Considering buying a new construction home? Although it can be the opportunity to get the house you’ve always wanted, buying a brand new house can also come with problems.
New Construction Homes and The Builders Who Build Them
Clearly, a new construction home can be the best decision you’ll ever make. Not only are they built to meet current building codes, they are well-insulated, nothing is old and needs to be fixed — all you have to do is move in and enjoy your new home!
Let’s review the two types of builders: Custom and Production.
Custom home builders work closely with YOU the homebuyer, the architects, electricians and other home pros to create the dream home YOU are seeking. That being said, custom home builders tend to only build on the upper end of your local housing market. Some may build a smaller home but many have a minimum sale price they will consider building.
Production builders are the big names generally responsible for creating whole neighborhoods, building “spec” homes to sell, having a sales office where you can pick and choose from their individual designs. Many will customize to your choices but within the footprint of their models. You won’t necessarily get the exact house of your dreams, but you will have a home that’s new, up to code and somewhat customized to your liking.
New Construction Pros and Cons
If you are considering a new house, you need to seriously consider all the pros and cons of the process.
Pros of New Construction:
Owning a brand new house is a pretty sweet deal for most homeowners, and here’s why:
Low maintenance requirements. A new house is, of course, new. From the top to the bottom, everything is now yours to break in, add to, or personalize in some way that is more to your liking and lifestyle. You will have some time to ease into learning how to maintain your home, particularly as it relates to major systems. For example, your air conditioner condenser won’t need replacing (with normal use) for 10 years or more.
Warranties on pretty much everything. Most new homes come with a warranty. At a minimum, you should receive a builder’s warranty, meaning the builder will fix any problems that crop up during the specified period, often one year. Sometimes you may have a home warranty through a warranty company. You should receive a warranty from other major companies who have installed things for the builder, such as a roof warranty. These may cover you for longer than one year.
Less risk of neighborhood spoiling. Unless you buy a new house that has been built in an older neighborhood, your new home will give somewhat of a guarantee against neighborhood spoiling. This can occur in any neighborhood, but is far less likely where most of the occupants are homeowners and the houses are all the same age. It’s sort of the ultimate in peer pressure, you might say.
Your new home is a blank canvas. Your new home has never, ever been lived in by anyone. This is an exciting fact, to realize that you are the one who will start this particular home on its road to being a quaint and charming place fifty years down the road.
Cons of New Construction:
Of course, a new house isn’t for everyone, and there are a few drawbacks to building from the ground up. Let’s think about some of them:
Higher monthly costs. Unlike an older resale home where you may get a really good deal because of an owner who just wants to get out from under their loan so they can move across the country, a brand new house is pretty much priced where it’s priced, based on the builder’s costs and pricing structure. You’ll have to pay what the builder is asking if you want the home, which may push the price of your house to the top of your comfortable price range. If you request any changes to the plan of a home already in progress, or one still needing ground-breaking, you may be required to pay a larger escrow deposit to secure the project with the builder.
It’s a blank canvas. Remember, a new house is a blank canvas. For some people, this can be intimidating. There will be quite a few comfort items you will want to add to the home once you move in. The builder will put in the basics but you will add the “fluff.”
Your new community may be subject to a Homeowners Association. There are lots of perks to having an HOA, but it’s an additional cost that you need to budget for. The additional amenities that an HOA provides are often worth the extra spend to homeowners, but if you’re already tight, it’s going to make things even tighter, so keep this in mind.
Flexibility is key. Building a house is an exercise in patience, for sure. For instance, you may be promised a completion date of March 1, but weather and other things can get in the way and delay the construction process. You will need to be flexible, even expecting delays from the start.
New Year, New Home in 2019?
If you think a new home is for you in 2019, contact me to recommend some great home builders in our area.