Can’t Find the Right House to Buy in Dallas? Build One!
The Dallas Real Estate Market has changed dramatically over the past 6 months. While Dallas was never impacted as badly as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Miami, the market certainly was down and prices fell, too. Since the middle of 2012, however, the inventory of existing homes for sale in Dallas has dried up. This has resulted in prices jumping as much as 10-20% in that time period.
The result is that many who want to move into a larger home or need to move closer to their job or just want to move for any reason withing the Dallas area, are finding very few quality properties for sale. For some the answer to that is to build their dream home. There are several ways to do that.
Find a Lot for Your Dallas Dream Home
Many are scouring choice neighborhoods for vacant lots that might be available for sale. This can be a time consuming approach, but can also pay off big time. There are many owners of vacant lots who don’t pay much attention to their property. They may just see it as a long term investment, may have bought it once-upon-a-time for some purpose that no longer makes sense, or have been waiting for a change in the market. Once you find a possible lot, you can check with County Records and see if you can find a way to contact the owner.
Find a Tear Down and Do a Remodel or Complete Rebuild
While you are looking for that vacant lot, also look for really badly maintained homes. You can also look for homes that are much smaller than the neighboring properties. Even if these are not currently on any listings, the owners might not realize what the current value of the house could be. Knock on the door and ask to speak to the owner. If it turns out to be a rental, ask the name of the landlord.
Now the question becomes just like any negotiation. Is there any price they would take for the house? Let them go first. If they say they have absolutely no interest in moving, you can still come back with the old ploy where you say: “Would you take $1,000,000?” If they look at you crazy and say, “Of course!” you can work down from there until you get to the highest number you’d be willing to pay. If they are still in the conversation, go to your real offer.
Every real estate agent that you employ to look for property is going to want an exclusive. This demand is in their DNA, and they have a million excuses why this will be better for you. Give them a time limit on the exclusive, and even then, do your own searching. Some homes never make it to the listings before they are sold. Some are FSBO, for sale by owner, so the agent doesn’t know about them.
If your agent doesn’t deliver by the agreed upon date, hire as many agents as you like. No more exclusives. My rule of thumb is three agents. You will be shocked to see each agent sending you different lists.
Bought a Great Lot or Tear Down? – Time to Build
We have recently posted details of how to check out your contractor. Check out that post here. So I won’t go into those details again. However, even a great contractor can have a terrible result if the client is off the track. This problem seems more widespread on dream home builds than anything else.
In one case, a friend was building a 5000 square foot home, but didn’t include maid quarters. In another case the dream home was open architecture. But it was so open that the acoustics were non existent. You could hear every voice in the house bouncing from room to room.
Listen to your contractor. If you have followed the advice in the other post, you will have chosen someone with years of experience. You will likely also use an architect. Listen to both. You will save yourself some potential expensive reworks or just living with your dumb mistake.
A Related Article You May Want to Read – Cool, Affordable, High Tech Features You Can Add to Your Dream Home or Remodel Project