Most buyers start the house hunting process by making a list of their “must have” and “would like to have” features when it comes to their new home. Depending on how flexible (or realistic) these lists are, some buyers can be left frustrated by the process. Nothing can kill the excitement that accompanies buying a new home faster than being let down after every showing – it can feel like the right home will never come along. Consider the fact that we are also facing an inventory shortage in our current market, and these frustrations can turn into realities for some buyers.
If you find yourself in this situation, you might want to look at the options offered by new construction. Building a new home might not be the right solution for everyone, but in some cases it makes more sense than buying an existing home. Check out the following considerations, and decide if exploring new construction might be right for you.
Building A New Home Might Be For You…
If your list of creature comforts and interior amenities or finishes is more important to you than a particular neighborhood, then new construction is the way to go. With a new home, you get to work with the builder to choose your floor plan, finishes, appliance packages, etc. You can have all of your “must haves” as well as your “wants” checked off and get exactly what you want in your home. If you have your heart set on a particular established neighborhood though, this likely won’t be possible. Lots rarely become available in established neighborhoods (generally, all of the buildable land is already built) and your only option might be to find an existing home that you can renovate to your liking if it’s not suitable “as is”.
If you have a flexible timeline, this could be a great option for you. New construction generally takes longer than buying and closing on an existing home, but the trade off is that you get to have a home that is uniquely yours, with everything that you were hoping for in a new home. With an existing home, you will be unlikely to find everything you want, and will likely have to compromise on layout or amenities – or both. If you don’t have the luxury of a flexible move-in date, don’t necessarily rule out all new construction – some builders will have some homes that are already started, that can be “finished” by the buyers, allowing for a quicker move-in date. If you’re on a very tight timeline due to a job relocation or needing to establish residency for a new school district though, buying an existing home might be your only option.
It can be cheaper – but this is highly variable. Some older homes in particular neighborhoods and markets could cost you a lot more than building a new home, and vice versa. Beyond the initial purchase price though, you should also consider the ongoing costs or savings between the two. With a new home, everything is new – including the appliances, furnace, roof, siding, central air, etc. Additionally, new homes should come with a warranty from the builder, meaning you won’t be responsible for the repair if something breaks after you move in. With an older home, there could be costly repairs or maintenance needed. Even with a thorough inspection and additional peace of mind from the purchase of a home warranty, this won’t necessarily identify or cover everything that could go wrong. If you don’t think you’ll have the financial ability (or desire) to cover an unexpected expense that could arise with an older home, then new construction might be a better fit for you.
Whichever route you decide to go on the purchase of your next home, make sure that you enlist the help of an experienced agent. An experienced local agent will be familiar with both existing and newly developed neighborhoods in your area and can guide you based on your wants and requirements. Many that deal with new construction will be familiar with the builders in the area and can negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal for you, also ensuring that you get a fair contract that protects your interests. Building can be intimidating or confusing if you’re not familiar with the process, and you will want an advocate that can help you navigate critical decisions about your new home – ensuring a happy and joyful move-in day when the time comes.