The Pros and Cons of Purchasing a New Build

Dated: 08/26/2019

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Originally posted By Terri Williams  

We all love “shiny and new” — and newly-built single-family homes are downright irresistible.  And when the existing home inventory is limited, and consumers have confidence in the market, a significant number of homeowners will consider a newly-built residence.

However, it’s not a slam-dunk decision. There are benefits and disadvantages to purchasing a new build. These are some of the factors to consider.

New build pros

A new build can incorporate your wish list.

A new build can incorporate your wish list. Image: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

A new build isn’t someone’s leftover home

The only thing better than new car smell is new house smell. The first home I ever purchased was a new build and, as a germaphobe, I loved the idea that no one else had ever hung clothes in my closets, cooked in my kitchen, parked in my garage or sat in my garden tub. Admittedly, I have no idea what the contractors and workers did before I moved in. As a true germophobe, I still scrubbed every single surface. But I didn’t have to scrub as hard since there weren’t any previous owners.

A new build won’t have old pipes and wiring.

A new build won’t have old pipes and wiring. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

A new build is up to code and up-to-date

“People like to say that we ‘don’t build them like we used to.’ This is a good thing,” Nathan Outlaw, President of Onvico in Thomasville, GA, says. “Code and energy requirements have come a long way and buying a well-built new home will be much less stressful than remodeling an older home.”

That’s because homebuyers can avoid those unexpected expenses that occur when workers find issues like asbestos or old plumbing that needs to be replaced. Homeowners can also incorporate the latest trends in kitchen and bathroom technology to maximize the home’s potential.

You can usually pick your flooring and other materials

You can usually pick your flooring and other materials. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

(Sometimes) the sky is the limit with a new build

Michael Menn, a Chicago-based architect who builds new homes and remodels existing homes, says there are pros and cons to purchasing a new build. “When a homeowner purchases an existing home, there will be compromise on the floor plan,” he says.

However, when his clients purchase a new home, Menn says they can customize and personalize every detail. He adds that they can pick “everything from the floor plan to the flooring, cabinetry, plumbing, etc.” So homeowners can decide, for example, if they want tile or hardwood floors in the kitchens and baths or they can make the home as plush as a hotel.

There’s more competition for existing homes.

There’s more competition for existing homes. Image: Carol Franks/Shutterstock

There’s less competition for a new build

“According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average time an existing home is for sale on the market is 30 days — although this depends on the part of the country, time of the year and other factors,” Menn explains. Homes sell fast because there’s a lot of competition to find an existing home. But when you build a home, he says the competition is eliminated.

You can drive up, get out and start your new life.

You can drive up, get out and start your new life. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

There are no renovation issues with a new build

Many homeowners purchase a home and then renovate it to fit their needs. “But they have to live in the mess of a renovation,” says Adam Helfman, Home Improvement Expert at Hire It Done. “Having no interruptions in your daily life is a huge benefit to buying a new home.” Also, some people don’t know where to draw the line when purchasing a fixer-upper and could end up with a money pit.

New build cons

Older homes may be built with better materials.

Older homes may be built with better materials. Image: Pics721/Shutterstock

Older may be better

Although newer homes have new components and materials, newer may not always be better. “New homes today are generally not built as solid as old homes of yesteryear,” Helfman says. “Old homes had better bones. For example, a 2×4 in the 50s and 60s was actually 2 inches by 4 inches — whereas a 2×4 today is 1.75 inches by 3.75 inches.”

Recycling extends to houses. Image: Carol Franks/Shutterstock

Renovating is better for the environment

When you build a new home, you’re starting from scratch. “The environmental impact of building a new home is much higher than in buying an old home,” Helfman says. “Renovation is essentially a form of recycling.”

Also, homeowners have a tendency to focus on cosmetic features when buying a home and often choose a new build because of trendy extras. However, most cosmetic features — like architectural details — could be added to an existing home during a renovation.

Older home have lush landscaping.

Older homes can have lush, well-established lawns. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Existing homes have more mature landscaping

Landscaping can cost a pretty penny and take a while to fully develop. “Older properties can come with landscaping benefits like mature trees to cast shade,” Helfman says.

Sidewalks and street lights are important.

Sidewalks and street lights are important. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

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Wan Lim

My name is Wan, I am passionate and driven to help everyone I can in buying and selling real estate. Just a little bit about me, I graduated Colorado State University with a degree in Hospitality Mana....

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