Pros and Cons of New Construction

by Tommy SibigaDecember 1, 2014

Statistically, when most buyers are given the choice between brand-new or used, the majority will choose new. There’s something alluring about a brand new home that’s built just the way you like it. In today’s current market, new homes are more affordable than you might think. However, there are two sides to every coin. Here are some pros and cons to buying new construction.
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Pros

  • The builder will work with you to customize the home before it’s completed. The home will have your personal touches throughout the house the day you move in. You, not a previous owner, will select flooring,cabinets, counter tops, and more.
  • New homes offer modern floor plans. Today’s buyer wants an open concept floor plan. This means large family rooms that open to the kitchen and eating areas. Older homes were often built with compartmentalized rooms and included both a formal dining room and a formal living room.
  • Maintenance costs within the first several years will be low. Since all of the big-ticket items are brand new there shouldn’t be large unexpected expenses. Additionally, builders offer a 1-year warranty and some offer up to a 10-year warranty.
  • Utility bills will be minimal. Today’s building materials are more energy efficient than ever before. Energy star appliances, more efficient HVAC systems, and energy efficient windows can save the owner(s) on those monthly utility bills.

Cons

  • One of the main disadvantages of new construction is linked to location. Most undeveloped land is away from city centers. You may have to consider a longer commute in your decision making process.
  • There could be no neighbors or unwanted neighbors. If you’re one of the first to move into a neighborhood you may be staring out at piles of dirt for quite a while. Or you may also have construction crews working around the clock.
  • New construction typically costs more than re-sales, but the additional expense is often worthwhile. What you might not be able to negotiate down in price you may be able to get the builder to add into upgrades.
  • Every upgrade and customization will likely have a price tag associated with it. The model home could blow you away and you want it replicated for your own house. A lot of small charges can add up to one carried-away purchase price.
  • A new neighborhood may lack mature landscaping. Clearing of streets and lots will take awhile to grow back. Also, grass will require owner upkeep to coax into fullness.
  • Property size and space between neighbors may be less than desirable. Newer neighborhoods are often strategically developed to maximize the quantity of homes within a given plat of land.
  • The last and possibly the largest disadvantage of new construction is that it can take several months for a new home to be built. You can move into an older home, typically, within 45 days from contract. A custom built home can take, on average, five to six months. If you’re in a position to buy without selling your current home OR if you are renting, time is on your side and new construction is a great option.

While it may seem that buying new is the perfect choice, there are matters of personal preference to consider. It all comes down to weighing the good with the bad. Which route is best for you? Do you think that new construction is right for you? Check out Homes.com’s new homes!

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Tommy Sibiga
6 Comments
  • December 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Tommy. My daughters home burned down and we saw the picture of the home on this site related to your article and wondered if you could share the name of the plan with us or give us some insight to the inside of the home. It is the picture of the framed house above. Thank you. Jan Lee

    • December 17, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Hi, Jan lee! The picture that accompanies this article is actually just from a stock photography website. So unfortunately, I don’t have any insight into the plans. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s home. Best wishes to your family.

  • December 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I think this is a great post, thanks for the info. I wish I had looked more into my options before my spouse and I built our home. As our first home we did not have any experience and so went into this pretty blind. When all was said and done we love where we live but our builder took every shortcut and price cut in building our home. Just one example when our water heater went out a couple of years ago we were informed that the one that we had been using was one meant for a mobile home. Needless to say pretty frustrated.

  • William
    December 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I personally live in a home built in 1930, but would like to add another con to selecting new construction. The building quality of today’s home is inferior to the quality and touches of workmanship of homes built prior to the 50s. While construction techniques and conveniences may have improved, most builders compromise and try to save dollars so they can attract more buyers who can afford their product. Hence, plastic (no more copper) water supply lines, cheap hollow doors, and fake wood flooring. Builders today don’t even use hammers, they use air guns that nail without regard to what is being attached. This is happening in homes today being built for $2million+- ridiculous. Homes today are assembled rather than being crafted by true builders who take pride in the finished product. If you don’t believe this -compare how long it take to tear down an old home vs new.

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