The housing market is still hot here in Central Texas, and something buyers in the area are considering are new home builds. Here to tell us more is Jena Dubon of On Air Realty.
What should buyers know when looking for a new build in this market, we hear that the market slowing down some is that true?
Jena: Yes and no. This time of the year is typically our slower time for real estate, kids are back in school, people are getting back to work and they’re not looking to move. Right now, we have seen a slight slow down but it’s still a very strong seller’s market. What has been beneficial is that builders started building spec homes and having them close to completion when they’re putting them on the market. Giving us more inventory right now. But they are at higher prices. in some areas, we are still seeing some bidding but not as aggressive as before. Mainly because pricing has increased. The best advice that I can give used to make sure that you’re working with a real estate agent. A common misconception is people think they save money when they’re not using a realtor to purchase a new build but in all honesty, does not save you any money and you lose any support or help through that process that you could’ve got at no cost to you. What we look for is what things are closing out in our market so that you can actually win in a bidding situation we also keep good relationships with our sales agents. That way they can let us know when something falls through and our clients to be some of the first to pick them up.
What kind of changes have you seen happen with builders?
Jena: To pinpoint a few major changes, Some builders have now added an escalation clause. In case the price of materials escalates they are able to raise your purchase price even though you were under contract at another price. Prices have significantly risen from January 2021 to the current day. Some by over 100+ thousand dollars. There is still a shortage of materials and workers. This is putting a strain on construction managers, and workers. Now builders are not putting you in direct contract with the construction manager and only allowing you to communicate through the builder sales rep. This is caused a lot of frustration for many buyers as their builds have been pushed out sometimes for 4 to 8 months. During this time of frustration sometimes things can not go as planned and some builders are canceling contracts on buyers. Not to say they are doing that so they can sell the property for 100+ thousand dollars more but they are definitely not losing in the situation. What takes a lot of pressure off of people when they are looking to build is to make sure that they are using a real estate agent not only to help set expectations but to guide you through the process help you with everything from getting a lower rate to an inspector for your walk-through and even after the process is over.
How is inventory right now for a new build?
Jena: This will all depend on the builder and location. But I do have some very good news, builder’s in the midst of all this chaos started building spec homes. This is when a builder picks out a floor plan & has their design team chooses all the finishings. Once almost completed they put it on market. We now have inventory and with homes not moving as fast as they were we are more able to work a deal for buyers!
For more information on On Air Realty and the HOT Austin Housing Market, visit them online.
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