Top 10 Reasons to Buy New Construction Homes

Jess with construction plans in model home

There are many differences between buying a new home versus an old or foreclosed home. Here are the top ten reasons that you should consider buying new...


    You're so excited! You've finally decided to buy a home. While this might not be your ultimate "dream home", you certainly don't want to compromise, especially when you'll be living here for several years. So why buy a used home and live with someone else’s dream? Their paint colors, their flooring selections and their cabinets? When you buy new, you get the opportunity to select what you want in your home.

    If you bought a new home recently, please tell us: what decision did you make about what was going into your new home that you are most excited about still today? We'd love to hear from you!!


    You're on a search for a home. A good starting point is to think about what no longer works for you in the home or neighborhood in which you currently live. Maybe your floor plan is outdated. Maybe you're tired of having to put the kids in the car and drive them to a playground or pool. Maybe you're tired of spending your free time painting. And all the homes you've looked at seem like more of what you already have! Moving is usually about improving.

    So then shift your thinking. Think about what's important to you and what would bring that smile back to your face. When you consider a newly constructed home, you often find those things you've been looking for: land plans designed to create a sense of "neighborhood",modern architecture with open floor plans, killer kitchens and owner's suite retreats. Not to mention the latest low-maintenance materials that won't have you spending your free time with a brush and sandpaper in your hands.

    Isn't it time you thought about a new home?


    When you buy a new home, you'll get the peace of mind of knowing that your home was built from the ground up with the most modern materials, many of which are more durable and require less maintenance than those found in older used homes. And you'll be moving into a home that goes through a rigorous inspection process by municipal inspectors at each key stage of construction: footing and foundation inspections, a framing and nailing inspection, mechanical inspections, an insulation inspection and final building inspections - all before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued. And if you purchase using a VA loan, the VA inspector will also give your home the seal of approval. To top it all off, you'll receive not only a Commonwealth mandated one-year warranty, but most builders additionally provide a ten-year limited warranty/insurance policy that covers things like structural defects that could otherwise be very expensive to fix. You won’t get caught off-guard by problems the previous owner didn’t attend to, or by materials or systems that are reaching the end of their effective life. With a new home, you are surrounded by a variety of safety nets.

    As you contemplate the purchase of your next home, isn't your peace of mind worth considering?


    When it comes to buying a "new" home, for most people the decision often falls to, "Do I buy a newly constructed home, or a used home?". While the difference in price is often tempting (used homes are usually less expensive for many reasons), there is much to consider in this decision. One of those big decisions is, "How much remodeling will the home need to truly make it into my dream home?" It's tempting to watch HGTV and think, "That looks easy, and only took a few weeks!", when the reality is remodeling is time-consuming, expensive and messy. And most people don't have the luxury of purchasing a home, but not moving in until the remodeling is done. That means you'll be putting up with the steady flow of tradespeople through you home while you are living there, not to mention the dust and noise. And in many cases, these improvements have to be paid in cash and can't be wrapped up in the mortgage (please consult a qualified loan officer for information on mortgages that provide for home improvements).

    When you buy new, you move into the dream home you wanted...right from the start. It's up to code, has the most modern materials (many of which are much lower maintenance than those used in used homes even just ten years ago) and shouldn't require much in out of pocket expenses (outside of some maintenance) for at least the first five years. When you think about it...doesn't a newly constructed home make sense?


    While no home is maintenance free, when you buy a newly constructed home you can rest assured that there should be little outside of routine maintenance for at least five years. Homes today are built to last and many of these more durable materials are also very low maintenance. Hardie Plank (fiber cement siding) is finding its way onto more and more houses and this product provides superior durability, strength and fire protection and requires little maintenance. Builders routinely cover their exterior trim (fascia, soffits and frieze boards) in coil stock, or simply use PVC trim to eliminate the need to paint (and who really wants to climb a forty foot ladder to reach those peaks??). Hardwood flooring is becoming more affordable and is being used throughout many high traffic areas. It's easier to clean and will last for years (and replacing carpet is just no fun!). Save yourself the headaches and time associated with keeping up a used home. Buy new and decide where you want to spend your free time!

    It seems like news reports, infographics and industry pundits all too often talk about the price of a home. But, really, at the end of the day, isn't what you are really concerned about the cost of your new home? That cost is a combination of what you pay to your mortgage company (Principal/Interest/Taxes and Insurance - commonly called PITI) + any HOA or condominium fees + the cost of your monthly utility bills. And too few prospective buyers think in advance about the impact of those utility bills. It doesn't seem that long ago that a home built in the 1980's felt pretty "new". But that's now a home approaching 30+ years old!! Homes being built today have better insulation, more efficient HVAC and water heating and low flow toilets and shower heads yielding significant monthly savings. For example, let’s just say you can save $100.00/month in utility costs over that older used home you are looking at. With a 4.25% mortgage, that would give you the same monthly housing cost as if you had bought a new home that was $20,000 more expensive! So when you're shopping for a home, always remember...the cost of your home is much more important than the price of your home.


    If you're considering a home purchase, one of the questions you should be asking is, "Will my home meet my needs in the coming years?" Technology is changing constantly and more and more we expect our homes to be adaptable to those technologies no differently than we expect our mobile devices to stay current. With the "Internet of Things" getting a lot of buzz these days, we know in the not too distant future that our refrigerators will automatically order food and beverages for us when we run out, that our smart phones will be able to control our home comfort and security systems as well as our music, fireplaces and more...with just the touch of a finger. The great new is that when you buy new construction, that "future - proofing" is built right in. Builders work hard to stay on top of the latest technologies are are typically the ones responsible for introducing new products to the market. Chances are, you'll find just what you're looking. And if you don't see it, ask for it. New homes don't expensive and messy retrofits to adapt to today's technologies. And that's just another reason to Buy New!


    When you're looking for that "just right" home, there are so many things to consider. As the old adage goes, it all starts with location. But beyond that (and that's a big one, for sure!) well, it can get complicated. Even with inventory being at record low levels, there are still plenty of homes to consider. And you'll probably live in this home for five to seven years. But chances are good this may not be your final home; things change and you'll likely move again down the road. So one thing to think about is resale. If you buy a home that is ten years old now, and you want to move again in five years, that home will now be fifteen years old. But if you buy a new home, well that home will only be five years old when you go to sell it. And when the next wave of buyers is out there searching for a home, yours will be more appealing as prospective buyers will know your home was built to newer and better codes, will be less costly to operate on a monthly basis, and will have equipment and systems that should work for years to come without replacement. And don't you want every advantage when you go to sell your home so that you can move into your new dream home?


    Supply and demand affects a lot of issues when it comes to buying and selling property, and with the Hampton Roads housing market in its third year of recovery, sales remain brisk and inventory remains low. That not only puts upward pressure on pricing, but also means that many Sellers are pulling back incentives. So that's another place where buying a "new" home has an advantage. Builders typically offer closing cost and settlement expense assistance that many used home sellers simply can’t or won't match. And builders have a different motivation to move finished inventory than a used home seller does who can continue to live in the home and enjoy all the benefits until it sells. So often on "ready now" homes, builders will offer some impressive incentives to sell that home so they can start another. Incentives alone should never be the reason that drives a home purchase. But when you find that homes that's just right for you, knowing there are some financial or other incentives makes the buying decision easier...and easier on your wallet.


    When looking for a new home, did you ever stop to think about that home's potential impact on your family's health? Probably not, because we tend to assume that our indoor environment is safe, regardless of the outdoor environment. But this is another place where a newly constructed home can offer you benefits that a used home can't.

    Building codes change all the time...and almost always to better protect the resident's health and safety. Ductwork now has to be sealed to prevent potential pollutants from being pulled into the airstream and distributed throughout your home, low VOC paints are now in common usage and better sealing techniques keep the outside air, and all that's in it, well...out! Should you be taking a look at a newly constructed home during your search?

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