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What homebuyers need to know in today's market

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  •  Builders often offer flexible pricing and various incentives such as rate buy-downs, price cuts, and covering closing costs, making new construction homes an attractive option for buyers in a low-supply market.
  • While newly built homes can be more affordable due to smaller sizes and lower initial costs, buyers should be mindful of future expenses like property tax reassessments, which can increase significantly after the first year of ownership.
  • Buyers need to adopt a strategic and patient approach, considering different types of housing, locations, and design decisions to navigate the current market effectively and make informed decisions.

The real estate landscape is witnessing a remarkable shift, with newly built single-family homes accounting for over one-third of the available inventory. According to a recent report by Redfin, a prominent real estate brokerage site, approximately 33.4% of single-family homes for sale during the first quarter of 2024 were newly constructed, marking a substantial increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), sheds light on this phenomenon, stating, "What's transpired is that the resale inventory has dwindled." Despite the challenges faced by the housing market, home builders continue to construct around a million single-family homes per year, presenting prospective homebuyers with a unique opportunity to explore the world of new construction homes.

As the demand for newly built homes surges, it is crucial for buyers to navigate this market with a well-informed and strategic approach. Here's what prospective homebuyers need to consider when exploring the new construction boom:

Flexible Pricing and Builder Incentives

In a market characterized by low supply, buyers have been drawn to new construction due to the increased opportunities and flexibility offered by builders. "Builders are generally more accommodating when it comes to pricing and may offer incentives like rate buy-downs, price cuts, and covering closing costs," notes the Redfin report. This flexibility can be a significant advantage for homebuyers seeking to negotiate favorable terms and secure attractive deals.

Smaller Home Trends and Affordability Considerations

To address affordability concerns, homebuilders have been constructing smaller homes since 2021. "Reducing the square footage of your home can help lower construction and utility costs". By opting for a more compact living space, buyers can potentially save on upfront costs while still enjoying the benefits of a newly built home.

Property Tax Reassessment and Future Costs

While the initial costs of a new construction home may seem appealing, it is crucial to consider the long-term financial implications. "Some costs, like property taxes, can increase significantly after the first year of ownership," warns the Redfin report. Prospective buyers should research the property tax reassessment frequency and formula in the county they are considering to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.

Strategic and Patient Home Buying

In today's dynamic real estate market, buyers need to adopt a strategic and patient approach when considering different types of housing and locations, as well as making design decisions. "By being informed and strategic, potential homebuyers can navigate the current market and make informed decisions," emphasizes the report. Patience and flexibility are key to finding the right fit among the available new construction options.

Design Choices and Personalization

One of the alluring aspects of new construction homes is the ability to personalize and customize various design elements. From selecting finishes and fixtures to tailoring floor plans, buyers have the opportunity to create a living space that truly reflects their unique style and preferences.

Community Amenities and Neighborhood Considerations

When exploring newly built communities, it is essential to consider the surrounding amenities and neighborhood dynamics. Many new construction developments offer attractive features such as parks, recreational facilities, and community centers, enhancing the overall living experience for residents.

As the housing market continues to evolve, the surge in new construction homes presents both opportunities and challenges for prospective homebuyers. By staying informed, adopting a strategic approach, and considering factors such as pricing, affordability, future costs, and design preferences, buyers can navigate this boom with confidence and make informed decisions that align with their needs and aspirations.

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