When searching for the perfect home, most buyers concentrate on the location. They want a home in the perfect area close to family, friends, or schools for their kids. Or buyers may have their sights set on their dream neighborhood.
Buying a home is an exciting time period whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a veteran. Sometimes new construction may not even be an option if you’re looking at a desired neighborhood. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to looking at new construction.
Some clients think that older homes can’t compete with new construction at all, but there are a lot of factors to consider before you decide to buy a newly built home. The area, new neighborhood, price, and builders should all be taken into account when deciding if new construction is for you. Here is what to know when buying new construction.
New Construction Versus Lived in Homes
Buying a home that is already built is less stress since you don’t have to decide everything yourself. Sometimes being able to have input on every little thing, like what kind of kitchen faucet to use or the lighting throughout the home, can sound like the best option, but it can often be overwhelming.
Another perk of buying an already built or lived in home is that you can move in after closing. You won’t have to worry about the home needing to be finished. You also won’t have to worry about what to do with the landscape. Often new construction doesn’t come with a completed landscape, and this is frequently overlooked.
Buying a home in a neighborhood also means that there is a community already established in that neighborhood. There are people who are new in the neighborhood and those who have lived there a long time, but nonetheless there are neighbors. Buying new construction may mean that your neighbors will be the builders until the neighborhood is completed!
Talk to your realtor about the pros and cons of buying new construction versus an already finished home so they can help you decide what’s best. If you’re looking to move quickly, new construction in progress may not be the best option for you. Next, let’s go over the advantages of buying new construction.
The Pros of Buying New Construction
The idea of living in a brand new house that no one has lived in before is definitely appealing to most people! Everything is clean, nothing has been used before, and all of the appliances are new.
There are a lot of things to love about buying new construction! If you get there soon enough you can help with the layout of your home. Most new builds go for a modern floor plan like an open floor concept, eat in kitchen, and have modern finishes as well.
You can also choose the upgrades you want in your home. You can decide the molding, appliances, and some builders even allow you to choose from a few selections of wall colors, flooring, and kitchen countertops, backsplashes, and cabinets.
The good thing about only having a few options to choose from is that you don’t have an overload of options to sort through. And most likely the options presented were custom picked for the homes because they will look the best.
Newer homes are often more energy efficient and you can even add to these features and make your home more energy efficient. Some builders may also let you decide about the wires and outlets for cable and alarm systems in the house.
One of the biggest perks to buying new construction is that you won’t have to worry about maintenance costs for the first few years. All of the appliances, the HVAC, plumbing, and the roof is new!
While there are many benefits of buying new construction, there are some downsides too. Now, let’s go over the disadvantages of buying new construction. This way you have a lot of factors to consider when making up your mind.
The Cons of Buying New Construction
Even with all the benefits that new construction can offer, there are a few drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks is that the price usually isn’t negotiable, and in fact, the price may only go up if you choose upgraded options to add to your home.
If you have an experienced real estate agent, they may be able to negotiate some costs if there is any wiggle room. So even when you purchase new construction you will need a realtor.
As we mentioned before, any upgrades to your home will cost extra and it’s easy to add on and overspend more than you originally had planned. Be sure to ask the builders what all of the upgrades can cost and add this to the total cost of your home so you know what you could be spending.
Have your real estate agent find out your options. Buying new constructions cost more on average than buying an older home. Be sure that you are okay with this cost and that you stay in budget.
Another disadvantage to buying new construction is that the new builds may not have big lots like some older homes do. Builders for new construction usually plan their lots to maximize the number of houses they can build. Make sure you ask where other homes will be built so you know your lot size and if any homes will be built behind yours if you have an empty backyard when you first see the lot.
Buying new construction will mean that the neighborhood is not a well established community yet. In fact, if you’re one of the first ones in the neighborhood, your neighbors could be the builders!
This also means that there will be construction around you if the house aren’t built. So noise, dirt roads, and no neighbors will be your life until the neighborhood is finished.
Ask your realtor when your home and the lots next to it are supposed to be built. Find out when the construction in the neighborhood is expected to be completed. Know that buying new construction often takes longer than planned. There may be delays if there are weather issues.
Some new construction may not include landscaping, so be sure you know the plan for your lot. Ask your realtor if you can expect any neighborhood amenities like a pool or fitness center to be built. And don’t forget to ask about any HOA (homeowners association) fees. Know the total cost for living for that property when buying new construction.
Lastly, find out about the builders that are building your new home and neighborhood. Your want to make sure they have good references, and preferably, you want someone who has been in business for awhile so you know what type of quality homes they build.
So is New Construction for You?
After weighing the pros and cons of buying new construction you will need to decide whether or not it’s for you. Sit down with your realtor and go over what kind of home you want, the price range, and the date range for when you’re looking to move. Let them know any limitations you have so that your realtor knows exactly what you’re looking for.
Have a list of questions ready so you know what you’re getting if you do decide to choose new construction. New construction may seem like the best option at first, but if it doesn’t fit your budget or timeframe, then you may need to either reconsider or have short term options. For more information on what homebuyers need to know, click here.