So, you are thinking about buying a new home and you are trying to decide if purchasing an existing home or building a new home is the right way to go. It’s a great question to ask, and one to look at from the pros and cons of what it means to buy a new home versus an existing one. As you weigh whether to buy shiny new construction or a charming pre-owned home, here are some other factors to consider.
Benefits of New Construction
Floor plan: Like the idea of a spacious, open floor plan with lots of room to entertain? Maybe you want a big owner’s suite with a walk-in shower and lots of jetted shower heads and a rain shower head? Always dreamed of a formal dining room for holiday dinners with friends and family? All these things and MORE could be yours.
If you opt for new construction chances are good the layout will lean to modern, with wide-open floor plans. Kitchens flow into family rooms so you can cook and oversee homework or watch the game. Rooms in new construction homes – especially bedrooms and bathrooms – tend to be larger and brighter, with lots of natural light.
Just remember, everything comes with a price, and not every builder is flexible with changes to existing floor plan designs. We’ll highlight some of the questions that you should ask a builder in a future post.
Personalization: With new construction, you will be able to customize the finishes to match your taste. Depending on the builder and your price point, there are almost an infinite number of options, from kitchen appliances to kitchen and bathroom hardware, technology upgrades, etc. It may cost you a bit more but adding your own personal touches may be worth it to you.
Efficiency: New appliances and home systems are more energy-efficient. Plus, more efficient insulation and windows create buttoned-up homes that are less expensive to heat and cool than older models. All of that translates into lower utility bills.
Maintenance: A newly built home requires less maintenance since everything from appliances to the HVAC system and roof is brand new. This means you can better predict monthly homeownership costs since you’ll likely spend less to maintain your home. Warranties can protect your new home for years before you need to undertake any major repairs.
Amenities: Buying new construction often means buying a lifestyle. Master or planned communities often include amenities like parks and community spaces that are close to schools and transit. The key is finding a builder who offers what you care about.
Timing: Not in a hurry? New construction may be the best way to go. With new construction, you will feel less rushed than scrambling with other buyers for an existing home.
Benefits of Existing Homes
Location: Looking for a new home community in the heart of the city? Want lots of land, but want easy access to shops, your favorite coffee shop, and local nightlife? Most likely, you’ve been watching too much HGTV!
New construction typically grows up in more outlying areas where land is plentiful, but commutes can be longer. Here in the Raleigh area, most new construction projects are popping up in areas well outside the heart of the center of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Areas that were once farmland are now being converted into new home construction communities. These communities are available at lower price points and with more land than areas closer to the center of the bigger communities. In cities, new construction tends to be high-rise condos or in-fill homes on smaller urban lots, with very little outdoor space.
Need a cup of sugar, you may be able to reach into your neighbor’s kitchen to get theirs.
Landscaping: Want a new construction community surrounded by mature trees that provide shade in the summer, protect against the wind in winter, and block out traffic noises at bedtime? Good luck! In most new construction communities, those mature trees may be salvaged to make room for roads, homes, community centers, etc. In turn, each home site is replaced with a smaller tree(s) that make take years to grow and provide any shade.
Floor Plan: Builders, especially in planned communities, tend to stick with exterior design styles and finishes that appeal to the broadest range of customers. You’ll have to count on post-purchase painting and decorating to stand out from your neighbors.
Waiting: If you’re looking at new homes that are already built, this may not be available due to the shortage of new home inventory in many areas. Due to near historic buyer demand for housing, very few builders can offer pre-built homes. In some cases, only a limited supply of housing lots is made available through a bidding process. isn’t a factor.
In the Raleigh area, it can take up to 16 months for a custom-built home to go from permitting, to construction to moving in!
Whether you want to buy a newly built home or one that’s already established, both are great options. They each have their pros and cons, and every buyer will have different circumstances driving their decision. If you have questions and want to know more about the options in your area, contact a local real estate professional today so you can feel confident deciding about your next home.