If you’re thinking about buying a home, you may begin your search by looking at a diverse array of properties. Even if you know you want a move in ready home, you may be comparing new construction homes to remodeled homes built in the 70s. There are pros and cons to both; however, more and more buyers are gravitating towards new construction communities as the prices of existing homes continue to increase. Below you will find eight great reasons to consider a new construction home.
1. Energy Efficiency
New homes are much more energy efficient than older homes. First of all, new homes are well insulated. They also come with brand new HVAC systems. This means not only is the system designed to be more efficient, but there is less energy waste because the home is well-insulated. Additionally, new homes have brand spanking new windows. In older homes up to 30% of your utility bill may be going straight out the window. Furthermore, we’ve come a long way in terms of creating more energy efficient appliances. In a new home it’s likely that almost all of your appliances will be energy star certified. Even if they’re not, the appliances of 2018 are simply more efficient than older models. All of these items add up to serious savings on your utility bills. I wouldn’t be surprised if you compared two homes of the same size, one built in the 1970s and another built this year, and the 70s home utility bills are twice that of the brand new home.
2. Modern Finish Out
With a new construction home, you will likely have more modern finishes. You may or may not have something that matches your exact tastes (I’ll touch on that point later), but you certainly aren’t going to have mustard yellow formica countertops. You will also have a modern floor plan that meets the needs of today’s buyers. Builders are listening and creating homes with open floor-plans, larger closets and bonus-spaces for the kids. In older homes, you may not even have a master bedroom, and if you do, the bath may be quite small.
One of the biggest lures for buyers thinking about buying a brand new home are the warranties. When you buy a new construction home, there is usually a builder warranty. There may be additional warranties from sub-contractors for items like the HVAC and plumbing. Also, you will likely have warranties for all of your appliances. At minimum, most new homes offer a one-year builder’s warranty. This will cover almost every aspect of your home. If something stops working or doesn’t look quite right, you have peace of mind knowing you can call someone to get it taken care of with no cost to you.
4. Less Maintenance
Similarly, new homes require less maintenance. When you purchase an older home, it may be filled with surprises, and I’m not talking about the good kind. Things like rusty pipes can lead to costly repairs, and it’s often quite difficult for an inspector to evaluate all elements of a home when he or she is simply doing a visual inspection. When you buy a new home, you have a pretty good idea of the lifespan of the various aspects of your home. You know the AC should last for about 15 years and the roof should be good for about the same amount of time. With an older home, you can have sudden unexpected repair costs that happen in the first year turning your dream of installing marble countertops to dust.
Another top reason that buyers gravitate towards new construction homes is the idea of customization. Having the exact home that matches your family’s needs and design tastes is a common aspiration. Unfortunately, many buyers have unrealistic ideas of the depth of the customization with new homes. Unless you are having a true custom home built, you won’t be able to customize everything. However, you often will have the liberty to make some design choices. With a new home, you often are able to choose your paint color, floors, tile selections, and countertops. You may be able to add an extra room or further customize selections such as bath and light fixtures. These choices often come at a price; but new homes do offer you the ability to personalize your house.
6. Builder Perks
Purchasing a new construction home may have economic benefits too. Oftentimes builders offer incentives to entice home owners to purchase one of their units. These incentives can come in many forms. Builder sales goals may provoke simple price drops, or the builder may offer more complex deals to make the purchase more affordable. Offering to pay for the title policy or other closing costs is common practice among many Austin area builders. Some builders offer free upgrades to make your customizations more luxurious, and other home builders even offer specific benefits for teachers, police officers and fireman.
When I purchased a new construction home last year, I immediately fell in love with this one thing that has become one of my favorite aspects of my new place: a USB wall outlet. I know, it sounds simple enough but this little piece of technology is so useful. There is one in the kitchen and a few more in the bedrooms. No searching around for one of those little white apple boxes in this home, we can plug our devices straight into the wall. In older homes, you may not even have enough outlets to charge all of your devices. New homes are much more tech friendly. They are wired to meet the needs of today’s buyers with multiple outlets, practical places for wifi routers and walls designed for flat screens to be mounted.
Last but not least, new homes are safer than older homes. New construction homes must be built to current building codes. Older houses do not have to be brought up to code. In an older home you may have lead based paint or asbestos siding. New homes are built with materials that are better for you, and in a way that minimizes the risk of accidents. There are safety mechanisms on almost every item that could cause harm. Outlets are all GFCI protected, there are mechanisms on your hot water heater to prevent over pressurizing or over-heating, and there are smoke detectors in every room.
If you’re considering purchasing a new home in the Austin area, I’d love to discuss the best communities for your needs with you. Alternatively, you can search all new homes for sale in the Austin area here.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.