Vicki Aubry, Realtor, ABR, SRES, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Who doesn’t go into a brand new home and “ooohhh” and “aaahhh” over all of the untouched brand new details such as shiny hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and beautiful woodwork?
But, often the model sells and you are looking at another structure that is perhaps only framed. Or, you may only have a floor plan to go off of to make a buying decision. Are you confident enough in your skills that you can visualize the home done to your satisfaction?
Also, can you invest the time it will take to choose all of the details? The style, type, and layout of the kitchen are extremely important and time consuming as well. What type and color of counter tops do you want? What about the stain on the wood do you want a glaze? What about knobs versus handles? There are thousands of each to pick from.
You’ll need to choose lighting, paint colors, hardwood, tile, and carpet colors and styles and just about every other detail.
On the exterior, consider the grade of the driveway, the exterior finish work, and how the finished lot will look.
Conversely, a resale will be a “what you see is what you get” offering. You’ll either like the lot or not, like the floor plan or not, and like the kitchen or not. You see the finished product.
A big plus in a resale can be all of the mature shrubbery and trees that not only give you privacy but shield your home from the hot sun decreasing your utility bills.
However, there are some other things to consider when making the final decision.
What about timing? Can you close on the new construction before the kids go back to school? Buyers in cramped temporary housing may not want to wait the many months it takes to close on new construction. In this market there are few “spec” homes that are finished just waiting for buyers.
Mortgage rates are incredibly attractive right now so with a resale closing you’ll be able to lock in your rate fairly quickly.
Will the rates be that attractive six months from now? Who knows?
Consider that resales come with many extras that new construction doesn’t – consider the cost of window treatments, blinds, built-ins, finished basements, and, outside, consider the cost of fencing, walls, additional shrubbery, adding a pool – and the time it takes to orchestrate those things.
New construction comes with a one year structural warranty. But the home is new and has no history. The next time five inches of rain falls in a day will you be swimming in the basement due to improper grading? With resales the sellers will generally complete a Sellers’ Statement of Property Condition in which they should be disclosing any issues they have had with the home and what has been done to fix those issues. Also you will have a home inspection. Often, you are not able to on new construction.
Last but not least is the motivation of the seller. The builder knows what it costs him to build the house and what his profit margin is. You can try to negotiate some extras potentially but regardless of the economy it seems that the price of building supplies keeps increasing. The seller that is leaving the state next month for a new job might be far more motivated to negotiate with you.
Need some help deciding on new construction or resale? Just give me a call and let me help you in!
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