Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Builder Offers Useful Insider Tips to Homebuyers Seeking Value in Current Housing Market

Builder Mark Smith knows the residential building marketplace inside and out. As owner of Conyers-based Classic Smith Neighborhoods Inc., a longtime builder of mid-level to high-end custom homes, Smith's many years of experience in working with buyers gives him the edge to deliver homes that are appealing, affordable and built to last.

"Everyone's hearing that this is a buyer's market and while that's true, buyers need to know the inside scoop on working with builders to get the kind of home they want," said Smith, who is currently building in several upscale communities in East Metro Atlanta, including Avignon and Underwood Crossing. "Builders and homebuyers form a team with the same objectives, no matter what the market, and by working together, much can be accomplished to the satisfaction of everyone."

Smith urges buyers to look carefully and critically at neighborhoods with homes they're considering for purchase, working from a list of 'must-haves' to find the best match.

"Think about location, quality of neighborhood, current design, comparable value, lot size and home features that are important to you and your family," he said. "Buying a home is perhaps the largest investment you'll make in your lifetime and you should give it thoughtful consideration. If you must have an open floor plan or a master suite with a separate sitting area, don't settle for anything less."

Smith says his company works hard to give homeowners the look they want, from the exterior to the interior by building them the home of their dreams.

"We begin with elaborately detailed entrances to our neighborhoods and take that detail to the home inside and out," he said. "New homebuyers should be impressed by their neighborhood's entrance and feel good about their home being a part of a masterfully planned neighborhood. Our homebuyers wanting to build have the opportunity to work one-on-one with our decorator to make the many choices that go into building your own home. It is an exciting time for most homebuyers, and we like to help make it a great experience by making it easy for them."

Because there are many new homes on the market, it could be even more confusing for today's buyers. Values have come down somewhat, but quality builders continue to construct homes with upscale features, such as granite countertops, generous trim packages and distinctive interior architectural features, niches and columns while maintaining their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

"In the current market, homebuyers will find that homes may be selling for less than they were valued one year ago, but the quality of our homes remains top notch," he said. "Today, even more special features are being added to our homes to attract the buyers. We pride ourselves on our Mark of Excellence in every home, and that will never change. We are offering brand new neighborhoods with all of the homes being investments that will offer faster future value.

"Don't let a bargain price sway you on a purchase," he said. "Make it a priority to locate a good neighborhood first, because your investment is in the neighborhood with the home of your dreams. And meet personally with the builder to discuss your choices, whether it's a completed inventory home or one that's in process. Even if the home is already complete, the builder can most likely work with you to customize it further by finishing a basement, installing additional built-ins or upgrading lighting and fixtures."

Many builders and developers are offering incentives for buyers, especially on inventory homes. Classic Smith Neighborhoods' inventory homes are built to sell, custom designed with all of the features today's homebuyers are looking for. This makes it easy for a customer to come in with a list of wants, but without a lot of time to build.

"Our incentives make it easier for the purchaser to get the deal of a lifetime on their dream home. This is an excellent way to find a good value," Smith said. "But don't overlook homes that are in various stages of completion, because you have more opportunities to make it your own by selecting carpet, hardwood floors, countertops, tile, paint colors, lighting fixtures and other extras. If you're not in a hurry to move in - say, you can wait eight to 10 weeks -- you have plenty of time to work with your builder to make your own selections. Most builders would be happy to work one-on-one with buyers to help them create and attain their dream home.

Mark Smith has been building homes in Conyers for nearly 25 years. Coldwell Banker American Land Mart in Conyers is the marketing team for Classic Smith Neighborhoods Inc. For information, call 770-483-2323 or visit the company's website at www.AmericanLandMart.com.
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