Buying or building a new home in San Antonio

New home pros
One of the advantages of buying a new home is that it may require less maintenance (if it is well built) and can be more energy-efficient than an older home. More-modern floor plans and more space are another common reason new homes are popular. As a result, new homes usually cost more per square foot than similar existing homes nearby.

There are cons, too
There are disadvantages, though, to living in a new community. To achieve economies of scale, home builders try to build big houses on small lots. They can create cookie-cutter neighborhoods that lack architectural diversity and mature landscaping.
 
Since land costs less on the outskirts of the city or outside the city limits, you may have to drive farther to work from your new home. If houses are still going up in your neighborhood, you'll have to live with the noise of construction during the day and dust, mud, and the occasional nail in your tire!

Getting a foot in the door
It can be fun to drive around on a sunny weekend and look at model homes. But some builders will put a time limit on the registration of your agent, usually 30 days. If you love the neighborhood, but aren't ready to put down money and start building in 30 days, then you shouldn’t register with the builder's sales representative. I can always do it for you later when you’ve decided. I can go to the office on the day of the lot release with your earnest money and reserve your first and second lot choices for you.

Builders don't like to lower their prices on individual homes, and they will not cut you a deal if you don’t use an agent. For one thing, if they did, it would hurt future values for the whole neighborhood. For another, agents would stop bringing in their buyers. Builders rely on their reputation and agents for business.

Instead, builders prefer to give home buyers incentives, often in the form of upgrades such as tile instead of vinyl in wet areas, more landscaping, or better-quality appliances. Other incentives include paying some of the buyers' closing costs or buying down their interest rate.

How to get a deal
If there are any existing homes in the neighborhood you like, those are the best ones to get bargain on. The previous buyers may have backed out or their financing fallen through; meanwhile, the builder is paying interest on the house every month. The builder may lower the price to get the home off the books by the end of the tax year, and maybe even throw in some incentives.

Build your own 
If you want to build a home instead of buying an existing one, I can help you choose the options and upgrades that will be the best value for the San Antonio market. The builder's advertised price is for the base model without upgrades, and you will add some thousands more to that price to get the home you want. Builders charge a high mark-up on many upgrades that you could do yourself, such as ceramic tile instead of vinyl flooring. Often, I can arrange for a contractor to do it for much less after closing.

I will also ride herd on the builder and arrange the inspections for you, making sure the construction and landscaping people are doing what they're supposed to do. I'll watch over the process to make sure it's going smoothly. Finally, I will prepare a punchlist and do the final walk-throughs to make sure all the items on the list are corrected before closing.

Home builders and neighborhoods 
If you want to buy a new home, contact me for more information on the neighborhoods and builders you might be interested in. And you can watch videos of the newest homes and neighborhoods in San Antonio from the TV show, Hot On Homes - San Antonio.