Pros & Cons to Buying a New Construction Home
Should you buy a brand new home or an existing home? While there is no definitive right answer, only the buyer can determine what kind of home they should invest in. A home is most likely going to be your largest monetary investment. While there are various pros and cons to buying new homes as well as existing homes, in this article, we will uncover Pros & Cons to Buying a New Construction Home.
Buying a new home is different from buying a pre-existing home. Besides the obvious distinctions, such as upgrades in design and appliances, an important factor to keep in mind is who you will be purchasing from. Buying a new home will take place directly from a builder, whose sole purpose for building is to profit. Where-as the sale of an existing home will be less likely be motivated by profit and more so motivated by factors such as downsizing, needing more space, job relocation, etc. Please see below for a full list of Pros & Cons to Buying a New Construction Home.
Pros For Buying A New Construction Home
Customization & Personal Touch
One of the biggest advantages of buying a newly constructed home will be the ability to customize your home and add a personal touch. The day you are ready to move in, your newly built home will already have your wants and preferences. Where-as for a home that is not brand new and has existed for years, the colors, fixtures and design will be according to the previous owner.
Being able to customize your dream home will allow you to add extras that you may have not otherwise been able to. For example, adding a garden tub to an existing home can be a difficult and expensive task. Being able to choose how you want your new home to look is an obvious advantage of buying a newly built home.
No Work For You
Another perk of investing in a new construction home is that the work is done for you. While your dream home is being personalized, you won’t have to lift a finger and do any of the manual labor yourself. As long as the Home Builder is still in the process of constructing the home, you should be able to add your personal touches, without doing the work yourself. To name a few, this work would otherwise include painting, installing the flooring and cabinets.
Walking into an older home that has your likes and dislikes, may be highly unlikely. After buying this pre-existing home, you may have to do upgrades such as fresh paint, new flooring and cabinets, either yourself or with the help of a contractor.
New Home Smell
Just like when you walk into a brand new car, and it has that distinct “new car smell”, new homes also have this. The new home smell is created by the brand new appliances, flooring and fixtures. Since nothing has been previously used, it has that unique new smell.
If you don’t believe us, walk into any home that is currently being built and compare it to the smell of a home with residents still living there. The two will have distinct differences in odor.
Energy Efficient Homes
Since you are purchasing a new home, it will be built with the newest materials that are more energy efficient. Companies that produce building materials and appliances are creating products that focus on energy efficiency. Implementation of newer technologies such as better HVAC systems, energy efficient windows, and Energy Star appliances may result in lower utility bills. Some builders go as far as to add solar panels to roofs to further lower utility bills.
Newly constructed homes will have less hazards than existing homes. Depending on the age of the existing home, it may have structural integrity issues, lead paint, or mold. Newly built homes on the other hand, will be free of such hazards. Prior to gaining full ownership of either a new or older home, an inspection will find these hazards. With structural and engineering technological advances, newly structured homes are less likely to have hazards.
Some of the biggest selling points of a new home are the technologies used. Newer built homes and condos often come equipped with the latest technology such as solar panels, security systems and sound systems. Some newer homes come with the label “connected home” where several features of the home, such as temperature and security are completely integrated into tablets and phones via applications.
Some of the subtle differences in a newer home will be wiring and cables already built in. This means less work and holes in walls to create for you. Such recent technologies may not be compatible with the structure of existing homes.
Newer homes come with the latest designs. If you ever watching any home remodeling or design programs on tv, you know that modern architects design new homes with the goal of maximizing space and having an open floor plan. Modern floor plans offer large family rooms to entertain guests that open up to the kitchen and eating areas. Older homes on the other hand were built with compartmentalized living areas. Whereas newer designs maximize space, by avoiding walls that close rooms, older homes were designed more for privacy.
Another benefit of buying a new home is that it won’t need any repairs. Since everything from the appliances, structure, and fixtures are brand new, they should be repair free. This also means that maintenance costs for the first few years will be low. You shouldn’t expect any large expenses for awhile.
With an older home on the other hand, appliances and the home have experienced some wear and tear. No matter how well kept everything was, all objects have a life expectancy. Whereas in a new home you shouldn’t expect to pay for any large unexpected items in the near future, we cannot say that with ease for an older home.
Many builders also provide a warranty for the newly built home. Depending on your builder, they may offer one or ten year warranties. So in case something does break down or there are problems, the warranty will more than likely cover damages.
Cons For Buying A New Construction Home
High Upfront Cost
One of the cons of buying a brand new home is the cost. A brand new home can cost up to 20% more than a similar home that has existed for years. Comparable properties in the area that feature the same amount of bedrooms, bathrooms and square feet but were built years ago will be much cheaper. Upgraded features offered in brand new homes are sometimes marked up heavily by builders to increase their profits. Not only are features marked up, but builders are building for the sole purpose of earning a profit. This has to be kept in consideration at all times.
No Landscaping or Grass
A home that has been under construction for several months may lack developed landscaping. Heavy machinery and workers walking around the project often destroys any grass or landscaping previously there. After the project is complete, it takes several months for grass to grow and for the dirt to dissipate. The owner may be required to maintain upkeep of the grass and landscape afterwards to ensure growth.
Time To Build
One of the biggest disadvantages of a newly constructed home is the amount of time it takes to build the home. Depending on the size of the project, it can take several months to finish. On the other hand, moving into an older home that has residents, usually takes 45 days. If you are selling your current home, in order to use that money to buy a new home, the time to build should be considered. Some clients choose to rent until the construction is complete. This may not be the case if the construction project is already finished.
Unexpected costs such as certain upgrades and customization may come at a cost. For instance, if you have a preference for different appliances or flooring, than those planned by the builder, there may be a price tag associated with the change. A long list of changes can add up in costs and is something to certainly to consider.
On the other hand, if you are satisfied with selection for flooring, appliances and finishes, there will be no additional unexpected costs.
Possible Future Construction
If there is a new home under construction in the neighborhood, there is good chance there will be future construction in the area. In that case, it can take many months or years for the construction or the development to conclude. This may mean heavy construction equipment in your area, as well as noise and general debris from construction. Construction of the surrounding areas is something to consider.
Some buyers do not mind the possibility of future construction in the neighborhood. If other houses are knocked down and replaced with brand new, bigger homes, buyers are at ease with their purchase. From their perspective, this an increase in demand for the surrounding property, reassures them that this is a quality neighborhood.
Less Desirable Neighborhood
Depending on where the new home is being built, you may not find the neat and clean tree-lined neighborhood you had hoped for. Land is scarce. If the home is being built in a brand new development, it may take several months for the development to become well-established.
Builders often find undeveloped lands in less desirable locations. Because land is scarce and cheaper land is further away from major cities, you will often see homes priced accordingly. This may mean further away from city centers. This is something to consider if you work in city centers, where your commute may be longer.
Lack of Customization
While there are opportunities to customize a brand new home that is being built, you may not be able to customize or upgrade an already complete project. This is a tough pill to swallow for buyers who take pride in doing a lot of the customization themselves. For buyers interested in being more hands on, and tailoring their home accordingly, an already complete brand new home may not be a good fit.
As previously mentioned, land is scarce. Builders are sometimes forced to build bigger, new homes on smaller lots. If you are looking for a new home over 3200 square feet, with a big back yard and ample space between your neighbors, it may be tough to find. Because land is scarce, builders often implement strategies to maximize the amount of land, by building as big of a home as possible. This may mean decreased space between neighbors and limited outdoor space.
Less Room for Negotiation
Since builders are making these homes for a profit, there is very little room for negotiation. Builders know that if they accept a lower offer for a home, this may affect the amount they receive for future projects in the area. While some builders may work with you on giving you some upgrades, don’t expect to come away with a steal.
Should you buy a new home or an existing home? This is something only you as the buyer can answer. While there are pros and cons to owning both a new home or an existing home, you have to sit down and figure out what is best for your needs.
The best thing you can do to begin your journey is to find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable on the intricacies of buying a brand new home. You want to find an agent who can explain to you the pros and cons of buying a brand new home in the neighborhood you are looking for.