Buying a home can be a stressful process. You have to take into account the kind of house you want, the area you want to live in, what you can afford and if you want a new home or a resale. Both new construction and older homes have good qualities, but if new is what you’re after, be sure to take the following into account:
- You get a brand new home. No one has lived there before you and everything from the appliances to the roof is completely new.
- You can (usually) select the floor plan and sometimes even the lot you want.
- Builders will have upgrades and upgrade packages, as well as standard features, for you to choose from to make your new home feel like yours.
- New homes often feature the latest styles, so if you love an open floor plan, new construction might be the way to go.
- Many new homes are constructed to be more energy efficient than their older counterparts.
- Most new construction homes are built in subdivisions with a unified style, so you won’t have to worry about your neighborhood having a strange flow.
- Building a new home takes time. While most builders can have a home completed in about six months, it’s possible that it can take up to a year or more. Be prepared with a backup plan in the event your build takes longer than expected.
- Your lot may be smaller than in an older, more established neighborhood.
- In a resale you might be able to negotiate with the seller on price – this isn’t usually the case with new home builds. The builder will often stick firmly to the set price.
- It might take several months or even years for the neighborhood construction to be completed, so be sure you’re okay with large trucks driving by your home and the sound of saws and nail guns.
- Inspect your new home early and often – for example, before the flooring goes in, make sure the sub-floors were properly cleaned (see pic below). Remember, the builder works for you so if you see something you don’t like, pick up the phone.
- Don’t be afraid to pull and personally inspect all permits including septic permits (if applicable) and ensure that the appropriate paperwork has been filed. Its not uncommon for a builder to make a mistake and build 4 bedroom home with a 3 bedroom septic system. In this example, the home’s value is based on 3 bedrooms which would be bad for you if your purchase price was based on 4 bedrooms.
- There might not be an established HOA in a brand new neighborhood, so make sure you read the covenants and understand what you can and can’t do with your home and land or who will maintain the roads once the builder is gone, etc. Ex: One North Georgia development does not permit the use of outdoor power equipment on Sundays, so you will have to wait until Monday to blow the leaves off your driveway or mow the lawn.
A home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so whether you choose to go with a new construction home or a resale, be sure to do your research and use a qualified real estate professional. If you have any questions regarding the items above or if you or someone you know is looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Living Down South – we would love to help you.
-Ali Hatley is a Principal & REALTOR with Living Down South Group