Pros/Cons Of Buying A Newly Built Home
By Michael Corbett, Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert
According to Trulia’s latest survey, twice as many people prefer new homes to existing homes. “New” means exactly that: brand new properties that have never been lived in before, or homes purchased in the pre-construction phase. On the flip side, “existing” or resale homes are pre-owned properties, most of which were built between the 1920s and the 1970s. For the same price, 2 in 5 Americans – a sizeable 41% of the population – either somewhat or strongly prefer a newly-built home over an existing one.
While shiny and new sounds nice in theory, what’s actually behind the allure of these properties? Let’s dive into the advantage and disadvantages:
• You’re able to have the builder customize the home before construction is complete, so it will be built with your personal touch and painted in your color palatte – a big bonus!
• With new construction or pre-construction purchases, the work is done for you. You don’t have to lift a finger, a paint brush, or a hammer.
• New homes come with some of the design elements that today’s lifestyle demands: open, eat-in kitchens, walk-in closets, and large
master baths to name a few.
• A big financial benefit of new properties is that you won’t have to do much maintenance. With brand new appliances, plumbing, heating, and air, you should be repair free for at least a few years.
• Utilizing new construction materials, just-built homes are usually more energy efficient; that means potentially lower utility bills.
• New homes and condos are often equipped with the latest technology built right in – think alarm systems, speaker systems, Internet
wiring, and cable – saving you lots of time, money, and holes in the walls.
• You’re moving into a house that should be totally complete and absolutely perfect. That “new house smell” is definitely a luxury!
• Brand new homes can cost more – sometimes up to 20% more than a similar existing home.
• All those fabulous amenities you saw in the model can really add up. Upgraded features are marked up heavily for the construction company’s profit and can end up costing you far more than you ever intended.
• Many new construction neighborhoods and developments are built far from necessary destinations like schools and your usual supermarkets and shopping centers. Also, if you’re one of the first to move in, you’re essentially going to be living in a construction zone for years to come.
• If you’re looking for a lovely, quaint, tree-lined older neighborhood that has a well-established community of neighbors, you won’t get it for many years in a new development.
• Often, new homes have less architectural detail and charm that many older homes have.
• New properties may not excite buyers who like to do lots of customizing and upgrading themselves. Those who take pleasure in fixing up a home or tailoring it to their preferences might find that brand new homes aren’t a good fit.
• New homes are built on smaller lots than most older homes. If you’re looking for that big backyard – and lots of space between your house and the next door neighbor’s – you may not find it in a new build.
While it may seem like new construction is the perfect choice, there are lots of lifestyle factors to consider first. After all, you’re not just buying a house – you’re buying a home and a neighborhood!