heat. You can get absolutely clear on the attic access. As for the closet and garage, those might not be changeable, but you can ask. Also, you can usually get finish materials changed... if you want bright blue Corian countertops, or black granite, or dyed concrete, you can get exactly what you want. (Unless that's too stressful. Having gone through a complete renovation I'm amazed by how many little things there are to be selected. I had no idea I had so many light fixtures. Or drawer pulls.)
mathhobbitmathhobbit on October 29th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
I don't want you to move. But... have you considered a buyer's agent? The last few questions you're asking are definitely ones a buyer's agent should be able to answer.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on October 29th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
I have, but the problem is once you contact one and start asking them questions, you're locked in and if we decide to go with an easier home we want to be free to try redfin, which offers a refund on the buyer's commision back to the buyer. (which could be as much as $6k, depending on many factors, but will more likely be 3k.)
mathhobbitmathhobbit on October 29th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yup! And if you hire a buyer's broker and decide not to buy, you're still out the money.
Patriciatrysha on October 29th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Strange, because I did use a buyers agent when i bought my house.

They didn't charge anything.

The way it works is that the /seller/ pays a set commission.
If you have a buyers agent, then the seller's agent and your agent split that commission. It doesn't increase the cost of the house to you.

I did look at houses on one agent, and was never locked in to anything..
(now, if i would have bought a house that this agent showed me - then yes I would have been in trouble if i avoided using them...)
sauergeeksauergeek on November 1st, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
That's my experience with a buyer's agent as well. I used one to buy my current place. The commission the seller pays gets split between the seller's and buyer's agents.