New Construction & New Developments
What are the pros and cons of new construction versus re-sale?
There are varying opinions on which purchase is better, as the value lies within the buyer’s objectives. Here are a few of the more common considerations:
- Amenities – Buyers have more opportunity to choose a color palette and select materials to their preference, such as ceramic tile instead of carpet and better-quality appliances. New homes tend to be more energy-efficient and more likely to meet code standards. An older home will reflect mature landscaping and is often located in an established community with historic charm. Many new subdivisions offer neighborhood clubhouses, swimming pools, playgrounds, bike and jogging trails and picnic venues for residents. Older homes don’t, although many have better access to urban shopping venues and restaurants because they reflect prior self-containing city-planning philosophies.
- Energy efficiency – Advantage: new construction. New-home designers can use new building materials such as Energy Star® windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy- efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances.
- Landscaping – Mature trees, robust shrubs, gardens, rose bushes and perennially well-watered lawns are some of the rewards of an older home, while most new homes are apt to feature younger, smaller trees, fewer walkways and sparse vegetation. Landscaping is an expensive proposition today for the cost-conscious home builder.
- Location – Often older homes are in areas closer to town and in established neighborhoods. However, newer subdivisions can provide newer schools and recreational areas.
- Maintenance – The charm of an older home often goes hand in hand with increased maintenance, especially if the previous owners were not attentive to upkeep. Building materials may be harder to replace or match in an expansion or remodeling. A new home generally comes with at least a one-year warranty for the repair of some problems that may develop as it settles into its foundation, but know what your warranty covers. Extended warranties are available should your property be out of warranty. New-construction homes often employ more efficient, innovative uses of square footage and property.
- Price – New construction homes may cost more than re-sale homes due to the increasing labor and material costs. There is often more negotiating room with re-sales as well.
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