Building vs Buying a Home: Pros & Cons of New Construction
Are you dreaming of buying a new construction home? You'll need to understand the pros and cons first. While there are many benefits to owning a newly constructed home, it's essential to consider the drawbacks before making your decision. This post explores all the pros and cons of new construction homes and answers other crucial questions so you can make the best homebuying decision.
Pros of Buying New Construction Homes
One of the most significant advantages of buying a new construction home is that you can customize it to include all the high-value home improvements you can dream of. From the floor plan and layout to the fixtures and finishes, you have complete control over how your home looks and feels.
However, the degree to which you can customize your home depends on the type of new construction home you buy. For those looking for a truly unique atmosphere and style, nothing compares to a fully custom home. A custom-built home provides complete creative control to design something that's literally one-of-a-kind.
Spec homes and semi-custom homes have more limitations when it comes to customization. However, they also offer pre-built options, which allow for shorter timelines and reduced costs. No matter what aesthetic you are looking for in your new construction, understanding the difference between these options will help ensure you get it.
New homes are built with energy efficiency in mind, so they often come equipped with features that help reduce energy costs significantly over time. New construction homes can be more energy efficient for several reasons.
First, newer building materials and sustainable construction trends are often designed to be more eco-friendly than outdated materials. For example, modern insulation and windows are designed to regulate indoor temperature better and reduce energy usage. Second, many new construction homes are built with energy-efficient upgrades like appliances and lighting systems that use less electricity than older models. Finally, new construction homes may also be designed with solar panels or geothermal heating and cooling systems that reduce energy consumption. These factors can result in lower utility bills for homeowners and a reduced environmental impact.
New homes typically come with warranties on labour and materials used in construction—something not offered when purchasing a pre-existing home—giving buyers peace of mind knowing their investment is protected if anything goes wrong during or after construction. In fact, new build homes must have a third-party warranty in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.
This warranty typically covers deposit insurance, defects in work and materials, and major structural defects. It could also provide additional coverage on mechanical systems or building envelope items. If the builder fails to meet its obligations, certain warranties may include living expenses such as temporary accommodation fees, move costs and storage assistance. Home buyers could upgrade the "basic package" of the warranty agreement to have extended coverage. Therefore, before deciding on a purchase, you must ask your builder about their warranty and its specifics—what it covers, what extras can be added on, and how long they are valid.
With new builds, there are usually many different locations available for purchase. Whether it's a city centre townhome or a suburban single-family dwelling, there's sure to be something out there that meets your needs. Plus, you don't have to worry about hidden problems such as structural damage or pests since everything has been newly constructed for you.
Modern Amenities & Technology
Many modern amenities, such as smart house appliances, are now included in some new build homes, making them even more attractive than ever. You also get access to up-to-date technologies like fibre optic internet connections, which can make life much easier (and faster.)
Cons of Buying New Construction Homes
New construction homes are often more expensive than existing homes, as the cost of materials and labour is higher for new builds. Additionally, you may have to pay extra fees, such as development charges or taxes, that can add up quickly. Builders must purchase land, obtain permits, and pay for materials and labour costs, which can be higher than buying an existing home. Additionally, new construction homes offer modern features and amenities that may not be found in older homes, such as energy-efficient appliances and smart home technology.
The costs of building a new home are also subject to change during construction. In rare cases, the estimated cost will be lower than the final cost, but it's most likely that the final price will increase.
Unforeseen issues such as weather delays, changes in material costs, and unexpected construction challenges can impact the project's final cost. Additionally, buyers may decide to make changes or upgrades during the building process, adding to the overall cost. Builders may also encounter additional permits, inspections, and utility connection expenses. It's essential for buyers to have a contingency plan in case costs exceed their budget and to communicate regularly with their builders throughout the construction process.
Building a home from scratch takes time, and there's no guarantee it will be finished on schedule. If your builder runs into delays due to weather or other issues, you could wait months longer than expected before moving in.
The completion timeframe of a new construction home may change due to various factors. Weather delays, issues obtaining necessary permits, and unexpected construction challenges can all impact the timeline. Builders may also need to coordinate with utility companies, inspectors, and other third-party vendors, which can add time to the project. It's essential for buyers to have realistic expectations about the timeline for their new home and to find a home builder that communicates throughout the construction process to ensure that any potential delays are addressed promptly.
With any construction project, there's always a risk of something going wrong with the build quality or design features not being what was promised by the builder. This can lead to costly repairs down the line if not caught early enough during home inspections before closing on your final purchase.
Buying an existing home gives you access to its history. You can see how well its construction has stood the test of time, and you know how well the property has appreciated over the years.
With a newly built house, all this information is still to be determined. There's no way of knowing how reliable it will be in terms of future maintenance needs until after living in it for a while.
What Are the Types of New Construction Homes
When it comes to buying a new construction home, there are several different types of homes that you can choose from. Each one has its own pros and cons that contribute to the general advantages and drawbacks.
Production homes are the most common type, and they're usually built in sizable neighbourhoods with preconceived floor plans. They offer buyers affordability and convenience but lack customization options.
Fully-custom homes are designed entirely from scratch according to the buyer's specifications, allowing maximum personalization. Customization comes at a cost, though. A custom-built home will almost always cost more than resale homes.
Semi-custom homes provide more flexibility than production models but less than fully custom ones—think of them as the midway point between the two extremes.
A spec home, short for speculative home, is a type of newly constructed home that is built by a builder or developer without a specific buyer in mind. Instead, the builder or developer creates the home based on their own vision and design preferences with the expectation that it will appeal to potential buyers once completed.
Tips For Buying a New Construction Home
Even though drawbacks are always a possibility, they don't have to be a reality. Stick to these tips for buying a brand-new home, and you'll enjoy more of the pros than the cons.
- Do your research. No matter which type of new construction home you decide on, it pays to research builders, neighbourhoods, and building costs.
- Run the Numbers. Prices vary for new build homes. Be sure to carefully assess your budget before you buy.
- Take a Tour. Visit model homes or existing properties built by the developer.
- Know Your Market. When it comes time to negotiate prices or terms with builders or developers, knowing comparable sales prices will give you leverage.
Are You Ready to Build Your Dream Home?
Before purchasing, it's essential to consider the pros and cons of new construction homes. While there are many advantages to buying a newly built home, such as having modern amenities and energy efficiency, some drawbacks should be considered. By understanding the potential issues associated with new construction homes and taking steps to mitigate them through proper research and due diligence, buyers can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of property is right for them.