BUYING VS BUILDING
Over the years my wife and I have built four custom homes and purchased two resale homes. As much as we love the feel of living in a home that we designed and built, we have also appreciated the simplicity of just making the purchase and moving in. Building is not for everyone, there are pros and cons to both. Here are a few things to consider when choosing which is right for you:
- Pictures may say a thousand words, but walking through a home is truly the only way to get an accurate feel of a home. With new construction, you may misinterpret details, and the final product may be different than you imagined. With an existing home – you know what you are getting.
- There is no such thing as a "perfect" home, even in new construction. Building materials wear and with certain soils a home may settle over time. With a re-sale home, you have the chance to bring in a professional home inspector who can educate you on the state of the home before signing off on the purchase.
- Every buyer wants to have the confidence that they are receiving good value for their money. When you purchase a re-sale home, your Realtor© can provide you with a market analysis that will show what the property is worth in today's market.
- With re-sale homes, you have the chance to see the neighborhood, research the local schools and visit the parks in the area. Existing sales data will give you a good idea of the trends in the neighborhood so can make your investment with confidence.
Disadvantages of Buying a Re-Sale Home:
- The property will have experienced some wear and tear from the previous owners. Most sellers will leave the home in move-in ready condition, but you may still need to do a deep cleaning and perhaps some general maintenance once you take possession.
- Unless you are buying a nearly new or recently renovated property, you might need to set some money aside for renovations or repairs. Depending on the scope of work required, it’s important to keep the additional expenses in mind when making an offer.
- Once the deal is done, the home is yours in "as is" condition. Sellers are only required to ensure the appliances, furnace, air conditioner, etc., are functional until the day of closing. Beyond that, all issues are the new owner's responsibility. Ask your Realtor© about a home warranty to cover this eventuality.
Advantages of Building New Construction:
- You will be walking into brand spanking new home, and all you will need to do is move your furniture and yourself in and make yourself at home.
- Design trends change each year. You will have the opportunity to appoint your home with the most modern and desirable finishes.
- Want your home to represent your personal style? Choose flooring, cabinets, appliances and paint colors to fit your style. The sky (or your wallet) is the limit.
- Following your closing date, most builders will conduct a series of warranty inspections when the home owner can point out any defects that require attention. Most material or labor defects are covered at the builder's expense within a reasonable time period.
- Even if it looks good on paper, the finished product may be something other than what you had envisioned. There are an amazing number of details which will require lots of negotiations and compromises. It can test a relationship!
- If you choose to buy a home in one of the initial phases of a subdivision, expect to be dealing with uneven roads, dirt and dust, and other challenges that go along with living in a construction zone.
- Closing dates may be subject to delays. Construction or permit delays, poor weather and a variety of other factors can push closing dates off for months at a time. When building, be sure to see how the builder handles delays and make sure the timeline fits with your personal expectations.
Whichever way you go, it’s important to have your team in place to ensure your transaction goes smoothly. A good place to start is with your local Realtor© who will be able to help you choose the remaining members of your team. Most Realtors have trusted lenders, contractors and inspectors whom you can depend on. Start your search for a Realtor by asking friends and relatives. You can also contact Windermere Real Estate and ask to be referred to Realtor.
Regardless of whether you buy or build, this is going to be one of the most important transactions that you will ever make. It pays to use a team of professionals to help you work through the details involved in a real estate transaction.