There are many benefits to buying a new home over an existing one including lower maintenance costs and better energy efficiency. However, these benefits come with a price as new homes can cost as much as 20 percent more than existing homes in some markets. One thing to determine when choosing whether to buy an already constructed home or build a new one is whether the additional costs are worth it. These facts can help guide you when you are trying to make that determination.
Ability to Customize Home
In both existing and newly constructed homes, you can choose your décor, furnishings and even light fixtures. However, in new construction, you also get to choose the layout of the home, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, the look of the exterior and more. When you buy an existing home, the bedrooms and bathrooms have already been established. It would be an added expense to add a bathroom or bedroom.
When you choose a newly constructed home, it will more than likely come with a builder’s warranty. Although the warranty may be limited, if something goes wrong with an item the builder installed within that warranty period, it is covered at no expense to you. Sellers of existing homes rarely offer any type of warranty other than manufacturers warranties that may still exist on appliances.
One popular addition to newly constructed homes today is home automation. Builders may install an electronic hub to control electronic items in the home such as heat, air conditioning, internet and security. Everything works through one central location making it easier to adjust areas that need adjusting. Many systems allow you to control certain home functions through your Smartphone. You can raise the thermostat so that your home is warm when you arrive home, start warming the oven or check on your pets throughout the day using camera systems.
New Homes May Not Cost More
Although there has been research to show a newly constructed home can cost more than an existing home, this may not necessarily be the case in all markets. Home values are affected by many variables, including the mix of lower-priced vs. higher-priced properties. The direction of the market and the economy can also have an impact on home prices. During the 2010 housing crisis, newly constructed home prices were as much as 40 percent higher than existing homes in many markets but as the economy improved, prices stabilized. After the housing crisis, lenders developed stricter lending practices which meant builders focused on buyers who were well-positioned to get through the lending process.
Age and Condition of Existing Homes
The older the home, the more likely it will need upgrades, repairs and more expensive maintenance. Adding home automation to a 50-year old home, for example, could be very difficult as running wires through walls could be time-consuming and costly. If you really want granite countertops, a new construction allows you to install them before you ever move in. Existing homes may not have the support necessary in lower cabinets to install heavy stone counters which means an added expense for extra support if the existing home does not have the counters you want. Furnaces and air conditioners are older which means they are prone to break down, adding repair costs that could place you in a difficult financial bind immediately after purchasing a home.
Today, many new construction homes are built in developments, many with amenities that appeal to families with children like clubhouses, playgrounds, walking paths and swimming pools. There are also developments that cater to people who are 55 and older with amenities for that age group. These may include accessible entrances, attached garages and monitoring systems that allow residents to get help if they become sick or injured. Existing homes may be located in rural areas with few amenities or in neighborhoods with heavy traffic, limited sidewalks and no real amenities that appeal to children or seniors.
When it comes time to choose an existing home or new construction, it is important to take your family’s needs into consideration. Although price must be a factor, it may be possible to work with a builder to get a newly constructed home within the price range you need and still get the amenities you want. To learn more about the benefits of new construction homes, contact us at 610-873-1900 or visit our website to learn more about The Southdown Experience.