New vs Resale
I love new construction but sometimes a resale home is the way to go. Here are ten reasons to buy a resale home.
1. No decisions! It’s done
Just move on in. Building can be stressful because of all the decisions. You’ve saved hours of time avoiding design meetings and sleepless nights (worrying about your decisions).
2. You know how the house will look on the site
This is a big one. It’s hard to imagine many things from a plan. How many steps will the house have? Will there be a big ditch in the side yard? Will the driveway be steep? Is it what you envisioned? If not, you will be living with it for a long time. Watch this video and see some of the possible pitfalls in choosing a home site.
3. The lots are often larger and the landscaping mature
These days, new homes come with very small lots unless you are out in the country with a septic system. Established neighborhoods have homes with lovely established landscaping. Often there are garden features and fenced yards. Trees grow and the bare new home site will look better in a few years but you may not want to wait. Many people buy a resale for the lot.
4. You know the price
I know, you think you are going to stick with the specs and stay on budget. It’s hard to do when you get to the design center and presented with all of those beautiful options that you have always wanted. The just a little more adds up to a lot more.
The “just a little more” adds up to a lot more.
There is also more room for negotiation with a resale because the seller has built up equity over the years. With a new home the builder has to pay off a construction loan that was based on the appraised value.
5. The builder kinks have been worked out
In the first year a new home has warranty issues to be worked out with the builder. Building a new home involves many trades and is a complex puzzle that usually comes together as a wonderful new home. There is no perfect home and those pieces don’t always fit together as they should. Most problems with a new home come up in the first year. If you buy a newer resale these warranty kinks have been fixed and you don’t have to deal with messy builder call backs and contractors intruding on your time.
6. The houses on your street are finished
Think about the sound of hammers on an early Saturday morning or the roar of the dump truck going down the street. If friends come over there is nowhere to park because there is a pick up truck in every space. Sometimes my clients worry about their children darting out in the road and being hit because of all the construction traffic. It’s also nice to know what is around your home and that the other houses are as nice as yours.
7. The neighborhood values are established
A resale home in an established neighborhood has established property values. Past history is a good indication of future property values.This is a graph of the Southern Village neighborhood in Chapel Hill.
8. No need to have temporary housing and move twice
When you build a new home you will likely need to sell your current home before your home is finished because most builders will want contingencies removed before sheet rock. Moving twice is stressful. Temporary housing is shockingly expensive and usually not that nice.
9. You don’t have to worry about the builders financial status
Custom builders often ask for a 10% deposit that isn’t earnest money but goes into their operating account. Even if you check the builder customer and client references your deposit can be at risk because there can be something going on with their business in another location or division that can put the builder out of business. Your house may not get finished and your money is gone. Read more about builder deposits.
10. You really like it, it feels like home!
This is usually the deciding factor. When my client says this house feels so homey I know it’s the one.
If you do want new construction
You will want to make sure your agent is familiar with new construction and is able to guide you through the process. Take a look at an article I wrote on my Chapel Hill Neighborhoods web site.
Should you use a buyers agent for new construction and if so will the builder pay the commission?
by Marianne Howell Wright