Is a New Construction Home Right for You?

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Buying new construction makes the most sense for some home buyers. Instead of choosing a home that already exists, they’re taking the opportunity to start from scratch. Whether you buy a new home that was built with your input or not, there are some serious advantages to choosing this route. We’ll look at why so many homeowners make the effort.

A Clean Slate

This is often the most quoted reason for people to buy a new home – they want to start fresh. Appliances, floors, closets, attic: everything is new. There are no scratches to find under the shelves, no dirt where the cleaners couldn’t reach. There’s no old wallpaper to tear down, carpet to rip up or asbestos to worry about. It’s a pristine residence just waiting for you to make it your own.

Convenient for Moving

When you buy a new home, you (usually) don’t have to worry about the plumbing, electricity or foundation. Because a new house hasn’t been subjected to many years of soil shifts and traffic patterns, you can rest easy when you move in. This is not to say that there are never problems with new construction, only that if you’re working with (or buying from) someone reputable, you likely won’t have any issues. This is a huge perk, especially for people who don’t have time to negotiate with a seller on who’s going to cover which repairs.


This advantage is related to the previous one, but a necessary distinction. New homes tend to have fewer maintenance requirements because there’s been no wear-and-tear on the property. Homeowners don’t always factor in the high costs of system upkeep, a budget error that can drastically eat into their savings. Plus, new homes often don’t cost an arm and a leg, meaning more long-term savings without the upfront-costs.

Home Warranties

New homes usually come with a warranty. This means that if an appliance does break down or you notice some puddles in your basement, you can have the builder cover the costs of repairs. Pre-owned homes often require you to purchase a limited warranty that may not cover all defects or system failures. While the plumbing may work when you first test it at an Open House, it might fail quickly once there are multiple people using it.

Environmentally Friendly

All construction crews will have their own protocol and policies for building. However, they are expected to comply with local, state and national environmental standards. This all translates to more responsible homes and lower utility bills. Before you negotiate on a new home though, ask if the building will be given an energy rating by a third-party assessor. This will give you a better idea of the amount of effort put into energy conservation and avoiding environmental impact.

Room to Negotiate

From the floorplan to the style, new construction homes are modern and usually customizable. Even if you haven’t personally worked with the builders from Day One, there might be some degree of flexibility before the move-in date. So if you want better appliances or luxury cabinets, you might be able to work something out. While new homes are unlikely to budge in bottom-line price, the numbers aren’t set in stone. If a home has been sitting for a while, it never hurts to ask. After all, whatever they don’t use on your home will just be used in the next project. 

Buying new construction means getting a property without the stains of time. If you’re looking for something that will be easy on your budget and better for the environment, there’s really no better choice.

Home Building Pros and Cons

How do you know if it’s better to buy or to build? There are many factors to take into consideration when trying to decide which direction to take. The most popular reasons to build a house are the freedom of customization and the lower ongoing maintenance costs, but these benefits can also have drawbacks. Buying a home is almost always quicker and more convenient and sometimes less expensive. So how do you choose? To help you decide which is best for you, we’ll go over these key benefits and disadvantages.

Building Pro: Customization and Control

When you build a home, you literally begin with a blank canvas. You can make all the decisions and get exactly what you want. You can decide on the size, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, layout and architectural style of the home. You can also opt for specific features that might be hard to find in pre-existing homes in your area, like bay windows or a daylight basement. Everything down to the drawer-pulls and counter tops is up to you. While this can be incredibly overwhelming for some, others thrive with complete creative freedom.

Building a home also gives you control over every part of the process. You have your choice of architects, builders, real estate agents and other professionals to help you build your dream home. Building a home allows you to be involved in every stage and decision and make changes or requests at the right time. While the builder will serve as the official project manager for the build, you still get a front-row seat and can give input anytime.

Building Con: It’s a Long Process

Downside to customization and control of the process is that the process is long. Even if you go for a more hands-off approach to your home build, you’re still starting literally from the ground up. There are contracts and permits and financial processes to complete before you break ground. Once the work actually begins you will need to wait at least several months before your home is move-in ready. Delays can and often happen, whether they be due to weather, materials or labor issues. Even outside of the construction, the freedom to make all the decisions also means taking the time to make those decisions carefully. Careful planning is essential if you choose to build a home, as is flexibility and patience.

Building Pro: New = Less Maintenance

From the concrete in the foundation to the countertops in the kitchen, every piece of the home you build will be brand new. The latest and greatest materials, construction methods and system design all combine to give you peace of mind regarding maintenance. It’s common for homeowners to save thousands of dollars in maintenance costs in the first several years and beyond. Major components like roofing and HVAC systems will remain in great condition for a decade or more. Brand-new appliances and features like windows or countertops often come with warranties that last years as well. Most builders also provide their own warranties or even insurance to cover the possibility of problems or defects with the structure of the house. Overall, building a new home means you don’t have to worry about things like outdated plumbing or cracking foundations, saving you money and stress.

Building Con: New = More Expensive

Building a new house is frequently more expensive than buying an existing home. All the reasons above can factor into this cost: builder fees, custom material choices, brand-new appliances and more. The larger and more custom your home design is, the higher the price, especially if you request specific non-standard components and materials. Labor also accounts for a significant amount of the cost, as your builder will hire out an entire team of individuals to do the best work possible. Getting a construction loan will help you finance the project, but most require large down payments that will cost you more up front. You being involved in every part of the process also means your money being involved in every part of the process and that includes any unexpected expenses that may arise.

There are exceptions to all the above. Not every home building project takes an extremely long time and not all pre-existing homes are immediately move-in ready. There are plenty of ways to save money on a custom home build just as there are plenty of ways to pay unexpectedly large amounts for an existing home. Creating a detailed breakdown of your wants and needs and building a well-informed budget will help you decide which option is best for you.