Why Buyers Need to Buy That New Home Now

November 9, 2015

Your client has decided on new-home construction, but they're dragging their feet. Need to give them extra motivation to get that contract signed this fall or winter?

“Fall and winter are a great time to start working with a builder and do much of the upfront planning and legwork that goes into a new-construction home,” says Brian Brunhofer, president of Meritus Homes. “Plus, there are some definite advantages to beginning that process before the end of the year that buyers might not be aware of.”

BUILDER online recently highlighted some of those advantages, including:

1. Low interest rates: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is still under a 4 percent average, according to Freddie Mac. But most economists are predicting that interest rates will soon be on the rise, and when rates do rise that will deflate buyers’ purchasing power.

2. Buffering in more time: Many buyers fail to take into account the length of the permitting and approval process, which has to take place before the actual construction. “The reality is that after a buyer signs a contract with us, it takes anywhere from 60 to 90 days to get architectural plans submitted and permits approved before we actually start construction,” Brunhofer says. “Buyers who begin that process in the fall or winter can relax knowing they have plenty of time to get all those details taken care of and be 100 percent ready to roll when the early spring construction season starts. And if we have a mild enough winter, we might be able to get a jump on construction for them even earlier in the year.”

3. Taking advantage of the financial benefits: Before the end of the calendar year, builders will have secured their 2016 contract prices for labor and building materials. As such, they’ll adjust their home prices to reflect any increased costs. Buyers who decide to sign a contract with a builder this fall rather than waiting until next spring may see some cost savings by taking advantage of 2015 pricing. 

4. Timing the market right: Many families prefer to be able to move into their new-home prior to the beginning of a school year. Buyers who work with builders in the fall and winter will likely be ready to move into their new home by next summer. “Buyers should expect anywhere from five to six months of actual construction time,” Brunhofer says. “That means if we get all the upfront approvals and permitting taken care of during the fall and early winter, we’ll start work the minute the ground thaws and we’ll be wrapped up in time for a summer move-in date.” Also, for buyers with an existing home to sell, they will be able to sell their current home then during the spring time, which is traditionally a busier housing market.

Source: “Give Customers Four Reasons to Buy Now,” BUILDER (Sept. 30, 2015)