From one American Dream-chasing generation to the next, many homebuyers have faced the same, challenging dilemma: to buy an existing home or to opt for new construction.
While existing homes maintain their appeal, generally – though certainly not always – featuring a lower initial price tag and closer-to-town locations, new homes continue to capture the attention of discerning homebuyers.
While a newly constructed home might run upwards of 10-30 percent more than existing properties in a given area, that new home will also arrive without the hidden and not-so-hidden costs that frequently come with an older home.
On a new home, the roof shouldn’t need to be replaced for a quarter century; the furnace and central air conditioner should last at least 15 years; plumbing and electrical meet the latest standards; and enhanced energy-efficiency features reduce utility costs. The ability to avoid major out-of-pocket expenses helps promote a healthier pocketbook and peace of mind.
Built for Safe, Contemporary Living
There’s surely something to be said for old-world craftsmanship and the art of homebuilding. The historic Chicago bungalow, after all, isn’t a revered home style because it lacks durability and character.
Homes pushing 50, 70, or 90-years-old, however, often come with decades’ worth of temporary fixes and even safety hazards like lead paint. New homes will feature energy-efficient elements like windows and HVAC systems; will be built to code to ensure safety; and will include modern homebuyers’ most in-demand elements.
When you purchase an existing home, you inherit the previous homebuyer’s taste. If they liked wood paneling, dark cabinets, and gold faucets, then that’s your style – at least temporarily. Altering the home to your liking, though, can be time-consuming, costly, and filled with frustration and stress.
A new home purchase, however, represents a blank canvas. You pick the flooring and cabinets, the countertops, paint colors, and bathroom vanities. Your fingerprints – literally and figuratively – sit all over the home.
Much like new cars have a smell, so, too, do new homes – and it’s not the smell of the previous owner’s cats or nicotine habit. A new home is just that – new.
Today’s most successful, responsive builders pack their homes with universally prized elements of modern life – thoughtfully designed floor plans with open-concept layouts, mudrooms, three-car garages, ample storage spaces, and bigger, brighter bedrooms and bathrooms to name a few – as well as on-trend amenities like master suites and gourmet kitchens.
And amid the “newness,” some treasured, historic elements like crown molding, rich hardwood floors, archways, and covered front porches can be seamlessly integrated into the home’s design for those sought-after touches of charm.
While some buyers will receive a home warranty with the purchase of their existing property, such warranties frequently have a short life span. And if the seller didn’t pony up for the warranty, it’s just another added expense for the homebuyer.
Reputable homebuilders, on the other hand, will stand behind the structural integrity of their construction and craftsmanship. Such warranties can protect your home from any immediate repairs and provide a timely, no-cost fix to problems that might arise.