Do You Want to Buy a Brand New Construction Home?

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Thinking of Buying a New Construction Home from the Builder?

There are some things you should know.

Many people like the idea of purchasing a brand new home. There is the thrill of watching the construction process and choosing the upgrades you like, and something about knowing that you are the first to walk on the plush carpet, use the shiny appliances and take a bath in the jetted tub. This can be a very exciting time, but there are a number of things that you should know that will help you throughout the process. Take a look at this article before you head over to the sales office and put down a deposit on your desired lot.

First of all, although the people at the sales office may be nice, they are not looking out for your best interest as they have been hired by the builder to sell the house. Many buyers think that the process will be easier and that using the builder’s sales agent will result in getting a better deal. This is not the case, as builders generally aren’t very flexible on price and the job of their sales agent is to represent them and maximize their profits on each sale.  You need representation! A real estate agent that works for you will ensure that your interests are voiced and will negotiate on your behalf. If you choose to hire your own agent, they should accompany you on your first visit to the sales office. This will let the builder’s agent know that you are represented and the sales office will register him/her as your agent. Your agent can also insulate you from high-pressure sales tactics that a builder’s agent may practice.  It is best not to even casually go and take a look at the model homes without your agent. Some builders are very strict and will not allow you to hire your own agent if you have set foot in the office previously without your agent.

In addition, many buyers don’t realize that they are NOT responsible for paying a commission. Commissions are paid for by the seller or builder in this case. Builders rely on real estate agents to bring buyers to them. If buyers go to the sales office without an agent and contract directly with the builder, the builder will not credit them the cost of a commission that they would usually pay an agent. If they did, agents would cease to bring in buyers and it would eventually impact the builder’s sales. Really, there is no downside for a buyer to hire independent representation.  A buyer will pay the same cost for the home whether they have hired their own agent or not.

What are some other benefits of hiring an agent?

Representation – Your agent is looking out for YOU! They will advocate on your behalf and see that your voice is heard throughout the process.

Negotiation – While you may be a great negotiator and perhaps have experience doing so, it is always recommended to have someone else negotiate for you. Even the best negotiators follow this practice as an agent will not have the same emotional attachment that may blind a buyer. The agent can look at the deal from a different perspective that not only encompasses the price, but many other factors as well. While a builder may not negotiate on price (as they may have to answer to other buyers that paid more for the same home) an agent usually knows what they will discuss. Depending on the builder and the market, you may be able to get some free upgrades, closing cost credits, extended home warranty and perhaps some back yard landscaping or a patio slab that is larger than 3 x 3. A good agent will know what can be negotiated and how to be creative to make sure you are getting the best bang for your money.

Contract – How many buyers are really that familiar with real estate contracts? Although they aren’t that complex, agents look at them every day and have an understanding of what to look for to ensure sure you are getting a fair deal. I have caught mistakes on builder contracts more than once. Sometimes it is as simple as a math mistake and other times it is terms that were written in that hadn’t been discussed or previously agreed upon. An agent knows the contracts and knows how to make sure your interests are represented. Your agent should review the contract and notify you of any concerns prior to you signing a deal for your brand new home. They will make sure you are aware of contractual deadlines and that the building process stays on track.

Builder Quality and Reputation – Agents generally know most of the builders and will be able to share the information that they have learned over the years. Not all builders build the same quality of home. Some will use inferior materials, some have problems with quality control, some use different construction methods and so on. An experienced agent will know which builders are good about doing warranty work and which aren’t. They will also have seen how the builder’s homes stand up over time. This information can be extremely important and another piece in your decision making.

Financing – Builders usually have their own, preferred financing and will usually offer incentives for closing costs or upgrades if you finance through them. A good agent will be able to help you understand their loan programs and make sure you are able to choose the best for your circumstances. If the builder’s lender doesn’t have a program that works for you, your agent should be able to point you toward other lenders that may be able to help. I have had a couple situations where the builder still allowed the incentives even though the buyer used an outside lender.

Inspections – a builder will have walk-throughs at different points in the construction process. It is important that you have your agent there as they may be able to point things out and ask applicable questions that a regular buyer may not think about. You are also allowed to have an outside inspector look at the home to see if there are any issues you need fixed prior to closing or any other smaller items that can be repaired through the warranty process. Experienced agents will have qualified inspectors that they trust to find insufficiencies and items that a buyer will want repaired or replaced.

Recommend upgrades – An agent will know the latest trends, upgrades that are good for resale and how to choose complimenting and contrasting colors.  They will also know what upgrades may cost a lot but not add much value. They also understand which upgrades will be better to have done after-market that should save you money as well as giving you a superior product. Even though you most likely won’t move from your new home in the near future, an agent will look at everything from a “return on investment” standpoint. They can advise you on upgrades, lot choice, exterior elevation choices and other elements that can affect resale in a positive or negative way.

Knowledge of City plans – A good agent that focuses in a certain geographic area will know more than the builder’s sales agent about the city and about what is happening in the area. The builder’s agent usually lives outside the area and has a good knowledge of the homes, products and package choices that the builder offers, but doesn’t always know the details about schools and other upcoming developments like a hometown agent will. This information can be extremely valuable in making your decision.

Final thoughts and how to proceed – As you can see, there are many reasons and potential benefits in hiring an agent to work for and represent you. If you do decide to hire an agent, make sure that they are familiar with new construction and with the area. Have them take you through the models the first time you go to ensure that they are registered as your agent. Not only will your agent make you feel more comfortable in looking by insulating you from high pressure sales tactics, but they will also make sure you aren’t “blinded by the upgrades” and that you know what is included in the base price and what isn’t. They will take the emotion out and help you look at purchasing a home as a good business transaction that should help you increase your wealth over time.

Contact me today if you are thinking about purchasing new construction and I can guide and advise you through the process. The right agent really can make all the difference in the world!

 

Now Available: Luxurious Country Home close to Town

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Spring is here and the trees are blooming! Come take a look at this incredible home while the weather is nice.

Your chance to own an amazing country home only minutes from town! No expense has been spared on this gated, private estate. The open floor plan features fine finishes throughout and eye-catching architectural details. The chef’s kitchen is the hub of the home and is appropriately appointed with custom, white “soft close” cabinets, striking granite counter tops, designer light fixtures and professional appliances including Viking range, SubZero built-in refrigerator, double Bosch dishwashers, pot-filler, farmhouse style sink and double ovens with a warming drawer. The gourmet in the family will appreciate the vast surfaces and prep sink that are perfect for preparing for those family get-togethers. Throughout the home the flooring is top-quality with wood, tumbled travertine, premium carpet and marble. You’ll love the fabulous master suite! The oversized master includes a retreat that is currently being used as a home gym, a fireplace, coffered ceilings with double crown, double walk-ins with organizers, outdoor access and an incredible master bath. The bath includes a large shower with bench and multiple heads, a jetted tub, “his and her” vanities and custom mirrors and fixtures. The handyman will enjoy the huge (almost 1200sf) garage. The park-like yard is a beautiful setting with a variety of trees and shrubs and a fenced-off back yard. The spacious back pasture is level and has tons of possibilities-barn, riding arena, shop, In-law cottage…You choose! Also worthy to note is the high producing well, whole house fans, triple zone HVAC with multiple condensors, batting cage, stream that runs through property and surround sound. This is a perfect home for entertaining!

Act now; call for more information and to request a private showing of this luxurious country home!

CLICK HERE for more pictures and property detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace and Solitude!

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Gregory Way, Colfax CA – Build your mountain getaway!

Are you looking for some peacefulness and solitude from city life? This is your answer! Located below the snow line with canyon views and good freeway access, this 5.1 acre property is very private. Perfectly located close to Rollins Lake and lots of other recreation that the Sierra’s have to offer. Whether you are into camping, backpacking, boating, fishing or skiing, this location lends well to those who want to get back to nature and enjoy the beauty of Placer County. This property is toward the end of a dead-end road and feels like you are out in the middle of the forest but is still close to all amenities. What are you waiting for? Come breath the fresh mountain air and take a look at where you can build your dream get-away!

For more information and pictures, CLICK HERE

 

Country Luxury-2355 Virginiatown Road, Lincoln, CA

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Your chance to own an amazing country home only minutes from town! No expense has been spared on this gated, private estate. The open floor plan features fine finishes throughout and eye-catching architectural details. The chef’s kitchen is the hub of the home and is appropriately appointed with custom, white “soft close” cabinets, striking granite counter tops, designer light fixture and professional appliances including double dishwashers and a built-in refrigerator. The gourmet in the family will appreciate the vast surfaces and prep sink that are perfect for preparing for those family get-togethers. Throughout the home the flooring is top-quality with wood, tumbled travertine, premium carpet and marble. You’ll love the fabulous master suite! The oversized master includes a retreat that is currently being used as a home gym, a fireplace, coffered ceilings with double crown, double walk-ins with organizers, outdoor access and an incredible master bath. The bath includes a large shower with bench and multiple heads, a jetted tub, “his and her” vanities and custom mirrors and fixtures. The handyman will enjoy the huge (almost 1200sf) garage. The park-like yard is a beautiful setting with a variety of trees and shrubs and a fenced-off back yard. The spacious back pasture is level and has tons of possibilities-barn, riding arena, shop, In-law cottage…You choose! Also worthy to note is the high producing well, whole house fans, triple zone HVAC with multiple condensors, batting cage, stream that runs through property and surround sound. This is a perfect home for entertaining!

 

Act now; call for more information and to request a private showing of this luxurious country home!

To see detailed property information and pictures, CLICK HERE

For the property video, CLICK HERE

Turn-Key and affordable in West Lincoln!

1665 Calabasa

JUST REDUCED TO $375,000. COME TAKE A LOOK TODAY!

This turn-key home is located on a quiet street in West Lincoln and is truly move-in ready! You’ll be impressed with the new laminate flooring, fresh interior paint and how clean this home is. It has a sensible floor plan without any wasted space and is the perfect size for someone starting out or for the empty-nesters looking to downsize. The home has been appointed with some nice upgrades including warm, neutral custom paint, high quality flooring, upscale ceiling fans and “his and her” closets in the master suite. The back yard is private and has a large patio and a spacious lawn so you can get outside and enjoy evening barbeques. The handyman will like the epoxy flooring in the garage and the spacious driveway. No HOA dues and extremely low Mello Roos. Don’t delay, homes in this condition and price are hard to find!

For more information and pictures, CLICK HERE

Act now; Call Garth Evans at 916 408-2222 for more information and to request a private showing.

Incredible Country Estate!

1020 Daniel Drive
1020 Daniel Drive

Enjoy the peaceful benefits of living in the country while maintaining a convenient proximity to town. Every detail of this “magazine worthy”, 5.2 acre estate is perfect. This home exudes curb appeal and the wrap around porch is great for enjoying views of the stocked pond and park-like yard. Inside is nicely appointed with a remodeled kitchen that has premium cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a huge pantry and laminate flooring. The living and family rooms both have brick fireplaces with oversized hearths and are the ideal rooms for relaxing and spending time with friends and family. The floor plan is very livable and includes a den with beautiful built-ins, a formal dining room, a spacious master bedroom and two other large bedrooms. The property is amazing and can be kept green year round with 2.5 inches of NID water. It is set up for horses with a front pasture, riding arena and 4 stall barn with tack room and wash rack. The handy man will be pleased with the 24” x 30” shop which is a great set up for wood-working. A 1200 sf guest home sits on the back of the property and has its’ own driveway and utilities. It is exceptionally upgraded with white kitchen, butcher block countertops, hardwood floors, wood burning stove, large deck, 2 car attached garage and much more. A property like this doesn’t come on the market very often. This is an amazing opportunity upgrade to your forever home.

 

Act now; call 916 408-2222 for more information and to request a private showing of this incredible country estate!

Click Here for video and additional pictures

66 Pond

 

Coming Soon! 1673 Calabasa Drive

1673 Calabasa Drive
1673 Calabasa Drive

1673 Calabasa entry

Coming Soon and won’t last long! This home is as neat as a pin and is a great floor plan with no wasted space. This home has been extremely well-maintained as has new carpet and paint, newer A/C condensor and appliances. Just under 1500 sf, 3 bed/2bath, NO HOA and very low Mello Roos. This is truly a move-in ready home for only $365,000. Call or message me for a private showing. 916 408-2222

Open Saturday 11-2, Best price per square foot in Lincoln!

Okay, someone is going to get a great deal! I haven’t seen a price this low on a home like this in a long time. Whether you are looking for a larger home for yourself or know someone that wants to move into the area, come take a look at this beautiful home. Solar, No Mello Roos and space to spread out!

Beautiful home in Foskett Ranch
Beautiful home in Foskett Ranch

Big & Beautiful! This spacious 5 bed/4 bath home boasts an excellent, open plan & has room to spread out. Quality-built Standard Pacific home with all the right upgrades! Granite counters, gorgeous cabinets, premium plush carpet, surround sound & so much more. You’ll love the generous master suite w/huge walk-in closet, split vanities, oiled bronze fixtures & custom mirrors. The solar allows you to stay cool this summer without worrying about astronomical bills. NEW PRICE and closing cost credits for the buyer! Don’t delay, take a look today.

See additional pictures, property description and video: HERE

Do You Have What it Takes to “Fix and Flip”?

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In the last few years, there have been many television programs that are about investors buying residential properties, rehabbing them and then selling them for a profit. The popularity of these shows has given many people the idea that they can easily buy, rehab and sell and make a quick dollar. While many people are successful, the reality is that it isn’t quite as easy as what we have seen on TV. There are many things that a “flipper” needs to think about before getting into the game. One must not only understand the process of taking a distressed property to its’ former glory, but also understand the local real estate market trends. I have found that the successful individuals or groups have a knack for knowing the construction side as well as the real estate side of these projects.

Starting with understanding the market for your potential flip property is important. For someone that is just a beginner in this kind of project, they need to know the potential value of a property and how much they will have to budget to get it to a point where they will make a good margin. Just because the property price looks appealing doesn’t always mean it is a good flip candidate. Here are some things that need to be considered when purchasing a property for flipping:

-Location. The old adage, “Location, Location, Location” holds true with flip properties. Although you may not be able to find that “diamond in the rough” next to a country club, you still need to be aware of the surroundings. Are the surrounding homes in good repair? Is the property next to a railroad, airport or busy street? Are there other issues that may affect value due to the location? If so, you may think twice about buying. It could affect your eventual sales price and also how long you have to hold the property.

-Market trends. Are the homes in the area going up in value? Is your area more seasonal for real estate sales? Remember, the data that you may look at for “comps” is historical data usually 1-6 months old and may not be a reflection of what is really happening in the current market. Make sure you analyze the data and try to get a good feeling of where the current market for your property is going. If you see listings selling quickly and multiple offers happening, then you will probably be in a good situation depending on how long your rehab takes. Most flippers will put a sign in the property right after they start the project and will create an interest list. If you are in a seasonal area, remember that the market will slow at certain times of year and the weather may be a factor in completing your job. Take it into consideration when buying a property in the late fall.

-Property features. Some features are great selling points and others aren’t. Some features you can easily change and some features can’t be changed. Some interior walls might be able to be moved to make a better floor plan but yard size can’t be changed. Also, some changes can be very expensive and time consuming and can cut into your margin.

Understanding the construction process is extremely important as well. Estimating costs, budgeting and knowing the order in which to complete the project are aspects of the construction side that could make or break your project. Here are some things to consider:

-Inspections. Have a thorough inspection prior to closing the deal. Remember that many inspections are non-intrusive and that there may be some hidden issues. A good home inspection should see indicators of hidden issues.

-Task list. Put together a list of things that absolutely need to be done and a second list of items that can add value but don’t necessarily need to be done. Examples of things that add value and are relatively cheap are things like crown molding and wainscoting.

-Estimate costs and put together a budget. This should be done prior to closing the deal as well. You need to figure your costs so you can determine possible margin and if it is worth taking on the project. I also recommend that buyer (especially inexperienced flippers) add about 15% to their estimate and put it in the budget for unforeseen issues. Also, many buyers forget to include possible permits, taxes and their holding costs in their budget. Always overestimate costs and be very conservative on possible sales price.

-Order of work. There is an order that should be followed to make the project go smooth and have the property look ready to sell when the last touch up is done. There is not necessarily a right or wrong way, but here is a suggestion of how it should be done (after initial inspections and task list is created):

-permits

-rough outside landscaping (grass doesn’t get green in a few days unless it is sod)

-trash out and any demolition

-fix roofing and foundation issues

-exterior doors and windows

-fix/upgrade plumbing and HVAC issues

-repair/replace sheetrock, tape and texture

-paint

-replace fixtures, appliances and flooring

-finishing interior touches

-finishing exterior touches

-finishing landscape touches

 

Taking on, and successfully selling a flip property can be very rewarding but is a lot of work. Make sure you understand what you are getting into before jumping in. Surround yourself with good people you can work or consult with, including good contractors and real estate professionals. Who knows, maybe you’ll have the next “fix and flip” TV show.

Give me a call if you have more questions or need advice about real estate investments. Garth Evans, 916 408-2222

Before and after picture from daytonhomeimprovement.com

Location, Location, Location!

With all the new innovations out there, there are so many ways to market your home. Whether it’s the more classic route or online, I try and get the best of both worlds. When it comes to getting your home out there, I’m always looking for the best avenues for maximum exposure as well as targeted marketing. With this in mind, I decided to try something new for some of my listings.
The area around these homes is really something that makes them special, so I jumped at the chance to have some drone videography taken. I thought that this would be a perfect way to not only highlight the home itself, but also the beautiful surrounding areas. For the home at 5181 Monteverde Drive, the rolling hills, scenic walking trails and praised Catta Verdera golf course, not to mention the breathtaking sunsets are major reasons why this is such a gorgeous and desirable area to live. At 2200 South Lakewood Drive, the peaceful and serene setting, nestled among the pine and oak trees makes for the perfect hideaway near the lake in Meadow Vista.

 

 

For details on this home, CLICK HERE

For pictures and additional information, CLICK HERE

Call today for a private showing of either of these great listings!