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Old 01-24-2012, 09:13 AM
 
22 posts, read 34,782 times
Reputation: 14
No, we do not currently have a realtor and yes, it is our first time buying a home. I am new at this and not sure what to expect. We do plan on using the incentive money for closing and the subdivision we are looking for has a quite a few lots left. We want to be prepared for when we meet with the salesperson later this week. We really like the Westin designs and felt like building a custom home is a more of a bang for our buck but we're just afraid of upgrade costs and how much it might set us out of our budget.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Katy, TX
292 posts, read 481,745 times
Reputation: 172
We are using a realtor for selling our current home and buying the new one, and will be getting some money from them to use towards the new home... If you don't have a realtor, I'm sure the salesperson can recommend one... It's always better/easier to use a realtor, specially since this is your first home... Before you sign anything though, make sure you do have a realtor...

As for being afraid of running over your budget, remember this is the home where you will be spending lots of time... it's an investment...
Set yourself a hard cap as to how much you want to spend, and remember you can always go back and get stuff done to the house once you move in, just make sure you take care of the basic stuff first (lot size/location, 3rd car garage, additional rooms) you know, the things you can't go back and add/change...

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Spring
680 posts, read 992,451 times
Reputation: 178
When I bought my first home, I used a realtor, and I felt like he was horrible and I did most of the stuff on my own. I didn't use one the second time around.

Main thing is to read the contract and understand what it states. At times if you use one, them also offer you a kick back from their commission, at times 1% or 2%. Since you already picked out the neighborhood, floorplan, and narrowed it down to what you want. You can find a realtor willing to help you with the negotiation and lingo of signing the contract. Ask them for more percentage of their commision since you are making their job a picece of cake at that point.

Best thing is to ask the builder about structural changes that can't be made after the fact. The Magnolia has just about every living space a home would need. You might want to ask about adding the shower seat, fireplace location, plumbing, etc. Things that would just be impossible to do after it's built, or things that would require re doing your home. I would put aside the finishes(aka the Design Center options) for the most part. For example we choose to get a glass door, which could of been done after the fact, but we felt that for a 8' door with glass, the 750$ was reasonable and might be cheaper. It really depends on how tight your budget is, if the house is 244K and you want to stay at 250K, it's possible, but expect to live with certain things till you obtain money to change them. If you do have some wiggle room, then I would suggest bumping that up a bit. We went from 204K to 239K, so that was about 35K in upgrades, 11K of which Westin paid for, and the rest was on us. I would say 15K-20K is a good amount to take care of some basic upgrades.

Ask the salesperson to print out a copy of the design center options for that floor plan, look at the lots, and find out the standard features includes for that community.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:55 AM
 
51 posts, read 128,651 times
Reputation: 24
if you don't use a realtor, ask the builder for more discounts, b/c that means the builder does not have to pay the 3% realtor commission. or you could get a realtor and ask them to give you a % back. i really recommend getting a realtor that comes highly recommended, especially if it's your first time buying a home.





Quote:
Originally Posted by axvu View Post
No, we do not currently have a realtor and yes, it is our first time buying a home. I am new at this and not sure what to expect. We do plan on using the incentive money for closing and the subdivision we are looking for has a quite a few lots left. We want to be prepared for when we meet with the salesperson later this week. We really like the Westin designs and felt like building a custom home is a more of a bang for our buck but we're just afraid of upgrade costs and how much it might set us out of our budget.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:34 PM
 
22 posts, read 34,782 times
Reputation: 14
We got sent the upgraded price list today and we're trying to calculate everything before we meet with the salesperson. Our question is, do we get to go to the design center and pick out everything according to our price range or do we have to sign legal binding paperwork before we get to check out the design center?
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Spring
680 posts, read 992,451 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by axvu View Post
We got sent the upgraded price list today and we're trying to calculate everything before we meet with the salesperson. Our question is, do we get to go to the design center and pick out everything according to our price range or do we have to sign legal binding paperwork before we get to check out the design center?
You can pick and choose anything you want. But if you know what your max is,you would just waste a lot time.

But it helps to have the list of prices before hand. You can calculate things like upgraded spindles, standard tile extended in areas, shower walls, upgraded windows.

So before you go to the design center, you'll know if you are spending more on a lot premium, porch, brick mortar, two tone paint, stone accents, elevations, etc.

The design center is 3rd party to begin with. Really there you get to see colors of your standard selections, and a few options for fixtures, front doors, spindle design, carpet, etc...

So go negotiate incentive first, pick a lot, and ask any questions to the sales.person. if they are unsure about something, then don't sign until they can confirm in a written format.

Also main thing make sure you are ready to commit earnest money.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:34 PM
 
Location: #
9,606 posts, read 9,379,651 times
Reputation: 6152
I used to own a Westin home. I sold it for an Eastout.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:54 PM
 
22 posts, read 34,782 times
Reputation: 14
We are committed with the earnest money and we have a spreadsheet of everything already. We just want to go to a design center to look at colors and textures, etc to see if we do need to upgrade for color scheme. We've given ourselves an extra 10K cushion for extra upgrades if we do not like the standard colors. We are currently at 25k and are willing to go up to 35k. We just would really like to see the design center first and be thorough with our decision.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:51 PM
 
76 posts, read 142,956 times
Reputation: 51
You should have 2 seperate design center appointments. I recommend using the first one to see all the different options available and at what price. Make lots of notes and maybe even take pictures of your selections! Before your second appointment, go through all your "wants" vs "needs" until you end up where you want to end up. At the second design center appointment, you will go back over everything you want and at the conclusion, you will need to give them half of the upgrade money. We used a spreadsheet as well and knew exactly what we wanted at the second design center. I took my laptop so that I could make any changes to my spreadsheet that I needed to make. When everything was all said and done, my numbers matched theirs exactly...we wrote a check and were on our way. It was pretty painless mainly because we spent so much time before hand really thinking about what we wanted. Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Spring
680 posts, read 992,451 times
Reputation: 178
Also axvu, instead of 50%, negotiate down 30%.
I did that. Either way you get it back at closing, its applied to your down, closing costs , whichever comes first. Or refund if they owe you.
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