Is it better to buy new construction or an existing home? With interest rates and inventory still so low, and new planned communities cropping up all over the country, now is a great time for borrowers to build their dream home and customize each space with their unique preferences. Some might jump at the chance to create their vision on a blank slate, while others may like the lived-in feel an existing home can provide. Many builders have special warranties and upgrades that are standard in most new homes, like granite countertops and upgraded appliance packages. If you’re on the fence about whether to go with a new build or an existing home, check out our new construction pros and cons to help you decide on the best fit for you and your family.
5 Pros to New Construction
- No Need to Update. One of the most exciting things about buying a brand-new home is your ability to customize everything. While an existing home may require updates like paint, flooring, light fixtures, and faucets, with a new home, you can customize just about everything to your liking from the start, such as kitchen and bath cabinets and countertops, faucets, lighting, flooring and more.
- Less Maintenance. In a newly built home, a brand-new appliance package is standard, leaving you to stress less about whether or not to replace an old oven or fridge. When you buy an existing home, your air conditioner may need replacing, or your electrical system may be outdated. Luckily, new systems come with builder warranties, so you are offered protection right from the start if your roof leaks, the air conditioner breaks down in the middle of a heat spell, or your plumbing system backs up.
- You Can Customize Your Plan. You can work with a builder’s existing model or work with a builder to customize your own floor plan. You may be able to adjust room sizes or add rooms, especially if you need an extra bath or bedroom for your growing family. This type of customization makes building your own home a worthwhile investment.
- More Energy-Efficient Systems. Most new homes today are built with energy-efficient systems and water conservation methods. New construction often lends itself to energy-efficient opportunities that do not exist in older homes that may have outdated electrical or plumbing systems. Most new homes are built with hurricane impact windows which make them more energy-efficient and sound resistant.
- Smart Technology. New homes today may be built with Smart Home technology. This appeals to those of us who are busy and looking for ways to make our lives more efficient. In a Smart Home, you can automate everything from the Internet and cable to sound systems to fans and lighting to your alarm system (which is often part of a new home package).
5 Cons to New Construction
- Designing Takes Time and Effort. If you don’t have an eye for design and are short on time, you may find it a daunting task to select everything needed to fill a new home from scratch. A newer existing house will be equipped with all the flooring, light fixtures and faucets already in place for you taking much of the guesswork out of the equation.
- Building Delays. A new home may take months or even years to be built. Contractor and worker delays, weather delays and required inspections are common and can hold things up on a new build. It’s essential to make sure you have a clause in your contract that states how long the build will take and if your deposit is refundable.
- Unexpected Expenses. Building a new home can become an even more expensive undertaking than you initially anticipated because of upgrades and options. The standard options most builders provide are just that, standard and basic. The options you see in the model home are most likely upgrades that cost extra. You may also want options like a larger or extra sink, a more extensive patio, an extra closet, or cabinets in a laundry room, which are often not included in the initial price of the home.
- Lack of Mature Landscaping. Although your landscaping design will be all-new, and essentially, you’ll be able to design these spaces with bushes, plants, and trees that you love, landscape design is costly. And your trees will most likely not be tall enough to offer shade or block out the view of your neighbor’s yard. An older home will be more established with mature landscaping and the benefits of privacy with more greenery.
- Lacks Individuality. New builders generally offer four or five models in a new planned community that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. This does not allow for much individuality aside from painting the home’s exterior a different color to distinguish it from others in the neighborhood. Older communities may offer more variety because the homes that line their streets may originate from different builders.
Trust an Experienced Lender to Guide You
Buying a home is an emotional and life-changing decision. Whether you choose new construction or an existing home, you want to make sure that you select your financing wisely. That’s why you need an experienced lender on your side to offer support and guidance throughout the loan process. The loan specialists at NP, Inc. have been helping clients finance their dream homes for over 25 years. You can be sure that we have a loan product that is perfect for your needs. Visit us today at usmtg.com to get started with our easy loan application process.
By Susan Sherman for NP, Inc.