New Construction vs A Resale Home
Here are the advantages to buying new construction or a resale home. If you are in the market to purchase, knowing what your likes or preferences are, will help you decide, what will best suit your needs.
New construction gives you a home that has never been lived in. A resale home may come with wear and tear and age problems. HVAC and roofs, for example, have a useful life of 15–20 years, so the age and condition of the working components of a home must be considered when purchasing a resale home.
With new appliances, HVAC, plumbing and electrical, new construction usually has fewer issues than a resale home, which may have old plumbing lines that may be near the end of their useful life. Electrical may need to be rewired or may not have the proper service to handle todays living needs.
New homes are built to the latest building codes and are designed to be more energy efficient. New homes require better strapping tie downs in the framing, better insulation and most all have double paned Low-E windows to prevent heat transfer.
The floor plans in new homes are designed with the lifestyle and needs of today’s buyers in mind. Older homes may need renovation to open up floor plans or repair foundation issues. In today’s new homes, we are seeing most built on a slab instead of crawl spaces. Because of this, we see less sagging, uneven floors. Most new home builders run their plumbing without joints under the concrete slab except in the waste areas.
New home builders are adding more bathrooms with more space than older homes. They are also building larger closets, both in master bedrooms and secondary spaces.
The latest materials in construction technology are used in new homes today, which consequently require less maintenance and are more energy efficient. Older homes built before 1980 may have asbestos in the siding, roofing, ductwork insulation, joint compound, vinyl flooring, drywall and window caulking. Lead in paint is another health issue to consider in homes built before 1981. Older homes were built with a lot of wood and masonite siding which required more maintenance that the brick, cement plank siding and vinyl that is used in the new homes today. Builders are using granite and quartz countertops and tile and hardwood flooring, instead of the laminate often found in older homes.
New construction is often safer, as more and more safety features are developed and added. New homes are often equipped with hardwired smoke and CO2 detectors. The carpet, drywall and caulking in new homes are more fire retardant. Security systems and structured wiring is more commonplace, and we are seeing a rise in Smart Homes, with the latest in technology.
If you prefer community living, you can take advantage of the high-demand amenities that are being developed in new home communities. Amenities such as swimming pools, biking trails, hiking trails, playgrounds, fitness centers, tennis courts, grass play areas and community centers are becoming more and more common.
There are pros and cons to both new construction and resale homes. Metro Realty Group wants you to be the informed buyer and know the advantages of all of your buying options. There are many things to consider, and we are dedicated to quality service with agents who are committed to surpassing your expectations.
New Home Warranties & Resale Warranties
Warranties give you assurance that for a specified length of time you have protection for the working parts of a home, in case of failure. Learn more about warranties:
Warranties give you assurance that for a specified length of time you have protection for the working parts of a home in case of failure. All new home builders that we see today offer a warranty for 10 years on the structure. This warranty covers the whole home for 12 months and covers components of the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems for 2 years and some parts for up to 5 years. Every builder we know will come back once for touch-ups after you close, normally in the first 11 months from the close date. The new home warranties we are seeing builders use are: Quality Builders Warranty, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty and Residential Warranty Company, LLC. Warranty booklets can be downloaded in advance if you want to know about these warranties. The builders will give you the warranty booklet and go over the warranty at the final walk through of your home or at the closing with the attorney. Most of these warranties are transferrable, and they also offer additional coverage for another year if you prefer.
After you close on your home, take time to upkeep your home. Most people think a home takes care of itself, and they don’t have to do anything. Caulking tubs, showers, baseboards and exterior windows and doors usually needs to be done once a year. HVAC systems should be serviced at least once a year. This is one area we often see neglected. To keep warranties valid, you must keep up with your scheduled maintenances.
You will have manufactured warranties on your appliances and HVAC systems. All warranties are transferred to you once you take possession of your new home. Most of the builders have a warranty department and will help you for the first year. We advise that you stay in touch with the builder warranty department for any issues or questions in the first year. The new home warranty covers everything for the first 12 months of ownership, so it is important that buyers resolve any issues before the end of the first year.
Wear and tear are not usually covered under warranties, nor are weather-related issues like hail, high winds or ground flooding due to heavy rains or overrun creeks. Additionally, issues related to owner neglect, such as a sink clogged by food or an object are not covered.
Your home should be free of water intrusion, plumbing should not back up, electrical should function safe and reliably, your HVAC should heat and cool properly, floors should not be shifting, lifting or cracking and walls should not be sagging. These are examples of defective construction, and a claim should be submitted if the issue falls within the parameters of the warranty. First, call the builder’s warranty department and the warranty company, if there is no response from the builder. A reputable professional and quality builder cares about you and will want to make sure of your safety.
Other warranty companies that give 12 month warranties on resale homes are: Americas Preferred Home Warranty, 2-10 Home Warranty, American Home Shield, and Old Republic. There are others, but these are some of the most used companies in the marketplace. Our agents are happy to help explain home warranties and give you information.
Custom Home Builders vs Production Builders
There is a lot to consider when choosing a builder for a new home. The two main types of builders are custom builders and production builders. A production builder has a streamlined process, while a custom builder has more room to tailor homes to the customer.
The two main types of new home builders are production builders and customer builder. A production builder constructs a high number of homes. They are sometimes called tract builders, because they build many homes at the same time in one area. These usually have limited floor plans and exterior front elevations. Production builders have streamlined processes for construction. Production builders can be local, regional or national. The big national builders such as DR Horton and Pulte streamlined their processes years ago, and we see many local builders using those same techniques today.
The production builders try to take the headaches out of the building process. They often save you money and time, and they take on the responsibility of the project.
Production builders provide developed plans for you to choose from, without spending a lot of money on custom plans from an architect. They develop a tract of land or buy multiple lots from a developer. They get better pricing on land and materials bought in bulk. In turn, they offer homes at a lower price per square foot.
One of the big differences between the production builder and the custom builder is in options. The production builder has limited options or upgrades, while options with a custom builder are unlimited.
Today’s production builder is offering more choices for they buyer than they used to. The time frame in building a production home is 4 to 6 months. A custom builder usually takes closer to 8 to 12 months, because the home is tailored for you.
An architect works specifically to draw your plans. Some builders, referred to as semi-custom, bypass the architect and use draftsmen to alter stock plans. The custom builder will let you shop the many choices of plumbing, electrical, lighting, cabinets, countertops and a host of other custom finishes. The production builder has a more limited selection of choices either at their model home in the community or at the builder showroom at their main office. Usually, the paint choices offered by the production builder will be a cheaper, builder-grade, matte finish paint with only a few neutral colors.
The cost of your lot or land is higher with a custom builder. The costs can run up if you have to clear trees, fix grading issues, add more fill dirt or build retaining walls.
Tap fees for water and sewer can run as much as $5,000–$8,000, based on the area. If the property requires a well and septic, then you will most likely be at least $8,000 or more for both to be installed. With the production builder the price includes all of these costs already.
The main thing you must know, no matter what type of builder you choose, is the builder’s reputation for quality. Do your research to know that the builder is quality and stands behind their work. This is where our experience with new home construction can be useful. We know all the nuances and potential challenges of building a new home, and this experience does matter. Make sure you call us to help represent you in finding or building your dream home.
New Home Inspections
Though a new home should have less cause for concern than a resale home, they are not immune to defects and mistakes. An inspection is the best way to ensure the safety of your home before closing.
When purchasing a new home, many buyers think that it is free from defect and without any mistakes. While some homes may be close to perfect, builders are not immune to mistakes. Though one builder may be supervising the construction, many different contractors come to the job site during the process. Usually superintendents are hired to oversee everything. If they are simultaneously working on many projects, sometimes things may fall through the cracks.
For this reason, new home inspections are the best way to give you piece of mind that your new home has been constructed in the proper way. If you are buying a spec home, then we recommend having the inspection done 10 days to two weeks before closing. If you are building from the ground up, then it may be wise to have a foundation inspection, a frame inspection and then a final inspection done. You should give notice to the builder that you wish to have inspections done before entering into an agreement to build or purchase a home that is already complete. The builder may explain that they don’t want people on a job site during construction, in case of liability. This is common, and they will ask that you are accompanied by their representatives and that hard hats are worn.
New home builders go through their own inspections through the building process, as does the county. We recommend having a qualified inspection company do additional inspections. Choosing the right home inspection company that has building knowledge and knows the complexity of building codes and standards is critical. Though an inspection company may be qualified, they may have less experience in this field than those who may have been builders and have known the changing of codes for years.
Our experience as a company will help you immensely in the process of buying a home. When we represent you as a client, our commitment is to you. Our goal is to bring you joy and satisfaction in knowing that you have dedicated and experienced realtors who care deeply about your best interest.