Pros and Cons of Buying a New Build Property

According to the Commerce Department, new home sales rose 4.8% in September, which is the highest level in over a decade. This exciting prospect is a boost for developers but also shows there is real market interest in brand new, untouched properties. A home that has never belonged to anyone, but you, is extremely appealing, so it’s clear why there are such interest and demand but are new-build properties for everyone? Below we’re taking a thorough look at the advantages and disadvantages of opting for a new build.

Advantages of a New Build Home

Owning your own place is a dream for many, and even if it’s not your first time buying, there are many perks to picking a property just being developed and built, ready for you to move in. 

  • Customization options

Buying a property in a new development means you get a say on what goes inside. There may be only a few options to choose from, but you can still decide what exactly you want from what is available. New construction means you can pick everything from the siding color to where the light fittings are in each room. These kinds of customizations can be very costly to change once they’re in place, and it is a bit disappointing if you find a home you love, but certain things you’d like are missing and are extremely difficult to incorporate. Many property developers have catalogs full of options so you can customize to your heart’s content.

  • Community

Many new real estate developments are bigger than just your single home. Often, they come alongside other perks such as shops, community services, parks, and playgrounds. This can be a huge plus if you’re moving to a new area and hoping to make friends. If you all move in around the same time and are there to build up your new local area together, you can really experience a sense of community in the best sense of the word. 

  • Energy Efficiency

The attempts of keeping the temperature in check in your home can lead to mounting energy bills. New builds have much better energy efficiency than older properties, which is especially important if you live in a particularly cold state and want to minimize your energy costs. Newer constructions are built to use less energy and are optimized for energy efficiency. They’ll be automatically equipped with certain features such as energy-efficient windows to prevent the 25-30% heat gain loss that older windows are said to cause. Other energy-saving options such as smart thermostats, dual flush toilets, and LED lighting also come into play.

  • Minimal Maintenance Costs (to begin with)

A brand-new home should be easy to keep in good condition for at least the first few years. Every element of your new place is unused and untouched, so there should be no risk of immediate repairs or issues to deal with. Most builders also offer a warranty package of some sort to ensure certain issues are covered without additional cost to the buyer. Keeping maintenance costs low allows you to enjoy your new home even more and perhaps invest the saved cash in furnishings and other more pleasant details.

buying new build house

Disadvantages of a New Build Home

Buying new sounds like a promising idea for most people, but it isn’t always the best option. Here are some possible issues worth keeping in mind before investing in a new property.

  • No Property to View

If your property is being built from scratch and the development isn’t ready, then chances are you won’t be able to view anything other than the spot it is going to be built on. There may be a show home, but you are likely to need to make your way around a construction site, being aware of all safety precautions around machinery and equipment working in the area. It is unlikely you will be able to get a true picture of what the result might be. Yes, there may be mockups and photos of the future outcome, but is this enough? It is vital to make sure you do view the site, so you get to know the location, but don’t expect things to be just like you see in the photos.

  • Costs Can Mount Up

Upgrades and customizations are a real benefit of a new build home, but they come at a cost. The first price you see when looking at a new development is the base price, and the more additions you want, the higher this will creep up. Extra bedrooms, first-floor bump outs, and other changes will undoubtedly add to your overall price. Some reports suggest the price of new builds is already as much as 20% more than buying an existing property, so you will need to consider your budget carefully. Remodeling company reports that adding just one more electrical outlet can add as much as $800 to your final cost, so be aware of how much even little tweaks can amount!

  • Lack of History or Character

It’s unfair to say all new build properties have no character, but they obviously don’t have the history of a Birmingham ranch or an apartment in one of Chicago’s beautifully constructed towers. This doesn’t matter to everyone, but depending on your taste, a little bit of history may be important. Balancing the extra maintenance costs may not matter if you get to feel like you live somewhere unique and atmospheric.

  • Builder Quality is not Consistent

We’ve all heard horror stories of rogue builders not delivering what they promise, and this is a risk that comes with opting for a newly built home. Choose a realtor or developer with a proven track record to boost your chances of buying the dream house. However, even the big names get it wrong sometimes. Do your research, check out recently completed properties and developments by your chosen builders, and ask around to gather opinions on their work. There are plenty of great builders out there, but you need to make sure you do your research to avoid disappointment.

Some of us need the things we own to be as new and shiny as possible. Others are more into finding something with a little bit of character, its own story, and history behind it. New property developments are great for many different reasons. Still, it’s down to the individual buyer or renter to decide what kind of home suits their personal taste and budget better. And most importantly, remember that proper research should be carried out before signing on the dotted line.

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