There are distinct advantages to buying a new construction home versus renovating an existing property. Depending upon your goals, the benefits can be significant.
“One of the biggest advantages when buying new construction is that the home is truly turn-key,” says real estate professional Kristin deGaravilla, who works with Michelle Larnard Real Estate Group and specializes in new construction homes. “Many times, they are a much better choice cost-wise and for a client's lifestyle."
Turn Key Means Worry Free for New Construction Homes
According to deGaravilla, there are specific reasons why new construction homes can be a better choice. They are energy efficient, low maintenance, and feature state-of-the-art finishes, and systems. Additionally, new construction homes are required to comply with HERS (home energy rating system). This means the home must meet today’s energy code requirements. Consequently, if you buy new construction you are getting the advantages of gold standard energy efficiency, a “greener” home, lower running costs, and a higher resale value.
On the whole, there is typically a premium when it comes to purchasing new construction. However, a renovation project may end up costing you more in the long run. Work the numbers before choosing between new construction or renovating. Added costs associated with a home renovation can include demolition and upgrading systems (such as plumbing and electrical) to meet code requirements. These line items will add significantly to the bottom line. Therefore, it can often be less expensive to choose new construction.
Power of Design
Another distinct advantage to buying new construction is that you have input in the design aspect of your new home. This adds to personalizing your home, plus it's fun choosing design features which complement your aesthetic and lifestyle.
“Right now, we are using our homes in ways we never did before,” says deGaravilla. “They have become sanctuaries, offices, learning centers, and family retreats. Because of this, people want spaces that deliver flexible living options.”
Many new construction homes offer bonus spaces for room to expand. This is ideal for today's home buyers.
New Construction Builder Options
Typically, there are two common options when buying a new construction home. One is custom designed new construction. The other is a pre-designed builder package home. It’s important to understand the differences and know which option you are getting before signing a contract.
1. A custom design build is a home building project you oversee from beginning to end. In brief, you purchase the land, get permitting, hire an architect and/or general contractor, and are involved in building decisions through every step of the process. The advantage of this is that you are able to fully customize your home. The disadvantage is the many decisions you will have to make and the possibility that the process can become overwhelming. In this option, often the buyer is funding the project as they go.
2. Pre-designed new construction homes that are built to spec by a design/build construction company. Typically the land and home design are pre-planned, builders have a permit in hand and many times are already underway. As a result, your role is to pick out design details and home finishes at the builder’s request. (Depending on the point in which you enter the process, you may have different allowances.) In this process, the builder will make most construction decisions. All you need to do is trust the process and choose custom details. In this option, the builder funds the project and the transaction occurs at closing time.
Picking the Right Team
Like any successful project, you should carefully choose your team of professionals. Two of the most important team members are your real estate professional and your builder.
Real Estate Professional
“When buying a new construction home, there is often a lot of up front due diligence,” says deGaravilla. “That’s why it’s extremely important to choose a realtor who understands the complexity of new construction.”
A real estate professional who has experience in new construction projects will know what questions to ask and understand how to navigate through the differences between buying new or buying pre-owned. For instance: Is there an HOA? Are there land restrictions? What design choices does the buyer have? What are the builder warranties? Does the buyer need to put a larger deposit down than a typical transaction?
Not all builders are the same. Before choosing a builder, be sure you understand your builder’s process and are confident with their work. Once you’ve done your homework, you must then trust your builder through every step of the process. They know what they are doing and will adhere to a formula that works.
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in a lifetime. Once you move in, the home you choose should be exactly what you’ve been looking for. There are many good reasons to consider new construction, but "the best part," says deGaravilla, "is the minute you walk through the front door, you can start enjoying your new home.”
Click the link below to download a checklist of how new construction projects are typically scheduled so you are better prepared as you navigate through the process.