The Pros and Cons of Buying a New Construction Home (PART ONE)
Happy New Year from Team Marti!
We hope you had a great holiday season. With the start of a new year we thought this would be the perfect time to talk about all things new … new construction homes, that is!
This is the first of several posts where we’ll share our expertise about new construction. It’s a topic we get lots and lots of questions on. Over the next several posts we’ll share the pros and cons of new homes, and let you know how we can help you make the most of your opportunities if a “new” new home is in your future.
Let’s get started!
When it comes to buying a house, there are several options:
- Buying a “resale” home; a home that’s been lived in previously.
- Buying a new construction home; a home that’s built (or is under construction) but has never been lived in.
- Buying land and building a custom home.
In the greater Seattle area, land is at a premium. Unlike many parts of the country, we simply don’t have a lot of available land on which potential buyers can build custom homes. And what land is available is often snatched up by builders and developers.
So, we’re going to focus this post on the pros and cons of new construction versus resale homes and set aside the issue of building a fully custom home for now.
IS THE IDEA OF “NEW” APPEALING TO YOU?
For many of us, “new” = good. If you like that “new car smell” you’re likely going to want that “new home smell” when you’re house hunting.
A survey by Trulia showed that 2 in 5 Americans (or 41% of the population!) prefers a new home over a resale. Clearly, “new” appeals to a lot of people. And there’s a variety of reasons for this.
Below are some of the reasons our clients have shared about why they love the idea of purchasing a brand-new home.
You can often select among several floor plans and lots to find one that best meets your needs. If the builder has a large plat of homes, there are often a variety of plans, options, and amenities to choose from.
- You can often select among several floor plans and lots to find one that best meets your needs. If the builder has a large plat of homes, there are often a variety of plans, options, and amenities to choose from.
- Some minor customization may be available. Depending on the builder and how far along the home is, you may be able to select some amenities such as paint and carpet colors, tile, and countertops.
- Most builders offer home warranties to cover defects in the home during the early part of your ownership.
- Comfort and cost savings. Building standards in many parts of the country are quite stringent. This means that a newer home may be far more energy efficient – and more comfortable as a result – than a resale.
- Often, the latest technology is built right in to new homes! Speaker systems, alarms, internet wiring, and USB outlets may already in place – no need to drill holes and rewire the entire home. In some cases, the entire home is built “smart”!
- There’s been a significant movement in the building industry to use consumer-friendly products. That might include furnaces that use environmentally friendly coolants, or paints and carpets with low VOC (volatile organic compounds).
- Today’s lifestyles. New homes feature the amenities and floor plans that are popular today – open concept floor plans where gathering and entertaining is easy, large closets, and master bathrooms that feel like hotel spas.
- Fewer repairs. New or old, homes require maintenance to keep them in optimal condition. However, new construction homes should require fewer repairs, since everything is new (and often under warranty for a period of time).
- Neighborhood amenities. Today’s builders are often forced to build away from urban centers, given the high cost of development close in. That means they often include community amenities such as community centers, pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, parks, and hiking trails within the community. Many developers are also including some retail within planned communities, for the ultimate in convenient living.
- More square footage for your money. In-city resale homes are almost always smaller, dollar for dollar, than a new home in the suburbs. If you like a little more elbow room, or have a growing family, you’ll find more room to grow in a new home.
- Turn-key possession. There’s something to be said for moving into a home without a huge list of “to-dos”. New construction homes typically allow you to move in, settle in, and start enjoying your home rather than running to the home improvement store with your project list.
- Landscaping you love. Most new construction homes with little in the way of landscaping. That provides an opportunity for you to create the yard of your dreams.
- Co-creating community. When you move into a resale home in an established neighborhood, you may feel like an outsider. When families move into a new home subdivision at the same time nobody is the “new kid” and lasting friendships are often formed.
There are clearly a lot of reasons to consider a new home. And our review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t touch on the potential downside of buying new.
Watch for that in our next blog post!
In the meantime, please reach out with your questions about homes – whether they’re new, resale, or custom-designed. We’re new home experts … and we’re here to help!
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