Home Builder Promotions: The Truth About the Fine Print

February 11, 2021

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The price of a home is usually one of the main concerns when it comes to buying. Naturally, those who are looking for a good deal on a brand-new home are going to be seeking out the best deals.

You’ll quickly find that builders offer a variety of promotions as a way of enticing people to buy homes from them. However, those promotions aren’t always necessarily the best deal you can get, so it’s still important to shop around. 

Let’s examine some of the things you should be looking for when you consider a builder’s promotion.

Is Free Really Free?

Some builders may offer special packages such as “free” upgrades valued up to thousands of dollars. In reality, these are sometimes added into the overall cost of the home, so you’re still paying for the upgrades: you just don’t think you are. Other builders may simply state that they include that item in the build of the home.

For instance, let’s say Builder 1 includes all appliances in their base price and Builder 2 doesn’t include appliances, but they offer a promotion that includes appliances. In both cases, you’re getting a home that includes appliances, so you can simply compare the two prices of the home. You may be surprised by what you find. 

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Are There Limitations?

Before you go all-in on a particular promotion, make sure you read the fine print to make sure you’re eligible. You don’t want to  sign up for a great deal upfront only to find out you don’t meet the requirements until it’s too late.

Quite often, to get a certain deal from a builder, you have to commit to a 30-day closing or use their preferred lender. If you don’t, you no longer qualify for the promotion. These “catches” may not bother you, but it’s important to know about them ahead of time so you know that you qualify before you commit. 

Are You Comparing Apples to Apples?

We’ve already mentioned one builder’s standard features can be another builder’s upgrades. The only way that you’re able to get a sense about what’s the best deal for you is to get quotes on the same house from different builders (or as close to the same house as is possible).

This means you need to have a strong sense of what you’re looking for in a home, including all of the little details such as flooring material and special features. Then you can take those needs to different builders for quotes. Assuming comparable quality, the lower price is the better deal.

Another way – and perhaps a better one – is not by comparing promotions but by looking at price per square foot. Price per square feet gives you a sense of whether or not a particular home is a good deal. The key to this, though, is you need to be looking at homes of comparable quality.

For instance, if a home has a higher-than-average price per square foot for homes of a similar size, you should look into why. It probably has one or more additional features, such as a spice kitchen or an intricate stone patio surrounding the pool. If the home has a lower-than-average price per square foot, it could be a sign there’s something wrong and the seller is looking to get rid of it quickly.

Sterling Homes has the best price per square foot in all size bands and we’re always focused on providing our customers with value. We want you to move into a home that has equity to spare so you’ll always be able to get more out of your home when it’s time to sell. Schedule an appointment to see how we can help you today.

Home Builder Promotions: The Truth About the Fine Print Kitchen Image

Is The Quality There?

Another thing to consider is the quality of the upgrade you’re receiving. When you’re getting things for free, you want to be sure they’re not skimping on the quality. For example: as opposed to 3/4 inch thick quartz, you may only get half an inch or less – reducing the overall value of the upgrade – and the value of your home.

Does The Builder Allow Negotiations?

When you’re buying a resale home, there’s often some wiggle room with the pricing. You may be able to offer the seller something less than the asking price, and they might accept your offer if it’s fair. Any builder that allows negotiations is setting higher prices to start with. They know that you’re going to offer them a lower price, so they start high with the idea that they’ll get the price they really want while letting you feel like you’re getting a better deal on the home.

That’s why at Sterling, we don’t negotiate on price. We have worked hard to provide great quality at the best possible price we can. We’re able to keep our costs down through streamlined building processes and smart negotiations with our suppliers, not our customers. If price is a concern, we can work with you to find options that fit your budget.

Our knowledgeable show home staff can help you with understanding builder promotions. They can also tell you what our current promotions are. If you’re ready to get out to visit some show homes, we’ve made it easy for you! We’ve created a simple, print-friendly show home map that you can print off and take with you in your car. 

If you’re ready to start looking at home builders, click the button below and get your checklist to help you compare different builders and find the best one for you!

Originally published August 29, 2019, updated Feb 11, 2021

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