The Pros and Cons of Buying New Construction
Searching for a new home is a momentous feat. When you’re in the buying phase, dreaming up your must-haves and ideal space is exciting. However, you need to decide whether you want a home with a history (and potential renovation needs) or a new construction property.
A “new construction” build can include planned construction with a builder. A project where your voice matters regarding design decisions and more. But the term also includes townhouses, single or multi-family homes that are newly built in developing neighborhoods.
New construction builds offer a fresh canvas to create memories without the cost of refreshing old features or weathered structures. With a new build, you can imagine a house that suits your lifestyle and space requirements.
Is a new construction home the right decision for you? We will help you get a clearer idea of what to expect. In this guide, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of stepping over an untouched threshold.
The pros of new construction
Pro: It’s a brand-spanking new home
Your new construction home will be in pristine condition when you step foot inside. There won’t be carpet stains, faulty windows, dusty cupboards that need a deep clean, or sticky sliding doors.
Starting fresh is ideal if you don’t want to worry about leaks or other issues after moving in. Once moving day arrives, you can christen the oven with freshly baked cookies to mask that off-gassing “new home” smell. A brand new home simplifies the process significantly.
Pro: Warranties – from builders, fixture suppliers, and more
A builder warranty comes with new construction or a home remodel.
It covers permanent items in the house, like concrete flooring, plumbing, structural features, or electrical work. Most new construction homes come with a builder’s warranty. Plus, repairs, if necessary, can usually happen pretty quickly. Check with your builder what they offer, and research reviews on their follow-up service should something go wrong.
For new construction builds, you’ll receive a pile of warranties for newly installed windows, doors, roofing, and more. Not to mention the guarantees that come with appliances.
Pro: New community and surroundings
Residential estates provide the typical environment for new construction homes. New infrastructure in developing communities can provide access to a variety of benefits. From pristine roads to state-of-the-art security to contemporary amenities, and better entertainment or educational facilities. You can even position yourself as a trustee in new housing complexes and have a say in rules and regulations.
Alternatively, you could choose an existing community you love and position your home in an established neighborhood with older infrastructure.
Pro: Less maintenance
Suppose you have a busy routine with little time for home maintenance or a limited budget for unexpected costs. In that case, a new construction build could save you the headache of updating old home systems such as wiring, heating, drainage, etc.
Having been through quality control, everything in new construction will be brand new, shiny, working, and unlikely to break anytime soon.
Pro: Customization to your style and needs
The new construction home is customizable. You can choose finishes, materials, and appliances that exude your unique style. You also get to select custom paint colors. Plus, you won’t be stuck looking at a shaggy 60s carpet that’s been catching Christmas crumbs for decades. Instead, you’ve chosen everything from light fixtures to skirting and skylights.
Depending on where you choose to build, new construction homes can be designed for an aesthetic you love. If you’ve always adored Farmhouse-style architecture from the 1700s, you can opt for a similar build with newer and improved finishings. Or if neoclassical architecture makes you dream of slow days and poetic weekend musings, many companies can match the closures that typify a Georgian-style home.
Pro: New construction homes are greener
A new construction building will often contain amenities that suit the desire for greener living. Even without making conscious choices for an eco-friendly home. Newer builds commonly offer the following perks that have a positive impact on your utility bill:
- Increased use of Energy Star Appliances that save money, water, and electricity.
- Improved insulation, impacting heating and cooling costs.
- Improved glass designs and quality, including multi-pane windows, low-emittance windows that offer UV protection, gas fills, etc.
- Efficient lighting choices from LED and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and natural lighting tendencies.
You can opt for “greener” operating costs when planning your new construction home too. The benefits include lower energy consumption and lowered water use. Just keep in mind that, according to builders, construction costs of green buildings are approximately 5% higher than traditional homes.
Many states are adopting energy-efficiency plans for new residential construction. For example, California’s Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan aimed at making all new residential construction in this US state zero net energy starting in 2020. According to the US Green Building Council, there has also been a 19% increase in LEED-certified homes since 2017. LEED-certified homes uphold standards that require cleaner airflow, increased natural lighting, and safer, non-toxic building materials.
The cons of new construction homes
Con: Unexpected or higher costs
New-construction homes tend to be more expensive than older, already-built homes.
- The median sale price of a new home as of 2022 is $423,300.
- The average sale price of a new residential building is $496,900.
Buying a construction home comes with an ever-moving budget. If you’ve ever watched architecture shows, you will know that the costs can quickly escalate. It would be best if you also planned wisely regarding finishings and materials. Choosing simple upgrades or favored materials like a butcher’s block or outdoor fittings can add to the mounting invoice.
Remember to include landscaping and fencing costs that will finish your property and add to the curb appeal.
Con: The price is not negotiable
Buying a pre-owned home comes with the friendly battle of retail property negotiation. Generally, you’ll work with a set price open to offers. However, the previous owner often accepts a lower price. Builders are less likely to negotiate prices unless they offer discounts or financial incentives. With a pre-owned home, you can better understand the costs involved.
Con: New doesn’t always mean good
Old homes have stood the test of time, and sometimes they were built using robust and solid materials. The top-tear quality and slower rate of production ensured better attention to detail.
However, a new build does not necessarily mean that corners have been cut. Do your homework and hire a construction company with a pristine reputation. Taking time to find the best person for the job can be the difference between unwanted drafts and perfect insulation.
Con: Limited options for customization
Be prepared for some compromises depending on your purchase and budget. Yes, a new build comes with the chance to customize, but you may come across some limits, especially in a housing complex.
On the other hand, limited options mean quicker decisions rather than being overwhelmed by a world full of tap fittings. Decision fatigue is real. Keep your head above water and make quick decisions as they arise.
Con: Time to completion
If you’re lucky, your builder hits their timeline on the head, and you’re in your new lounge exactly when you expected. But that’s not always the happy ending for new construction builds. Every step takes time, and applying for things like permits can typically take 30-45 days to obtain.
If you have a pressured timeframe to move, a new-construction home might not be the stress-free choice. Ensure the construction company you’ve chosen offers a timeline and schedule breakdown.
Knowing the estimated deadlines for certain goals in the build can help to organize your life. You will then have a clearer idea of the rental or current home sale requirements while your new build reaches a happy conclusion. You can also be more prepared for utility changes and moving plans.
Get started with your new construction home plans today
Get ready to advocate for your family’s home needs. To make the building or buying process of a new construction successful (and satisfying in the end), you need to cover some important bases with your builder. Talk to them about the timeline, warranties, realistic costs, fitting and material options, and smart-home additions that will make your home next-level.
Now that you can weigh the pros and cons of buying new construction, you’re better equipped to launch into an exciting home build or purchase.
Going for an existing and pre-owned home allows you the opportunity to renovate, potentially spend less, and have an ongoing project that will make any DIY enthusiast thrive. But embarking on a new construction project offers some creative license, a clean slate, less maintenance, and a kinder impact on the planet. Each has its pros and cons and the decision will come down to your budget and individual needs.
Whatever you choose, we wish you a happy journey into your new home-sweet-home.