Facing Limited Inventory, More Buyers Turn to New Construction

Market conditions in Dane County make new construction an attractive option.

Building a new home is a lifelong dream for most people, and current real estate market conditions in Dane County have made it a great time to take that step.

February ended with 20% fewer active listings in Dane County than in the previous year. That means buyers face fewer options and higher prices for pre-owned homes, the South Central Wisconsin MLS reports

That situation has made new construction an attractive, economical option for buyers who are unable to find a pre-home that meets all of their needs. Josh Lavik, a realtor with Keller Williams and the principal at Josh Lavik & Associates, recently saw that play out with one of his clients.

“For nearly the same price as a pre-owned home, my client was able to make his own selections and build new,” Josh Lavik said.

That trend has played out across the country, too. The rate of new home starts was 18.7% higher in January than in the previous year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports

Still, even when market conditions make new construction a great option, many think the process is too complex or intimidating for them. Amy Kirner, a new home specialist at Veridan Homes, works to dispel that myth.

“Buying a new home has always been an option, but the stereotypical myth is that building or buying a new home is difficult, or loans are hard to acquire, or they cost more, or you don’t close on time,” Amy Kirner said. “But many are finding that this can truly be a great alternative, and many of these problems can be minimal or even non-existent with a little homework and finding the right builder. I have worked for Veridian Homes for over 11 years, and with over 60 years of experience building new homes, Veridian Homes has simplified the home buying/building process to turn those myths into a pleasant buying experience.”

Conventional financing, firm closing dates, and an array of options can make the purchase of a new home easy and more affordable than a pre-owned home, Amy Kirner added.

Mike Fujihira, a senior sales consultant with William Ryan Homes, said it’s important to consider different builders, and to understand allowances in a contract for upgrades like appliances, flooring, countertops and light fixtures.

“One thing with William Ryan Homes is that we're a 100% turn-key builder, and one thing that comes with that is that there are no allowances in your home,” Mike Fujihira said. “There are included features and materials, and then options to upgrade past that. We're able to get you through our design studio prior to the start of construction so you're able to determine your exact purchase price beforehand, and then there are no surprises of increased costs during construction.”

A trusted realtor can help determine how upgrades and added features will affect the saleability of a home in the future, too.

“Many times I'm able to make recommendations that will help down the road when they eventually resell the home,” Josh Lavik said. “I have seen many times people ‘build whatever they want’ in a custom home and don't really care about resale. Then they are shocked when they discover that the current market may not value the same things that they did when it was first built.”

Another major consideration is selling your current home on time. Again, a trusted realtor will help ensure a seamless process.

“I have two clients right now under contract that were worried about if their current home would sell so that they could buy their new (larger) home,” Josh Lavik said. “In both scenarios we were able to find a suitable buyer for their current home within 30 days on the market.”

The homebuilding process can take up to a year to complete. If new construction is in your plans, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234 to learn how our client appreciation programs can simplify the process

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