Although home builders generally wait until the fall to offer bargains as they seek to unload inventory, buyers entering the market this spring likely will be greeted with price discounts and other incentives as builders take steps to shore up sales. New-home sales skidded 75 percent from a 2005 high to 322,000 last year, and experts say it is up to builders to boost transactions in the absence of a temporary tax credit that drove up activity last spring. The incentives being dangled by builders include appliance, cabinet, and flooring upgrades as well as money to reduce mortgage payments, which is favored over price discounts that eat into builders’ profit margins and reduce property appraisals. Shea Homes, for instance, is offering larger backyards for free and making energy-saving features standard in its homes. | Read More