Are you considering buying a home? If so, you know getting started is among the toughest steps—establishing budget, finding a Realtor and truly coming to know what type of home you want. Is a condo right for you? Are you interested in renovated properties? Planned communities? New versus old? That last consideration gives many potential homeowners pause. Why? Because there are so many great benefits to buying a newly constructed home; however, at the same time, there are downfalls that many buyers overlook. Here are a few of the pros and cons of buying new homes that will help you make an educated purchasing decision.
Pro: Everything is new! This goes without saying, but when you purchase a newly built home, everything—from shingles to wiring to sheetrock to floors—is brand new. Many people prefer this, others do not.
Con: Everything is new. Some home buyers prefer homes built in the past because they have character. Their walls have stories to tell, and their structures have stood the test of time. You are more likely to find fault with foundation and electrical systems if an older home hasn’t been well maintained, but upon a satisfactory inspection, homes with history are appealing to many.
Pro: Energy efficiency. It makes little sense to build a new home without energy efficient windows, insulation and Energy Star rated appliances. With all the options available to builders to “build green,” most are.
Con: The risk of low quality for high speed. We’ve all seen homes pop up in what seems like overnight, and while some scrupulous builders simply have the manpower and connections to make this happen, others do not. Be wary of rapid build times, and guarantee your builder isn’t cutting corners for a quick paycheck.
Pro: Rapid turnaround. This can also be a positive aspect when buying a new home. If you’ve done your research, read reviews and are confident your builder is reputable and skilled, being able to have your new home ready in a matter of months can be an incentive to buy new. In many older homes, repairs will be necessary; however, the time it takes can increase if a builder pushes back closing and move in times again and again.
Con: Is your new home being built in a brand new, planned community? Or, how about on a large tract of land far away of urban amenities? If so, consider this—your neighborhood doesn’t have a personality or sense of community intact. Many people prefer to buy older homes in established areas because they appreciate the sense of comradery and community that already exists.
Pro: Fewer repairs. As mentioned, one of the downfalls of buying an older home (especially a neglected property) is the need for repairs. With a new home, it’s unlikely you will have to make extensive repairs in the near future.
Con: Curb appeal and landscape. With newly built homes, it is rare that mature trees and plants are installed. Chances are you’ll need to foster growth, water, plant things and watch them grow for a few years until they reach maturity. For many, this is an unappealing cost, not to mention effort, associated with buying a new home.
There are clearly benefits to buying new homes, and among them is space.
Pro: Most new homes are built bigger. Older homes tend to have smaller rooms, fewer bathrooms and less functional kitchens—unless they’ve been remodeled.
If you’re considering buying a new home, remember to look at both the pros and cons to guarantee it will be a purchasing decision you’re pleased with for years to come.