Buyers want new homes but sometimes a new home just isn’t affordable. Learn how you can purchase a like-new home and even get it customized to your liking. Phoebe Chongchua has the story of a San Diego buyer who did just that.
Buying A “Like-New” Home Possible
Expert reveals key strategy to purchase a customized home at an affordable price
Buying a first home can be an overwhelmingly mysterious project, especially in such financially unpredictable times. The housing crisis has left scars on even those who weren’t directly affected.
Yet the housing catastrophe didn’t squash the American dream of homeownership for all. First-time buyers are searching for their dream homes before interest rates climb higher. However, despite the fact that most want a brand new home, first-time homebuyers discover it’s just not in their budget.
But an emerging strategy of finding buyers to purchase investor-owned homes that are currently under renovation is making buying “like-new” homes affordable and possible, even for first-time buyers.
“I was very nervous. I’m not going to lie. I was hesitant,” says first-time homebuyer, James Almonte. Read more.
Almonte is in the military and had been looking for a home in the Chula Vista area but couldn’t find anything he loved at a price he could afford.
“I was very green. I’m still kind of green with real estate. I didn’t realize about all those fees–HOA, Mello-Roos–that can add up to a monthly mortgage,” says Almonte.
He nearly gave up on the American dream of homeownership. “I actually stopped looking for a little while. I honestly felt defeated because it just wasn’t panning out with that price cap that I had in that neighborhood.”
His Realtor, Meredith Reyes, showed Almonte a Paradise Valley home right after an investor purchased it. Because Almonte agreed to buy the house while it was still being renovated, the investor, Mike Lombrozo, agreed to customize several areas to Almonte’s liking.
“In some cases you’ll be able to pick some or all of the upgrades that you may want in that home because you agreed to buy the home in its early phase of renovation and the investor is looking for a specific buyer like you in that area,” says Realtor Meredith Reyes.
“It’s like a brand new home. The size of the home is a little over 1,500 square feet. It’s four bedroom, two bath, and has a two car garage,” says Almonte.
Finding investor-owned properties that are currently being renovated can be like searching for a needle in a hay stack. Industry experts can help.
“It starts by having a good relationship with your real estate agent. Having someone with experience and a strong network can automatically set you up to find homes that investors own and are remodeling to sell,” says Mike Lombrozo
He adds that if the buyer commits to purchasing the home in the early phase of renovation, some investors will give consideration to the buyer’s particular choices for amenities.
While not all investor-buyer purchases have this type of outcome, Lombroz says first-time buyers should not be afraid of the market; they should understand the importance though of compromising.
Reyes says the top key points to finding the home you want in today’s market are education, good expert resources who have built extensive networks, receiving pre-qualification for a mortgage, and a savings for a sizable downpayment.
About Meredith Reyes
Meredith has found her niche as a licensed California Realtor, a field in which she has never stopped growing. Her certifications with the California Board of Realtors currently include Accredited Buyer’s Representative; Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource; and Specialist in Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives. While focusing mainly on properties in her current hometown of Chula Vista, Meredith often assists clients with real estate transactions in the San Diego area.
See how Meredith Reyes uses this video on her Website.