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What to Expect When Building a New Home

Karen Rivard

It is my goal to exceed your real estate expectations and treat you with respect and honesty throughout the transaction and beyond! As a member of the...

It is my goal to exceed your real estate expectations and treat you with respect and honesty throughout the transaction and beyond! As a member of the...

Feb 6 5 minutes read

While there’s a lot to be said for the character that comes with a home that has been standing for decades, new homes will always have their own appeal. You could build one yourself or invest in a “new construction home."

As with any big purchases in life,  there are a number of factors you’ll want to consider when buying a home. Once you’ve looked over all your options and weighed the pros and cons of new verses resale, you may find that buying a new construction home meets your needs perfectly.  So what is next?

Bargaining With the Builders

One of the best things about buying a new construction home before it’s built is that you have more freedom to customize your home than you would have after it’s been built. You probably won’t get total freedom when it comes to customization, but you can speak with the builder to see what they can and can not offer you in the way of  buyer incentives (from choosing the paint color to bigger changes).   Keep in mind customization can also add to the initial price of the home.  But, If you’ve ever tried to add anything substantial to an existing home,  that too can be expensive and time consuming.  Changes and add-ons are much easier while a home is under construction.  Be sure to ask the builder for thier specifiations and upgrade lists. 

A Brand New Building

One of the biggest draws of a new construction home verses an existing home is the idea of moving into a completely new home with no previous owners. It is MOVE IN READY!   Everything is brand new!

Energy Efficiency

Electricity is one of those concerns that many people don’t factor in when shopping for a new home, but depending on where you live it can make a substantial difference. Over the last 10 – 15 years builders have come a long way as far as energy efficiency goes.

Typically, new construction homes come with the latest energy efficient building materials, windows and cooling and heating systems which makes them much cheaper to heat and cool. It may not mean much in terms of immediate savings, but as years go by, those savings add up, so take that into account when making your decision.

Extra Expenses

Many people tend to prefer newer homes because they want to avoid the unexpected expenses that come with older homes. While it’s true that buying a new construction home can be less expensive in terms of upkeep and energy efficiency, there are also costs that can come with new homes.

You will be given very little for free.  Take  landscaping for example. The initial price of the home may cover grass. shrubs and new trees or it may not.  If you want a lovely green front and backyard you’ll probably have to do your part to make it happen or pay extra.

Many planned neighborhoods come with neighborhood associations or HOAs which require membership fees. These fees can pay for maintenance of common land among other things and can be a good investment in the long term value of your home. Still, it’s an additional cost that you will need to factor in,  so be sure to ask about these or similar fees before closing any deal.

None of this means that buying a new construction home is necessarily more expensive than a resale home.  It’s simply a reason to investigate and take into account all costs when determining the final cost.

Expect the Unexpected

No one knows what the future holds but things can get more complicated when buying new construction  before it’s built.  One of the most common problems is construction time, and while you can ask when your home will be finished and move in ready, you should be prepared for unexpected delays.

Buying a new construction home is a large investment and you’re not just looking at the value of the home itself.  You also need to consider the neighborhood the home is in.  Before signing on the dotted line, it’s a good idea to check out the area that the home is in.   Drive by the area at different times of the day and on different days of the week to see the activity around the home to be sure this is an area you would want to live in.   This goes for existing homes on the market and not just new constrcution.  

Right Home

In the end, there really is no right or wrong choice when it comes to buying a new home whether it is new construction or existing. There are buyers who prefer new construction homes in new home communities that wouldn’t dream of buying a resale home.  On the opposite side of the fence there are those who prefer older homes with character and charm in established neighborhoods. New or resale, you ‘ll have to account for all costs, long and short term as well as  your preferences, needs, taste and lifestyle.

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