New Construction: Pros and Cons
You know you’re ready for a new home, but should you buy it or build it? This is the first of many important decisions you’ll make during your home-buying journey. As with anything, there are pros and cons to consider as you make this important decision. I’m breaking down the pros and cons of new construction, so you can confidently decide if building a home is right for you. Let’s start with the pros!
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New Construction: Pros and Cons
1. Material and structural warranty
Many builders offer one-year material warranties, which means they’ll accept responsibility for
some material defects and will come in and fix them at no cost to you. Sweet! Many builders
also offer a 10-year structural warranty, where they guarantee the stability and function of the
structure and foundation. As you visit different builders, be sure to discuss their warranty
policies before making any decisions. It can be a gamechanger!
Plus, any appliances included in your home (furnace, water heater, central air system, and any
kitchen appliances) will likely be covered for several years under manufacturers’ warranties.
2. No bidding war
Look, it’s a jungle out there. Building a home can be a much simpler, stress-free solution for
buyers house-hunting posed by eliminating fierce competition. It’s also a great solution for
buyers in a seller’s market environment (when the number of buyers is more than the number
of homes on the market).
This is a biggie. Many home buyers go the new construction route because they can get exactly
what they want. When building a house from the ground up, you’ll get to personalize the
details of your house — both exterior and interior. From the placement of lightbulbs and outlets
to the style of cabinets, you call the shots! And sometimes, you’ll even get to choose the lot!
After all, you know how you like to live better than anyone.
4. Nobody has lived in the home
There’s something to be said about moving into a home that nobody has lived in before. No one
has stepped foot (or paws) on your carpet, and no time has passed for anything to break or go
This is an extra bonus for lender incentives. BUT! A home-builder can never require you to use
their preferred lender; you always get to choose your lender.
5. Energy efficiency
New builds are often built with more energy-efficient technology, like high-efficiency
appliances, insulation, and air sealing. This will save you tons on energy bills! Plus, new builds
are better for you — literally! New homes are less likely to have health concerns or toxic
materials that older homes might have -– you won’t have to worry too much about asbestos,
lead paint, mold, and other nasty toxins
1. Less negotiating power
Negotiation is tricky business in real estate, and even more so when purchasing a new
construction. Builders are reluctant to lower the base prices on homes because it will alter the
comps of the development and have every other buyer looking for the same discount. They
may, however, offer some design center discounts or financial incentives, so look for those
This is where having your own real estate agent is especially important. An experienced agent
knows the advantages and disadvantages of working with the different builders in your market
and brings a creative mind to the negotiation table.
The construction process is highly dependent on weather, so Mother Nature dictates your
closing date more than any party of the contract.
3. All builders are not created equal
How do you spot a reputable home builder? References. Reputation. Years in Business. Be sure
to do your research and always get an independent inspection. It’s a couple hundred dollar
investment, and let me tell ya, it’s well worth the cost!
4. Options are sometimes limited
Customization only goes so far; there’s a good chance you’ll have to choose between a limited
number of finishes presented by the builder.
5. Upgrades are expensive
Unexpected out-of-pocket expenses have a way of sneaking up on home buyers. Be prepared
to shell out if you want to upgrade your home, because the base price that’s listed on the signs
typically does not include optional add-ons like a fireplace or an extra bedroom.
Pro tip! Ask about landscaping and fencing. Unfinished landscaping or fencing will have to be
finished at your own cost, which is definitely not cheap!
6. Further from city
Developers often build new suburban developments on open land, away from the city. Think
about how long it might take to run to the grocery store or hit your favorite coffee shop.
Here’s the bottom line: It pays to take the time to consider all of these factors before jumping
into your home-buying journey. Whether building from scratch or buying a previously-loved
home, the best decision you can make is an informed one. You got this!