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New Construction buying advice

Looking for ideas on things to ask for on an offer for a newly constructed, just being finished house.  Builder has several he's just finishing in the area, and behind schedule on many.  For instance, would this seem outlandist to offer:   Asking price is 167,000.  I would be willing to offer 158,000, with builder paying 3500 in closing costs, upgrading appliances to stainless, changing master bathroom vanity too a double sink, and simply providing materials (Drywall, carpet and padding, drop ceiling materials, doors, and hardware, but NO LABOR to finish basement.  Basically he would drop material at the location, but not have to put it all together, we could do that on our own.  
I think that is a bit of shooting for the moon, but it's a way they can keep selling prices up in the neighborhood they are building, and upgrades and materials are MUCH cheaper for them to purchase then us.  Does anyone think this is to crazy to ask for on a new construction in a hard hit economic area of Indiana?
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July 13 2009 - US
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Answers (6)

I'm also doubting he will buy and deliver cheaper than you could find on your own. Try a builders surplus or similar type place you might be surprised on their prices. Some contractors do get deals for small percent off at major retailers but the discounts at the type of stores I'm thinking of are to be had by all. You did not mention if the development has lots of unsold inventory which could be a major factor in your negotiating. Best of luck to you. 
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July 13 2009
Why would you ask a builder to purchase the items that you are wanting to install...builders charge a 100% markup on the products plus cost of labor!
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July 13 2009
While it may or may not be unreasonable to ask, you will know only if you ask. The number you would actually be willing topay and the number he would actually accept might be different, but until you open the conversation, neither of you ill know.

You may have financing issues trying to buy an unfinished house, so check into this first.
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July 13 2009
If he is not getting many offers and does not have the means to carry the homes for a period of time he may look at your offer...he will counter for sure though.

Also believe it or not you can buy all the stuff at home depot for the same or less as what contractor pricing is so not much of an angle there.

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July 13 2009
Is there any downside to asking?  If the builder responds by getting made and refusing to sell you the house, you are probably better off far, far away.  Be prepared to negotiate and go for it.  The advice about getting a home inspection is excellent.
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July 13 2009
You might consider having a home inspection performed prior to making your offer to purchase. Some standard builder's contracts are written with terms that are favorable to the builder and not to the buyer. Get a good inspector with knowledge of local codes and best construction practices and have it checked out before you put your name and your money on the line.
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July 13 2009
 
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