Newly constructed (tract) homes have distinct advantages over used homes. I have owned and sold both and without a doubt, I prefer new. Here are just some of the benefits my clients and I have enjoyed; I hope you find them useful, click here.
1. For less than a custom home would cost, you can semi-customize a new construction home. While your home is being built, you can add features you want and need without having to settle for what the previous owner selected.
2. New homes save you money on utilities, since they have the latest in energy efficiency standards. Among the energy features, new homes have dual pane windows and better insulation. If allowed I recommend insulation between the floors of a two story home, to cut down on the noise factor.
3. The latest Building codes, which vary state by state, contribute to giving you a quality home. In California after the Northridge earthquake of 1997, building codes were improved. The shear wall standard was modified to make the homes less rigid during a quake, thereby helping reduce the damage in future earthquakes.
4. New homes tend to have the latest in technological advances in wiring and lighting. There will be a greater number of standard phone jacks and outlets. If you feel you still need more, or have an unusual place for one, you can have it installed before the home is finished, just as you would a custom home..
5. If you choose to keep the standard carpet for a number of years, I recommend upgrading the pad. This will make the carpet more comfortable and last longer.
6. One way you can save money while semi- customizing your home, is to add upgraded fixtures after the close of escrow. For example if you really want exquisite bath fixtures, compare the Builders price with an outside price. Again, it is a matter of being handy or having friends and being OK with spending the time and energy to save some money.
7. Please remember, if you buy any upgrades through the Builder and put them into a loan, you will be paying interest on those upgrades for as long as you have the loan. The added expense will raise your recorded sales price, which will affect the amount of property taxes you pay. Sometimes it is worth it, I just want you to be aware of this.
8. Always negotiate. Don’t insult the Builder, but ask for a little more than you expect to receive. Be prepared to negotiate the difference, but it is possible you may get what you want. My motto is ” if you don’t ask, you don’t receive”. Write that down on a card and keep it with you if you are shy, and read it before you talk to the Sales Agent. Another way to put it, is what I have always told my girls “if you don’t ask, it’s an automatic “NO”.
9. Remember almost all Builders have mark ups on their upgrades. They pay wholesale or less and charge you retail or higher. When negotiating, if you ask for upgrades instead of asking the Builder to lower the sales price, he is usually more willing. You can also play this by knowing there is a mark up, and knowing that most of the time the Builder’s cost was a lot less than he is charging..You could have the Builder give you some of those upgraded features you want as part of the purchase of the home. Just ask.
10. If you are purchasing after there have been some move-ins in the community, you should knock on a few doors and talk to the buyers and ask them how they like the Builder. If they are happy or unhappy, they are usually eager to tell you, but be sure you ask more than one homeowner.
No one can deny the emotional excitement most people have in being the first to live in a home. There is nothing quite like being the first to use the cabinets and appliances or have a bubble bath in a new tub surrounded by candles.
I always smile when I think of one client whose main advantage to purchasing a new home was the assurance it would not be haunted, since there were no previous owners. There are many more reasons; perhaps you will find your own. I wish you the best.
This is part of a series on Home Buying and Selling. Also see…”Beginning Steps to Purchasing a Home” and “Advantages of Buying a Model Home” both by Christin Kuper