Many buyers in today’s market prefer new construction over existing homes. There is a certain peace of mind in knowing that they are not taking on anyone else’s problems. They can move into the home assured that they are the only ones who have ever lived there, slept in the master bedroom and used the central air. They have confidence in the fact that they won’t have to lift a screwdriver or spend a dollar on any maintenance related items for years down the road. However, as appealing as this sounds, there are potential downsides to buying new construction. For some buyers, the negatives make the proposition something to seriously consider. Here are the pros and cons of buying new construction.
The biggest strike against new construction is the price. If everything else was equal of course buyers would want to live in a new home. However, the fact is that there is a list price premium on new construction. In some cases, this can be as much as 15-20%. If the quality of the work is there, you are still getting the better end of the deal, but there is no getting around the fact that the purchase price will be higher. Buyers short on capital or tight on approval guidelines may have a tough time getting their offer accepted at the higher price. You often get what you pay for, but a new home will be priced higher.
Little Room for Personalization.When buying new construction, you had better love the property. With most new properties you will have very little wiggle room to put your personal stamp on the home. New homes are done as a finished product and leave little room for tweaks. In most cases, the work is flawless, but there are times you will love 90% of a new home, but that last 10% will be difficult to change. If you can live with the 90% a new home makes sense, if not you may want to reconsider.
Cookie Cutter.Depending on the market a new home can have a cookie cutter design. A builder may have a blueprint for what works and stick with it on homes in the area. If you don’t love the layout, finishes or design on one home you may not like what else will hit the market.
Move In Condition. The biggest benefit of new construction is that you don’t need to lift a finger before moving in. The home will have all new amenities, mechanicals and appliances. Instead of spending money and waiting for work to be finished, you can literally sleep in your home the day you close. Whatever you pay in the way of a higher purchase price is a bargain in relation to the money you would have to come out of pocket for in renovations.
Modern Design. Home features and designs are relatively cyclical. With an old home, it is expensive to do all the updates you want at once. By the time the kitchen is finished, the bathroom will need updating. With a new home, everything is modern and updated right from the day you move in. You will literally have the newest of the new with modern amenities and technology. Instead of having to worry about keeping up with your home, you are good for a decade, or more.
Energy Efficiency.One of the fastest growing shifts for buyers, and homeowners, is with energy efficiency. Many are starting to see the true benefit of solar panels and other energy saving features. Builders are out in front of this trend as well and have started incorporating these into their homes. Instead of doing them yourself or not being sure how panels would look, the mystery is gone, and you can immediately start realizing the benefits.
As a buyer, it is important to make a list of what you want in a new home purchase. Do you think a newly built home is something that makes the most sense for you?