Yea, in a nutshell you just paid sticker on a car. The 3% is great, however its something they all plan on doing anyways. When we set down to sign the contract, I negotiated blinds, a fridge, a washer and dryer, a garage door opener, and an additional 5,000 off purchase price. We had a leg up since we were buying a spec home in a development in final close out. But there is always wiggle room, some builders are willing to do more.
Yeah, you can negotiate. How much will vary wildly by builder and area though. We got an incentive of $7,500, and negotiated another $7,000. I'm not thrilled with it, since the same builder regularly offers $20,000+ incentives in another area. Then again, in yet a different area, this builder usually doesn't offer or negotiate ANY incentives at all.
This all really depends on the area and how fast the community is selling. The area we bought in, they are only building 3 condo buildings and they were getting snapped up way faster than their townhomes. I tried to negotiate a discount but they were selling so fast there was really no reason for the builder to offer us anything. We bought at 209k, the price on the last few units and third and final building now start at 225k. We are also a suburb of DC so our market downtown isnt as bas as some other parts of the country.
I'm thinking new construction, as well. However, in NJ these placing are going really fast, so not sure what negotiating power I will have when the time comes.