I work with a lot of home buyers, and many of them ask me "should I buy a new construction home?" Well I can't answer that question for everyone, but there are three important considerations I always bring up:
Shopping For New Homes is Fun
It's fun to go to the home builder's model home centers and see three or four perfect houses. Houses that have never been lived in. They're perfectly clean, they're professionally staged with furniture that has been picked out by professional designers. It's easy to fall in love with them. But there are three important things to consider while you're trying to decide if a new construction home is the best thing for you.
1. How Will the Neighborhood Look Once It's Done?
Once real people start moving in, you never know how that neighborhood's going to shape up. With an established neighborhood, you can drive up and down the street and see if people are taking good care of their houses. Does pride of ownership show? Are the cars in the driveway looking good? Are the yards being well maintained?
2. What Happens if You Need to Sell Sooner Than You Think?
If you're unsure how long you are going to live in Albuquerque, you should think hard about buying a new home. If you're job is unstable or your relationship is on the rocks, you probaly shouldn't be buying into any neighborhood let alone a new construction neighborhood. If you have to sell before the builder has completed the neighborhood, it can be really hard to sell. Competing with the builders is usually a losing battle. They are big companies with deep pockets, so they can reduce prices on the dime when the market is down. They offer closing cost and 'flex cash' incentives to the buyers, and when the market is slow they offer large incentives to the Realtors too.
3. New Home Communities are Usually on the Outskirts of Town
All the good land has already been built on, so the new home communities are usually located on the edge of town. The means longer commutes to work or to school. It also means it's going to be harder to maintain relationships with your friends who live in your old neighborhood. Sometimes it means years before a new grocery store is built or new schools are added. When the market is hot and the builders are growing their new neighborhoods quickly, it's hard for businesses to keep up.
New Homes Are A Great Option for Some People
New construction homes are a good option for some people. In fact, the last home I bought was a brand new home, and it's worked out quite wel. But I got quite lucky. For one thing my job has not forced us to move, and my neighborhood still looks great even though it doesn't have an HOA. It helps that my neighborhood is a small (about 3o homes) infill project. It wasn't part of a large master planned community with thousands of homes that took ten years to build. --- by Albuquerque Realtor Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty, (505) 803-5012.