New Construction vs Existing Home

New Construction vs Existing Home

When you bought your charming starter home, it was perfect.  As a newly married couple living in the Twin Cities, the 950 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath felt spacious after living in a one bedroom apartment. Now, two children later and you feel like your once spacious home more closely resembles a hobbit hutch and you know it’s time to move up to something larger. Like many young potential buyers in your position, you are facing the conundrum of should you buy another used home or opt for a shiny new one? Should I buy a new construction home or buy an existing home? According to a Zillow survey, 41% of buyers responded to having a preference for a newly constructed home, but as in every incidence when you are at a crossroad, there are pros and cons on both sides of the equation. When you purchase a home, there is never a one size fits all option and depending on lifestyle and priorities one choice, new vs. existing, may be clearly preferable to the other.

Pros of New Home Construction 

  • Buy or build a new home and you get to make all the choices, every single one! You choose the lot, the style of home, floor plan, colors, cabinets, and flooring. You can decide where you want to splurge and where you feel you can take the standard feature.  
  • New home construction incorporates the latest trends and styles that many home buyers want like open floor plans, island kitchens, master suites and home office space. 
  • Many home builders in MN use much safer materials than ever before. It is common for builders to use flame retardant carpeting, insulation, sheetrock, and doors as well as a radon mitigation system.
  • Imagine controlling your home lights in every room and setting your heat or air conditioning remotely from your smartphone or tablet. Smart home features can now be controlled wirelessly by "apps" and help ensure safety and efficiency as well as comfort. It may even result in lower rates on homeowner's insurance.
  • A new home in MN will have no lingering odors. Mold problems should not exist. This can be very important if you have a family member who suffers from allergies or asthma. You can expect clean air and comfortable moisture levels with a properly designed, constructed and controlled new home, 
  • In 2009 the International Energy Conservation Code required approximately 17% more efficient than mandated just three years previously. You also have a choice of the materials and the level of efficiency above and beyond the current building codes resulting in lower utility costs and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • In Minnesota, a builder must provide a 1-year warranty on the entire home, a 2-year warranty on all of the systems and a 10-year warranty for the structure. 
  • Since everything in your home is new, you won't have to budget for immediate potential repairs or replacement of appliances.
  • Many developers are creating a "community within a community" by building pools, walking trails, sports courts, playgrounds and sometimes even a clubhouse in their new construction projects.

New Home Construction Disadvantages

  • New homes are generally more expensive than existing homes by about 20%. If you enjoy do-it-yourself projects and redecorating you could end up with more amenities if you purchase an older home to renovate.

  • Builder model homes are chock full of amenities. Keep in mind that the basic home will be far less luxurious and adding upgrades can blow right past your budget very quickly.

  • New home construction is not only generally further out from the hub of the metro area but further away from schools, shopping, and entertainment. Also, remember that if you are among the first to move into a new development you will be living with the dust and noise of construction for quite a long time.

  • If you love tree-lined streets and established neighborhoods close to all the amenities urban life has to offer, new construction is probably not for you unless you find a teardown option.

  • New homes are generally built on smaller house lots lacking mature landscaping. So if gardening is high on your list as well as a large backyard new construction might not be a good choice.

  • New homes lack the architectural details and charm of older homes. If you love the more traditional looks of overstuffed sofas and warm woods an older home might be more your style.

Buying New Construction Homes in Minnesota

Buying new construction means everything new in your home.  It means not having to live with purple carpeting in the bedroom until you have the funds to replace it. You won't need to wonder how someone else maintained your home, or that costly repairs may be just around the corner. You can design it, customize it and care for it exactly the way you want. However, keep in mind that it will be more expensive, may mean a longer work commute, and not provide you with the charm and convenience of an older established neighborhood. It also means you will most likely be living further out in the suburbs instead of closer to the heart of the city. The choice is yours and whatever you decide, new or older, the perfect Twin Cities home for your family is out there.

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