New Construction Houses For Sale In Tallahassee, FL
After hearing about a curious incident that occurred yesterday, I'm suddenly interested in knowing which of the new construction houses in Tallahassee, FL are really "new."
This all started when one of my agents spoke with a listing agent who referred to her 2 year old home listing in a neighborhood that still has new homes being built as "new construction." She's even priced it close to new construction values.
So first of all, is it really proper to market a 2 year old home as "new construction?"
Short answer: It depends.
Tallahassee New Construction For Sale
How We Define New Construction Houses
The crash of the housing market created a lot of new circumstances in the Tallahassee real estate market. Some of the new homes that were built at the end of the housing market surge in 2006 and 2007 did not sell until as late os 2013. So at what point do new construction houses turn in to an existing home sale.
You could argue that the first time the property changed ownership was the "new home sale" while all transfers thereafter would be deemed an "existing home sale."
But what about situations where banks foreclosed on new builder homes and then sold them to a new buyer. The bank owned the house (first transfer), but it's not like they moved in.
Another situation muddies the water too.
What about homes that builders immediately upon completion leased-out to buyers (so as to not lose them in foreclosure). Years later, they sold the homes when the housing market had sufficiently recovered.
This new sale was the first transfer (from the builder to a buyer), but a family had lived there for several years first. Is this really new construction for sale?
The real answer (as far as I am concerned) can be seen in a parallel industry. When is a new car "new?"
The answer is before somebody puts significant miles on it. If the dealer drives it around for a few weeks, it's no longer "new," it's a dealers car. If you buy a car from somebody other than the authorized new car dealer, it is very likely a used car, right?
The same is true for new construction houses in Tallahassee, FL.
If somebody has lived there, it is used. Period.
Only the first people to occupy a home can be the new home buyers. If a builder uses a house as a model for a few years (months), it's like a dealer car in the automobile industry. It is used! It might be "like new," but it is not "new."
Discrepancies With New Construction Houses In Tallahassee, FL
So back to the incident that inspired this blog post.
A listing agent is marketing a USED home, a home that has been lived in by another family for two years. They treated the house well, but it has OBVIOUS signs of use. Nicks, scratches, small stains, wear and tear ... all the things you don't have to put up with if you are buying a newly built home in Tallahassee.
This listing agent is misleading both potential buyers as well as the current owners. Do they really believe they are going to get a new home price with a used home product? Would you buy a new car, drive it around for two years, then expect to somebody to pay you as if the car was the new, current year model? Of course not, but somehow this agent and this homeowner believe they are going to do so.
So I wondered, is this a common practice by other listing agents in the Tallahassee MLS?
So what follows is two-fold. The first is a list of new construction listings in Tallahassee, and it's followed by a graph that shows the age of these new homes. Some are obviously mislabeled, others would require a deeper investigation.
Tallahassee New Homes For Sale
First of all, let's summarize what the MLS reports as available for new construction houses in Tallahassee, FL
So to be clear, the listing agents in the Tallahassee MLS are showing 172 new construction houses for sale in Tallahassee, FL ranging from $192K for townhouses to an average of $346K for single family detached homes.
With them all being advertised as "new," and today's date being the fourth of March in 2016, what do you think is a likely "year-built" entry for any of these homes. For example, homes that show a year-built of 2016 are very likely new, right? Quite a few 2015 entries too. But 2014? Hmmm, been vacant for two years? Perhaps.
But 2006? I don't think so. Here's what the MLS reports:
Apparently, one of every twelve new construction houses in Tallahassee, FL listed for sale in the MLS was built prior to 2015. I find this highly suspect. Perhaps some of our remodelers and flippers think they have a new construction project after they renovate a home (or condo).
Home Buying For Smart People
A process designed to save you money when buying a home
Something tells us you’re just … well … smarter than most people looking to buy a home.
You’re not naive, you are looking for a house to call home, and you want to make sure that you love the home you buy, but also get a great value.
In other words, you don’t have to be an Einstein to “get” the home buying process. But you do have to be prepared.
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This is just one example of how a buyer in today's market needs guidance from an honest, experienced real estate agent. Not everything is what it seems, make sure you hire a real estate buyer's agent to help you navigate the market, whether you are buying an existing home or one of Tallahassee's new homes.