For the past year or more, those desiring to buy or build a new home have been met with many frustrating challenges. From the delay of goods due to supply chain issues to the cost and availability of building supplies, options for new construction homes have been riddled with complications and problems.
However, as the real estate market continues to cool, global supply chain issues continue to get sorted, and the overall cost of goods comes down, a new construction home is once again becoming a viable option for many.
How can you know if purchasing an existing home or a new construction home may be right for you? Read on below to discover five pros and five cons of buying a new construction home.
- Move-in Ready
New homes are typically move-in ready. Even if you are purchasing a home before the builder has it completely finished, it will still be ready when it’s time to move in. This means, unlike an existing home, there is no long list of items to repair, replace, or update. Everything in the home is new and if built and inspected properly, in good working order. For many people, especially those relocating from another city, a move-in ready home has a lot of appeal.
- Energy Efficient
New homes are also head and shoulders above most existing homes when it comes to energy efficiency. Not only are many homes equipped with the most energy-efficient windows, solar features, efficient building materials, and energy-saving appliances, but many of these aspects of a new construction home are also aligned with smart technology to help you make the most of your utility costs, stay literally connected to your home, and benefit the environment.
- Community Amenities
Another huge selling point for new construction homes is that many homes are in neighborhoods and developments that have been thoughtfully and strategically planned with community amenities in mind. Think pools, playgrounds, water features, sidewalks, community clubhouses, and even gated access. Older homes in older areas just can’t compete with many of these community amenities. Families who are looking to not just reside at their home but put down roots within the neighborhood are often drawn to new construction homes for this reason alone.
- Home Warranty Protection
While it’s true that existing homes can be sold with additional coverages for home warranties, nothing can truly compare to the value of a home warranty on a new construction home. New homes usually also include a builder’s warranty guaranteeing a builder’s work for a set period of time as well as an additional home warranty that will cover items like appliances. Just because a home is new doesn’t prevent some of the things inside from breaking or not working properly. Having a warranty is a protection to ensure your new investment is covered.
- Personalized Design
Finally, one of the biggest draws for people to buy a newly constructed home comes down to personalized design. Particularly if potential homeowners can find a home or even build one from start to finish, they will have the advantage of personalizing their home down to the last minor detail. From floorplans to finishes and everything in between, many people feel that for the cost of their most expensive investment (their home) they should be in charge of all decisions about its form and function.
Right out of the gate, one of the biggest downsides to new construction homes is obviously the cost. Too often, the costs of buying or building new are not only higher than the average cost of an existing home, but also there can be significant add-on costs as the building project evolves and continues. From fluctuating costs of materials, to change orders and contractor callbacks, new houses just cost more.
Another reality to be mindful of with a new home are delays. As evidenced by the pandemic and beyond, getting home-building materials in a timely fashion can be nearly impossible. When one part or supply item is out of stock or delayed, it can cause a chain reaction often delaying other subcontractors or workflow for the entire project. If you are buying a new construction or building a new home, just go ahead and expect it to take longer than you plan for.
- Cleared Lots
One draw of existing homes in long-established neighborhoods is the setting that could offer beautiful views, including mature trees and vegetation as well as mature landscaping. Not only do these factors contribute to overall beauty, but in many cases, they also contribute to privacy. New construction homes are often in developments that have been completely leveled of all trees. It can take years or even decades for new trees and shrubberies to grow in.
With all of those wonderful community amenities mentioned in the pros list, you might as well go ahead and understand that most of those also come with a long list of rules, regulations, and restrictions. Newer developments tend to have homeowners associations (HOAs), strict rules or covenants about what you can have outside in your yard, street parking, as well as tight deed restrictions about what you can and cannot keep in your driveway, fencing, color palettes, adjacent structures. Nearly all restrictions are meant to protect your home’s value, but beware that these restrictions will impact your daily life.
- Cookie Cutter Look
Finally, new construction homes, especially in big developments have been known to have a cookie-cutter look. Many of these homes are stacked on top of each other with very small yards, very close together, with very few differing house plans or facades, and often with very few offered paint colors as well. If you prefer a home with a bit more character and charm, perhaps a new construction isn’t for you.