Many buyers would choose new construction if price were no object, and it’s easy to understand why. However, buyers should also consider the potential downsides of purchasing new. Here are some of the pros and cons.
- Choice of Floor Plan– Buyers can choose the floor plan that best suits their lifestyle.
- Interior Customization – Many aspects of the interior can be customized, with a variety of options for cabinetry, counters, flooring, lighting, and bathroom fixtures, among others.
- Choice of Exterior Material - In many cases, buyers have a choice of various exterior materials, such as stone, synthetic stone, brick, vinyl, or fiber cement.
- Choice of Lots - Buyers who purchase during the beginning stages of the development have a good choice of lots. Some lots might accommodate a walk-out basement, and some may back to woods or open space.
- Lower Maintenance Costs – Since the whole house is new, it should be many years before the heat, air, roof, windows, and siding are due for replacement.
- Personalized Décor - There is no need for the time-consuming process of changing the décor chosen by previous owners
- Settlement Date – Builders in our area generally don’t provide a specific settlement date, unless the house is a spec house that is already completed. Rather, they provide an estimate and reserve the right to modify the date if needed. Buyers who need to sell their current home before they can purchase often need to move into temporary housing while their new home is being finished.
- Builder’s Contract – The builder’s contract is written by and for the builder and typically is filled with complex clauses difficult to parse. Some builders may allow limited changes to their contracts, but some will not. By contrast, the contract used for most resales is written in plain English and is provided by the PA Association of Realtors, with an attempt at fairness to both parties.
- Uncertainty About How the Lot Will Look – When choosing a lot, buyers can look at the plot plan and engineering plans, but it can be difficult to visualize the lot’s slope and other characteristics.
- Minimal Landscaping – Builders generally offer a basic landscaping package comprising a few small shrubs and trees. By contrast, existing homes often have mature trees and, in some cases, beautifully tended gardens.
- Ongoing Construction – For buyers who purchase during the beginning stages of a new development, construction will be ongoing for some period after they move in. The final top coating of roads typically is not done until the development is complete, to prevent damage from construction equipment.
- Competition When Selling – Some larger developments can take several years to complete. Buyers who are likely to be relocated by their employers should understand that if they need to put their house on the market prior to the development’s completion, their house will be competing with brand new housing in the same development.
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