New Year, New Construction

The New Year always brings about new activity in the real estate market. Those who are ready to get a jump on things and beat the springtime rush tend to reach out in early January and can therefore take advantage of certain conditions, such as fewer overlapping showings and infrequent multiple offer situations.


This year, I showed over twenty existing homes in the second week of January between 3 different buyers. One client is a retired couple looking to downsize and move closer to their grandkids. We found an existing house they liked that happened to be in a new subdivision that is still building homes. The house wasn’t a sure thing for a few reasons. First, they felt the carpet would need to be changed due to the homeowner’s resident K-9. Secondly, they felt the kitchen layout was less than ideal and would require additional cabinetry or storage. But otherwise, they liked the home, community, location, and price. After doing some digging and calling the builder rep, I discovered the existing home (with its issues) was the exact same price as a brand-new home the builder had available, which was entering its final stages of construction. We scheduled an appointment, visited the model, toured the home, and walked away with a signed contract. The home my client selected received a 6K builder price reduction that day, so ended up costing less than the existing home we saw a few days earlier. It is also 2 years newer, 200 sq. ft. bigger, includes a covered patio, and the floor plan is more suitable for my clients’ needs.

The product my clients chose is a spec home, which is one that a builder constructs on the speculation that it will sell easily. Spec homes can oftentimes be found in new construction communities of production builders. A production builder is one who constructs a neighborhood of homes based on a collection of pre-determined floor plans and limited personalized options. Some examples of production builders in the Indy market include Lennar, Pulte, Beazer, Epcon, Arbor, Drees, David Weekley, Estridge, and D.R. Horton. Most of these builders participate in the practice of spec home sales. They choose the most popular floor plans and options and usually list them prior to completion, such is the case for the home my client chose.

Alternatively, a buyer can choose to work with a production builder to build a home. This process allows the client to choose their lot and select floor plan, elevation, and interior finishes from the builder’s collection of options. The build process usually takes 6-12 months from start to finish, whereas the time frame to close on a spec home can be much faster. In my client’s case, the anticipated completion date is in March. This works out perfectly for them, as it gives them time to prepare their existing home for sale and get it under contract while watching their new home come to life! The moral of the story? Don’t forget to include new construction communities in your home search.

This is just one of the ways an experienced agent, with strong connections to industry partners, can provide value. Not only that, but your agent will represent and advocate for you throughout the build process. New construction homes are not immune to issues (inspections, appraisals, etc.) so be sure you have someone in your corner who puts your best interest above all else. Whether you choose an existing home in an established neighborhood or a new construction home in a developing community, you will undoubtedly rely heavily on your agent for their knowledge, advice, and expertise. When you’re ready, our team is here for you and eager to get started! Happy house hunting!