Should You Buy a New Home?

I am in the middle of buying a home. We’ve already visited two developments, four houses, three agents and are waiting for final pricing on the home we want to build on the lot we chose. After months of scanning the internet for listings and discussing the pros and cons with our real estate agent, we decided to buy a newly constructed home. We hope to make an offer within 60 days. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

If you’re in the market to buy a house, did you decide to buy a new home or an already-lived-in home? Here are the three things we considered when deciding to buy a new construction versus an old home:

A price we can afford

We searched listings for months before deciding to buy a new home and visiting the developments. There were a lot more options for newly constructed homes than there were for older homes. We knew the general area where we wanted to live, but had no idea about neighborhood amenities. That can only be determined by visiting the homes on site.

Although model homes are pretty much standard, homeowners can make small adjustments to the layout and fixtures at no extra cost. This was a big plus in the debate of new versus old.

The upkeep and maintenance

For the past 15 years we have lived in an apartment with a landlord and maintenance staff who assist with all of our needs.  To say that neither my husband or I are handy would be an understatement. We decided that even though buying a used home may be cheaper, after the costs of renovations the smarter economical choice was to buy a new home.

Professionals such as plumbers and electricians are expensive – and they charge by the hour. Newly constructed homes come with a new structure, new finishing’s and a warranty from the builder.

Making it our own

If we purchased a home from another couple or family we would need to spend additional money to make it our own when it comes to decor. A builder allows buyers to choose the color scheme throughout the new home such as flooring, kitchen cabinets, countertops and paint on the walls.

As long as the materials aren’t an upgrade, all personalization is included in the cost of the purchase price. This saves new homebuyers a lot of money and it was one of the factors in our decision to buy a new home.

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4 thoughts on “Should You Buy a New Home?

  • I like that you talked about the benefits of researching for a long time before buying a home. Homes can be somewhat expensive. The last thing you want to do is buy a home that doesn’t meet your needs. Do you have any tips about finding an agent to help you find a good home?

  • Hi Johnny,
    Believe it or not I found my real estate agent on Twitter! I was writing about the Real Housewives of Orange County and she replied to one of my tweets. We were reality TV-Twitter friends for about a year and when I started looking for a house she was my first call. After we met it turns out that it was a good fit because she understands what we’re looking for and works a lot with new developments. I definitely got lucky and didn’t have to meet with other agents. My best advice is to find an experienced agent who specializes in what you’re looking for, i.e. knows the neighborhood or can make location recommendations based on your criteria. She’s been very upfront about our must-have list vs. what we can afford and we communicate well. Communication is key, if you ask a question and don’t hear back within a day or so I would look for someone else. After all it is a big purchase.

  • I would also say buy a home with many of the upgrades that you’d like because it’s expensive to have them done yourself and you’ll end up procrastinating for years and years before doing anything. If you can get the upgrades included you’ll save yourself time and money.

  • Oh Cassie, AMEN to that. I quickly learned that putting things off when it comes to your home means they’ll probably never get done and they’ll be very expensive. We are getting our basement finished with the builder because we’ll have a guarantee and it will be done when we move in. It’s definitely worth it to pay for some upgrades upon purchase, we are putting some of the more expensive items on our mortgage and the rest we’ll pay in cash.

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