Is Buying an Inventory Home a Good Idea?

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Dec 5, 2019

When it comes to different types of houses, most people have heard of popular styles like bungalows, carriage houses, and colonials.

However, if you’re in the market to buy a new house, it’s important that you consider another option that’s becoming especially popular in recent years.

In fact, many people can’t believe they had never even heard of inventory homes until right before they became the proud owners of one.

3 Benefits of Buying an Inventory Home

Inventory homes are in high demand all across the country. Sometimes referred to as “spec homes” or “move-in ready homes”, they’ve become popular for countless reasons, but these are their three biggest advantages.

1. End-of-Year Deals Mean BIG Discounts

It goes without saying that brand-new homes usually cost more than those that have had previous owners.

Of course, building a house is even more expensive.

So, most buyers just have to make the most of their local real estate market’s current selection of preowned homes. They might even have to wait a year or two until some more attractive houses become available or they’re able to save enough to build the one they really want.

It’s in these situations that buying an inventory home could be a great idea provided you do so at the end of the year.

This is when builders are trying to offload them. Perhaps the home was a custom build for a client who was later unable to afford it. Maybe it was a show home and the builder is ready to begin construction on a new design.

Whatever the case, builders are looking to free up money – not necessarily turn a huge profit – which means you could enjoy a massive discount on a house, even one that would have otherwise been out of your price range.

2. The Home Is Brand New

Buying a new construction comes with many benefits, not the least of which is that all of the appliances and fixtures will most likely be brand new. You don’t have to settle for old technology or worry about paying to replace these features any time soon.

While you probably aren’t thinking of selling in the near future, new houses always attract a greater price when compared to otherwise similar homes that are older.

Even better, if you’re able to lock in a big discount because you found your inventory home at the end of the year, you could stand to make significantly more when you decide to sell.

3. You Can Move in Right Away

Finally, another reason that inventory homes are so popular is because they’re move-in ready. There’s no waiting for the current owners to leave, much less offer them a bit more as an incentive to get going.

No one is living there, so once the sale is final, you can basically walk in the front door and start unpacking.

This is always nice, but it’s extremely attractive to buyers who are moving to a new town to start a job or into a new school district and have to formalize their address before their children can attend school. If you can’t wait weeks or even months to move, an inventory home could be a good idea.

3 Reasons to Rethink Buying an Inventory Home

If inventory homes are so great, why don’t more people consider them?

Well, it’s because there are some potential drawbacks, as well.

1. You Can't Design Your "Dream Home"

The obvious one is that the house is already built. If you always wanted a home with an indoor pool, a library, or some other “dream” feature, you’ll have to pay for it yourself.

As we mentioned earlier, most developers just want to sell these homes. The last thing they want to do is put more money into them. So, an inventory home is basically an “as-is property.” You can either take it in its current state or keep looking.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find an inventory home that checks enough of your boxes that you will still be happy living in it, but don’t expect that any contingencies will be considered.

2. The Location May Not Be So Desirable

When it comes to real estate, everyone knows it’s all about, “location, location, location.”

However, as we mentioned above, inventory homes are already built, so unfortunately you won't be able to do much about the home's location or the layout of the neighborhood.

In most neighborhoods, the model home is located at the very front of the neighborhood. Typically, the first home when you turn in. Some people don't mind this, but others have safety concerns about being in the very front. Some model homes are also right next to a neighborhood club house which could lead to lots of noise and traffic during the weekends.

Compared to older homes, a bunch of the new neighborhoods popping up with inventory homes have built them pretty close to each other to maximize the lots in a neighborhood. Therefore, you may be settling for a home that gives you a direct view into your neighbors backyard or allows them to see into your living room. All of these things are considerations to take into account when touring.

3. The House May Have Been a Show House

As we touched on earlier, inventory homes are often spec homes, which means builders use them to show potential buyers what their future houses could look like. Therefore, if you buy it, chances are that dozens, maybe even hundreds of people have been inside and walked around.

For most people, that’s hardly a concern.

For other, it’s a deal-breaker.

Many people simply don’t like the thought of countless strangers having walked through their house, touching the countertops and fixtures, using the plumbing, etc. They want a brand-new home. They want to feel like it’s theirs and that they were the first and only people to have spent any real amount of time inside of it.

Are You Thinking About Buying an Inventory Home?

Buying an inventory home isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely growing in popularity as more and more people believe the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.

If you’re considering all they have to offer, the best time to buy one is the end of the year when builders are desperate to get rid of inventory.

If you're looking to find an inventory home, you can also save even more when you buy with a SimpleShowing Agent because you'll get up to a $15,000 refund when you close on your new home.

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