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Old 02-15-2010, 12:04 PM
Location: Austin, Texas
544 posts, read 1,379,626 times
Reputation: 155


if i understand the rules, you must have a home under contract by the end of april and close on it before the end of june
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:52 PM
Location: Austin, Texas
256 posts, read 548,151 times
Reputation: 71
Originally Posted by jobert View Post
I don't see what the rush is. Our house took 9 months, and was only 2100sf - as a result, it ended up being everything we ever wanted. For something you are going to live in for possibly 20 years, wouldn't you want to wait a couple of months to do it right? IMO, it is most beneficial to wait as long as possible from the time you sign on the dotted line to ensure appreciation, and a job well done. Sure, you're out a down-payment, but you aren't paying any interest, principle, or PMI until move-in, at which time the house may have increased in value (if it's a desirable location). It seems the quick turn-around is most beneficial to the builder, so they can start cashing in on their investment ASAP. I understand that you want the homebuyers' credit, but it doesn't need to be built by the deadline (sometime in April) to receive it. The only rush would be against interest rates, which may be going up by late spring - maybe above 6%.
he mentioned the tac credit as the reason he was in a rush. Just bc a house is built in 60 days doesn't mean a house that took 9 months will be any better thought out or quality.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:37 PM
Location: Downtown Austin
5,923 posts, read 14,622,856 times
Reputation: 4755
Originally Posted by ROY DUBOSE View Post
if i understand the rules, you must have a home under contract by the end of april and close on it before the end of june
This is correct. Your purchase contract must be executed on or before April 30th and your closing must occur on or before June 30th.

If you finalized your deal with the builder by March 1, you'd have 4 months to complete, which should be sufficient.

But unless you know how to negotiate and act disinterested/unmotivated in a certain timeline, be able to make offers and then walk away several times and wait for a call-back, kiss your tax credit goodbye via the $8K+ too much you're getting ready to pay for the new home.

There is no shortage of builders who can get you into a decent home within the tax credit window. I'd go out and find at least 3 candidate properties that will work for you, and make the builders compete for you as a buyer. Don't accept "incentives" as cash value. Compare base prices for only the level of finishout you need. Otherwise it's hard to compare apple to apples.

Remember, "$10,000 in upgrades" costs the builder $3K to $5K at most, so don't let them to use that number as if it's a cash amount that their giving up. It's not.

If you don't have a good agent experienced in negotiating with builders. Find one who knows a lot about the area(s) you're interested in. Even a good Realtor is disadvantaged in an area they don't know well. Search Realtor.com and if you find an agent with a lot of listings in the neighborhood/area you want, that agent probably knows that market pretty well and can properly advise you on pricing.

Finally, in most areas, your best deal is not going to be a to-be-built builder home. It will be a resale home in the same neighborhood that's a couple of years old. Or it will be a completed builder home sitting empty. You're giving away money by having a new home built. Unless you have a specific lot and floorplan you have to have, I'd open up your options a bit.

Good luck,

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:06 PM
Location: Austin, TX
153 posts, read 433,802 times
Reputation: 56
Hi AJohn,

I hope this reply doesn't come too late for you, I just saw your thread now. We have a Streetman home in "North Austin" (same community you are looking at maybe?). We didn't build but bought one of their inventory/spec homes.

However, we have been following the pace of construction all around our home (all built by Streetman). If they say 60 days, I believe it, it seems right in line with the pace that they are building in our part of the community. Some seem to take a little longer, some are a little faster. Of course I don't know when exactly they signed the contract; but I do notice when an "available" lot sign is replaced with a "SOLD" lot sign. There's a new house being built close to our house that had a "SOLD" sign put on the lot approx. mid-January and it looks like it's maybe about a week or two away from being complete. Other houses seem to follow a similar pace. This is for the part of the community with the "smaller" houses. I think the part with the more upscale homes might take a little longer to build, but not much. David Weekley, the only other builder here, also builds in the part with the more pricey homes and they seem to take a whole lot longer than Streetman (but their homes are even larger and more $$$).

Of course, building fast may not be a good thing for quality. However, Streetman seems to have a good reputation and we find that our home had pretty good attention to detail, at least from what we can visually see (since we bought it as an inventory home we can't be for sure what it looks like behind the walls!). My impression is that they are pretty systematic in how they coordinate the construction of the various homes they build at the same time. I've seen them pour 3-4 driveways and sidewalks on the same day, and it looks like four foundations are just about ready to be poured. The again, this is our first experience with a new construction home in a new neighborhood so it's all new and fascinating for me to watch.
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