What is a pre-sale home? This is a home that has not yet been built. Typically, a pre-sale is offered by a builder building in a subdivision. You have the options of choosing the lot you’d like the home to be built on as well as your choice of floor plan the builder is offering.
Tips on buying a pre-sale home in Olympia, WA. Tips on buying a pre-sale home in Olympia, WA can certainly fill volumes of books because there are so many options and variances, but here are some common issues that can arise.
Tips for choosing a floor plan. The builder typically offers several different floor plans and housing styles, but not all floor plans may be available for you to see already built. Builders like to have model homes but those get sold as well, so you may only be looking at floor plans on paper. If that is case, be sure you are able to look at a home the builder has completed so you can see finish work and the quality of the construction. Also ask if the builder has built your floor plan in another subdivision that you could see.
Tips for choosing a lot. This can sometimes be more difficult than choosing a floor plan because you are looking at a parcel of dirt. Here are some questions to ask:
· How your home will be situated on the lot.
· Is the lot treed? What trees will be cleared?
· Are there big utility boxes on your lot?
· What kind of views does your lot have over other lots?
· What is going to be built next to your lot? Behind your lot? Across the street from your lot? – A greenbelt, a community park, a busy street?
· Does your lot sit higher or lower than other lots?
Tips for choosing options and upgrades for your home. Some builders may give you limited choices in modifying the floor plan, adding upgrades and choosing hard surface materials and colors (flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc.). When touring a model home, make sure you understand if anything in the model home is considered an upgrade, or if it is a standard feature. Ask if there is an upgrade list. If you can choose your interior finishes, most builders will send you to their design center. Depending on the builder, you can choose your paint colors, flooring, counter tops, cabinets, lighting, hardware, plumbing fixtures, woodwork such as doors and railings, etc.
These choices can affect your home price and money you may need to pay up front.
Upgrades may be added to the price of the home, but be sure to talk with your Realtor about this as if you add too much to the home price, your home may not appraise (if you are getting a mortgage).
You may be required to pay for all your upgrades in cash up front. Or you may be asked to pay a deposit, usually a percentage of the cost of the upgrades upfront.
Why would a buyer have to pay for the upgrades before the home is even started? Builders have been burned in the past. The builder begins a house with the buyer’s custom modifications and choices that may not be appealing to a lot of buyers. The buyer backs out and the builder is left with a home that may not be as sellable. Builders want their buyers to be committed to buying the home. They basically want buyers to have some “skin in the game.”
To make sure you know what is an upgrade and what comes standard, see my other article, my top 10 list of items you need to know if it is standard or an upgrade.
Also check out my article on insider’s tips on making an offer on a pre-sale that the builder can’t refuse.
If you have any questions about buying new construction or a pre-sale in Olympia, WA, I’m here to help. I am a buyer’s agent and specialize in new construction.