Once you start house hunting there is no doubt one of your first stops will be at a new homes website or community to see what they have to offer in the area you would like to live in. In fact, new homes have stepped up to win the hearts and minds of homebuyers for the better part of the past decade where we’ve seen an unprecedented explosion in new home construction and buying. What was once considered a luxury reserved for the rich and famous, new construction has opened the door to all price ranges and styles including luxury high-rise condominiums, townhouses, active adult communities and single-family homes.
There are a tremendous number of benefits to owning a new home including the ability to customize the home to your liking, meeting all the new neighbors as they move in and substantial savings in utility costs with new homes now being built to a higher, more energy efficient and green standard.
It’s your house. No, REALLY your house. – When you buy a resale home you are purchasing a home that someone else crafted to suit his or her lifestyle. Sometimes it’s just perfect and exactly what you are looking for but more often than not there are a few “Why did they do that?” issues with a home that you will have to renovate or remove when you move in to fit your lifestyle. When you build a new home you will be able to choose exactly what you want and where you want it so you can move in and not have to touch a thing.
Everyone else is new too! – Resale communities are great because you can see the neighborhood, how people care for their homes and everything is already established but those same benefits can prove to be cons when you are the only new neighbor on the block. Moving into a new home grants you the privilege of meeting the neighbors when they are also looking to meet new people and settle into the community. There won’t be any pre-established social circles to work your way into and you will be discovering new things about your neighborhood at the same time everyone else does.
Newer homes are more attractive when you resell… – Life happens. You might have to relocate or you make a lifestyle change a couple short years after you move in. The good news is that newer homes are more attractive to prospective homebuyers because it’s their opportunity to buy a newer home without the price premium associated with new construction. Better yet, you’ve already purchased all the appliances and upgrades for the home and many parts of the home are still under warranty making the home a great inclusive value. This will compare favorably to older resale homes that may require renovation or updating to make it livable for the modern homebuyer.
Location, Location, Location! YOU choose! – When you shop for resale homes the homes you find are obviously fixed to their current location. How many times have you seen a great resale that would be absolutely perfect if it were a little closer to the community clubhouse or offered a larger back yard for the kids to play? New homebuilders typically offer a range of model homes to choose from and you can usually place that model on a lot of your choice. Now you can have the home of your dreams in the cul-de-sac you’ve always dreamed of!
In the current market new homes may be a better deal than resale homes. – That’s right, the market shift has turned the tables. Now buyers have the market in the palm of their hands and can get some really outstanding deals on homes but you have to know where to look. Resale home owners may be willing to deal but in the past thirty days I have been able to successfully negotiate $69,117 off the asking price of a new home for a client and then shortly after located a home for another client and negotiated $91,000 off the asking price and we are still in negotiations to get even more from the builder. By the way, these home prices included upgrades! I have never met homeowners who were willing to accept a substantial reduction on the price of their home to the tune of more than $60,000. As a matter of fact, many homeowners have overpriced their homes on the market because they owe more than the home is worth and they cannot afford to go lower in price.
Buying Tip: To score a new home deal you can’t walk in and offer builders $400,000 under what they are asking for the home. Fantastic deals can be found however if you find the right buyer’s agent who specializes in new homes because their experience, relationships with builders and negotiating ability will help you save thousands of dollars.
That brown carpet and tiny kitchen? Soooooo 1970s! – Kitchen big enough for one? Small closets, shower only bathrooms and carpet everywhere? Not for today’s homebuyer! The modern lifestyle is drastically different from what it was even ten years ago and resale homes often lack the oomph and space to satisfy. Today’s homebuyer wants a bright, open kitchen with breakfast bar and high-end appliances. We now do most of our living in the kitchen! Soaking tubs in the master suite and walk-in closets are now considered standard staples of the modern home. New homes often feature these amenities as a part of their standard offering and are even starting to prepare homes for the future including the addition of whole house networking and walk-out basements that can be finished as future living space.
New homes save money with efficiency and green building techniques. – Many new homes are taking advantage of the Energy Star standard which sets forth a number of requirements that products like windows and doors must adhere to in order to achieve an Energy Star rating. In addition to Energy Star many builders are now offering green building and living options like the installation of solar panels on the roof of a home to harness the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity. If you install enough solar panels you may just have the electric company paying you for the electricity you are producing! These features are often very costly to retrofit a resale home with if it wasn’t initially built to these standards.
The next time you start searching for homes be sure to consider all of your options including new construction. When buying new construction you should take into account the fact that most new homes take approximately four to six months to build. You will also devote more of your personal time to building the home as you will need to choose home upgrades and work with your agent through the inspection and financing processes.