Commercial Construction
Everyone ultimately wants to end up in their dream home. Living in the perfect house we always imagined is the way we’d all like to spend the rest of our days. It may seem like it may be possible to save money and have more house by buying a used house and investing money into it. Many times homeowners would be better served financially by finding a new house that has been built with all the features they desire. Older houses are rife with hidden problems, and unseen issues with a roof, electrical or HVAC systems can wreak havoc on a budget. Modern amenities are cost saving, energy efficient, and highly attractive. However, remodeling an existing house is unlikely to come close to offsetting the cost of the work with an equal increase in home value.

Older homes may need paint, fix ups, and walls knocked down or moved to create the modern open spaces that make sense for today’s families.

Energy Consumption/Green Building: If you care about “green” — whether that means the money you spend on energy bills every month or your concern about the environment — a newly constructed home is virtually always the better option. Homes built today must meet far tougher national code standards for energy efficiency than just a few years back. Most newly-built homes, in fact, come with energy certifications covering walls, roofs, windows, doors and even appliance packages. Virtually no resale homes offer certifications because they were built to much lower standards — often decades ago, when energy usage was an afterthought.

You can retrofit many elements of an existing house to improve its energy efficiency, but it’s costly. Even then, because of design shortcomings, you may not be able to achieve the level of efficiency that is now routine with a newly-constructed home. In addition, new homes typically offer better air filtration which increases indoor air quality, reducing symptoms from those who have asthma or allergies.

Replacement Costs in pre owned homes:
HVAC $5,000
Flooring and Carpeting/Tile/Wood refinish $10,000
Roof $5,000+
Kitchen Remodel $20,000+
Bathroom Remodel $15,000+
Interior and Exterior painting $5,000
________
$60,000 in refurbishing costs

By definition, with a new house everything is new, including costly components — such as the furnace, water heater, air conditioning unit, kitchen appliances and roof, — and doors, windows, and more. In a new home, most of these components come with a warranty, sometimes for up to 10 years. With a resale house, the equipment and structural features you buy have been in use for awhile, and may be close to needing replacement. There may or may not be warranties, but if there are they probably have significant limitations.

New pros:

Cleaner

Less dangerous chemicals

Energy efficient = green + lower bills

Modern design

Financing easier and can include home improvements

Used cons:

Major unnoticed problems, more expensive in long run

Neighborhood

Retro design and appliances

Financing difficulties

Consider some of these typical capital improvements that may be part of the true cost to you over the early years of a purchase of an existing house:

Bottom Line Here: Although you — and your budgetary resources — control what you improve and when, it’s highly likely that you’re going to spend money on at least several of these capital improvements in the early years following purchase of a resale house. They are the unadvertised costs of not buying new.

Safety Features (Especially from Fires): Newly-built homes come with modern fire retardants in materials such as carpeting and insulation, unlike most existing houses. Builders also hard-wire smoke and carbon monoxide detectors into their homes, making it unnecessary for new owners to install less-dependable battery-powered detectors. Many builders also back up their hard-wired detectors with battery power to handle electrical outages.

Mortgage Financing: Builders often have mortgage subsidiaries or affiliates, and are able to custom-tailor financing — down payments, “points,” other loan fees and even interest rates — to your specific situation. Many are also willing to work with you to help defray closing costs at settlement. Sellers of resale homes may be willing to offer contributions to settlement charges, but you can be certain they don’t own a mortgage company and thus have the leeway to come up with the loan you need. When you finance a resale purchase, you are basically on your own.

Resale Value: You may plan to live in your next home many years, but at some point, most people sell a given home for any of a myriad of reasons — moving to a bigger home to accommodate a growing family, moving down to smaller digs when children are gone, moving across town or across the country for another job, etc. While the home you sell will (by definition) no longer be new, a 5-year old home will often be more desirable — given all the features above — than a 25-year old home at resale.

The decision to buy a newly built or used home is ultimately best made by each home buyer. Now you know the questions to ask, and the relative costs involved, in order to make the best decision for you.
3) All New, Under Warranty: A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances, countertops or a water heater on a used home? Those components of your new home feature the latest designs and building materials and should offer you years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.

4) Energy and Cost Savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago. Versus homes built ten or 20 years ago, it’s game over, advantage new. Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting, single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double or even triple-pane windows. Special window coatings and inert gases between the layers of glass are often available, saving you even more energy and money in both heating and cooling season. In fact, a 2016 survey by the National Association of Homebuilders found that 90 percent of respondents listed Energy Star appliances as an essential or desirable feature in their most-wanted list.

 

5) Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, draft-free comfort and higher indoor air quality.

6) Low Maintenance: New cars today are computer-designed and computer-equipped. That’s why they perform much more reliably than a car that’s 15 or 20 years old. Homes are the same. Today’s new homes have open floor plans and high ceilings that reflect the way we live today. They’re also made of cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance. Another plus? The latest building systems and components are designed and engineered to work together.

7) Community Amenities: Many new homes are built in lavish master-planned communities with resort-style community centers, pools and clubhouses. Many new home communities also feature hiking trails, protected open lands and some of the best new schools and shopping near (or even within) your new home community.

8) Advanced Technology and Design: It’s possible to replace all of the single-pane windows in a resale home with today’s high-performance windows. It’s also possible to add insulation to a used home. However, it’s very expensive to replace dated appliances, cabinets and countertops in a used home — and you still won’t have the high ceilings you dream of on the first floor of an older two-story home. All are reasons to build your new home your way, to reflect the way you live today.

9) Safety: State-of-the-art circuit breakers. Electric garage door openers with infrared beams that stop if a tricycle or child is too near. High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners that use the latest environmentally-friendly coolants. Cabinets, carpets and paints that use fewer volatile organic compounds, so that you and your family can breathe easier.

10) That New Home Feel: A used home was someone else’s dream, not yours. It reflects their choices and family memories. You may learn to love avocado-green appliances (and you may be willing to scrub stained countertops or grease-encrusted ovens and cooktops) but more and more people prefer that never lived-in feel.

new construction has a never-been-touched attraction, while existing homes have stories to tell. For every advantage of buying newly built and existing homes, there’s a flip side. For example, newly constructed homes tend to cost more than similar pre-owned homes, sometimes as much as 20 percent more. But they are initially less expensive in terms of maintenance and utilities.

Benefits of new construction
Floor plan: If you opt for a custom-built home, you’ll work with the contractor to create a traditional or modern layout that works for your life. If you’ve always dreamed of a formal dining room for family gatherings, it’s yours. If you’re buying pre-built new construction, chances are good the layout will lean to modern, with wide-open floor plans. Kitchens flow into family rooms so you can cook and oversee homework or watch the game. Rooms in new construction homes – especially bedrooms and bathrooms – tend to be larger and brighter, with lots of natural light.
Personalization: Even if you’re not opting for a custom home, you may be able to upgrade finishes from builder-grade materials if you connect with the builder before construction is completed. It may cost you a bit more, but adding your own personal touches may be worth it to you.
Efficiency: New appliances and home systems are more energy efficient. Plus more efficient insulation and windows create buttoned up homes that are less expensive to heat and cool than older models. All of that translates into lower utility bills.
Smart and healthy: “Smart” technology options allow you to automate internet, cable, speakers and even an alarm system. And new homes often use low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and building materials, improving indoor air quality.
Maintenance: A newly built home requires less maintenance since everything from appliances to the HVAC system and roof are brand new. This means you can better predict monthly homeownership costs, since you’ll likely spend less to maintain your home. Warranties can protect your new home for years before you need to undertake any major repairs.
Amenities: Buying new construction often means buying a lifestyle. Master or planned communities often include amenities like parks and community spaces that are close to schools and transit. The key is finding a builder who offers what you care about.

If you’re interested in new construction, read about how to buy a new home HERE.

It’s time for another match-up, this time we’ll compare buying a new home versus purchasing an existing one.
For the record, some home builders will refer to existing homes as “used,” which sounds kind of silly considering it’s a house and not a car, but let’s continue on.

The most obvious benefit to buying a new home as opposed to old, existing, or used is that it’s brand spanking new. It’s untouched, it’s clean, everything is in good working order and nothing needs to be repaired.

Well, today’s new homes come with solar panels, energy-saving windows, smart appliances, USB outlets, electric vehicle charging stations, thermostats and door locks you can control with your phone, and other features that might make your used home look really old, especially a few years down the line.