9 reasons to choose a new home over a resale
Newly built properties can offer fewer hassles, greater efficiency and more customization.
As the mortgage crisis continues to inundate the market with distressed properties, house hunters have no shortage of cheap, foreclosed homes to pick through. But despite all those deals in the market for previously owned homes, consumers shouldn’t overlook the potential benefits of buying a new home.
“New homes usually sell higher per square foot then resale homes,” says Jack McCabe of McCabe Research & Consulting in Deerfield Beach, Fla. “But their selling points, I think, are pretty strong.”
To help consumers understand the advantages of buying a new home, U.S. News spoke with a handful of experts and compiled a list of nine reasons to choose a new home over a resale.
1. Customization: Many homebuilders allow buyers to help design the property, which helps create a living space tailored to the consumer’s tastes. New-home buyers, for example, can often decide where their bathroom might go, choose their favorite flooring or pick the exterior paint color. Buyers moving into a subdivision can sometimes pick the lot they like best.
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“There is a lot of flexibility for [new-home buyers] to kind of put their personal signature on the product,” says Patrick Costello, president of Forty West Builders, based in Ellicott City, Md. “Those kind of things you can’t do with a used house — it’s just not possible.”
2. Building envelope: Building codes have mandated higher energy-efficiency standards since they began to address the issue in the late 1970s, says Kevin Morrow, senior program manager for the National Association of Home Builders’ green-building programs. The most recent International Energy Conservation Code came out in 2009 and required about 17% more efficiency than three years earlier, he says.
“So using that as sort of a gauge to how newer homes should perform from an efficiency standpoint compared to older homes, it’s pretty clear that just as homes meet code, they are going to be more efficient,” Morrow says.
Newly constructed homes use energy more efficiently in two ways, Morrow says. First, they tend to have a tighter-sealed building envelope, or the enclosed part of a structure, that helps prevent conditioned air — cool air in the summer, warm air in the winter — from escaping. Features that create this envelope include higher-efficiency insulation, doors and windows.
“Gone are the days of the single-pane window,” Morrow says. “Now, I think you are starting to see triple- and quadruple-paned windows. These are windows that are designed to really minimize the transfer of heat either from warm to cold or vice versa, and they of course will help the building envelope.”
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3. Green appliances: The more energy-efficient mechanics of the house also help reduce utility bills for new-home buyers, Morrow says. New homes often include green systems and appliances — such as high-efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, water heaters, furnaces or air conditioning units — that homes built years ago might not.
“The conditioning equipment is usually considered to be one of the larger energy-consumption devices, but certainly, those kitchen appliances matter,” Morrow says.
Owners of existing homes can always retrofit their property or buy higher-efficiency appliances, but doing so can be expensive.
4. Fewer repairs: The features of new homes should also hold up better than those of existing homes, which may have experienced years of wear and tear, says Evan Gilligan of Mandrin Homes, which has offices in Maryland and Delaware.
“People will buy [previously owned] houses, and then the carpet needs to be replaced or it needs to be repainted or it needs new appliances or the flooring is shot,” Gilligan says. “When they buy a new home in today’s market, it really is new.”
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For the older homes depending on the era depends on how much more you will spend to update to modern standards. 10 to 20 years old should not be that expensive to bring up to date ,anything older than that consider the wiring ,HVAC, and insulating.I have seen people buy older house (60 plus years) and attempt to renovate with remodeling going way over budget due to rewiring and installation of HVAC were there was none.
In the end the decision is yours ,with a very large investment at stake consider the future cost to make the house your home.
I build new construction for a living and have four homes one 2008, one 1987, two 1960(not financeable cash transactions)/ The 2008 I built with 9 inspections from building officials and a Dr. in civil engineering V.A./HUD inspector. It is a stucco style finish with enough hardware to face a 91 mph gust with no problems. We have faced close to 100 mph gust many times since I built this. Two of the other homes are slump block with minimal insulation level in the walls that are furred out to hang the drywall on with swamp coolers and 100 amp service, to upgrade widows to dual payne cost me 1200, to upgrade to ac with a required 200 amp service by the officials is 8000 and still had to buy new appliances, paint and floor finishing's. In the last house built in 1960 had no grounding wires so the house had to be stripped for a three wire system, 200 amp service, no insulation on exterior walls so I pulled all the exterior wall drywall off to properly insulate and am currently drywalling, this house is 1100 ft2 and I will remodel it all for 35000.
Both new and old have advantages the old requires a good amount of cash where a New construction can still be financed for little cash down. Many home buyers in our area do not even have the cash to buy furniture so they buy a new house that will appraise for the loan amount.
Also, a new home is up to code... here in South Florida, that means not only Energy Conservation measures but also the most recent Hurricane Codes regarding windows, doors, roofs and shutters.
David Podgursky - Boca Executive Realty - 561-880-5757 - email@example.com - http://www.bocaexecutiverealty.com
There are plenty of slightly improved 50-70 year old homes in our 'hood. We bought one in 2007 as it was the best of the bottom of the heap (in 2007, anything 'affordable' was the bottom of the heap...the houses we saw before this one all needed to be torn down and I'm not kidding). We are now paying the same to heat 900 sq ft as one would pay to heat a McMansion. I know. I used to read gas and electric meters and our gas numbers are similar to what I'd read on the brand new houses and also similar to what I read on many older, much smaller unimproved homes in 'hoods around the state.
I hate this house. I hate its old bones and I hate running into the tiny doorframes and twisting through an antiquated, path impeding layout. And dealing with a circa 1937 kitchen even with modern appliances.....I won't even go there, the hate is too great.
We are forced, finally (the crash happened right after we bought and purposely reduced to one income to dare to raise our very own child), to borrow from the 401(K) to do some energy efficiency updates because it costs less to borrow from the 401(K) than to continue to pay to heat the outside in the winter and cool the outside in the summer. I think any newer home is better than horsehair board and 73 year old windows, personally. We will never buy a slightly improved older home, again. It isn't worth it as we will be struggling to make this place worth what we actually paid for it......Sorry, no joy here, after this experience, we just may build. At least that stress pays off in a house one can actually enjoy living in (at least that was my mother's experience).
I'm tired of managing this outdated old house and its great energy ineffiencies. We looked at it with renters eyes and now we pay the price for our inexperience. But, good enough for the first time buyer, ay?
Yeah, just look at those beauties in the picture. All made of OSB garbage and 2x4's so light you can pick them up with 2 fingers. I for one would love to get my hands on one of those, so that it could swell and fall apart with the first water leak. Do yourself a favor and get an older block or brick home when they were made of quality solid materials and put a little sweat into the remodel. You will know that it is done right, and you will save tens of thousands in the process.
I have been hunting for a house to buy for the past year in the midwest. Here's my advice after a year of looking - It doesn't make any sense in this economy to buy a new home period. Unless ofcourse you have more money than you know what to do with.
Why ever not ?
The existing home prices have fallen quite a bit but the new home prices haven't fallen that much. You may get a discount from builders but the price they ask for new homes simply doesn't relate to this economy. Its not their fault because the cost of building doesn't play to the tune of the economy and moves only one way - UP. If I bought a 5-8year old house that is built very well and met all my expectations I will pay about 40-50% less than an equivalent house that is a new construction in the area I live in. I like new houses very much for all the reasons listed in the article but cannot find one for the price that is more in line with the existing homes. What I mean by that is, if I bought a new home today for $400,000 and lost my job 6months down the road there is no way I can sell it for $400,000. Not to mention all the expense I would have made in buying appliances, landscaping, etc. which you can easily get included in the price if you buy an existing home.