When you’re house hunting, the allure of new construction is undeniable. You get to be the first to live in the pristine home—one untouched by grimy hands or muddy shoes. It’s full of brand-new appliances and the finishes and treatments that you picked to fit your aesthetic. And you won’t have to worry about making any cosmetic or structural upgrades for years.
In today’s hot housing market, buyers are likely to consider every available home for sale. And while each home has its unique charms, newly built homes and resale homes come with different upsides and downsides.
As you weigh whether to buy a brand-new home or a pre-owned one, here are some factors to consider.
Pro’s for buying a Brand-New Home:
Everything is new: Moving into an existing property can come with hidden costs, as certain aspects of the home could need significant upgrades that might not be entirely obvious during the purchasing phase.
A clean slate: You create your home from the start and you don’t have to deal with the decorating styles of the previous owner.
Design control: Everything is what you want from the start. You won’t have to spend additional funds redoing the home after you purchase it.
Floorplan: When buying new construction, the layout will lean to modern, with wide-open floor plans. Rooms in new construction homes, especially bedrooms and bathrooms, tend to be larger and brighter, with lots of natural light.
Smart and healthy: “Smart” technology options allow you to automate internet, cable, speakers and even an alarm system. And new homes often use low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and building materials, improving indoor air quality.
Efficiency: New appliances and home systems are more energy efficient. More efficient insulation and windows create buttoned up homes that are less expensive to heat and cool than older models. All of that translates into lower utility bills.
Maintenance: A newly built home requires less maintenance since everything from appliances to the HVAC system and roof are brand new. Warranties can protect your new home for years before you need to undertake any major repairs.
Con’s for buying a Brand-New Home:
Time: It can take anywhere from six months to a year to build a home. This is a long time to wait and things can change while you are waiting to move.
Temporary housing: You might have to move into temporary housing while you wait for your home to be built. This can mean added expenses in the form of movers and storing your items if your things won’t fit into your temporary space.
Price: New construction is usually more expensive than a resale home. For instance, the median sales price of an existing home in the U.S. rose to nearly $354,000 in fall 2021, while the median price of a brand-new home topped $400,000.
Location: New construction typically grows up in exurbia where land is plentiful but commutes can be longer if you have to go into work. In Las Vegas, new construction tends to be homes on smaller urban lots, with very little outdoor space.
Landscaping: Existing construction is often surrounded by mature trees that shade the home in summer, protect against wind in winter, and block out traffic noises at bedtime. Mature trees may be salvaged at new building sites but often the landscaping takes years to grow into itself.
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