When you’re on the market for a house, you have a lot of options to consider. What’s your price range? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want to live in the middle of a city or in a suburban area? Does a gated community fit your needs? Stucco or brick?
And the big one: old or new?
Older homes offer a sense of history. The patina of age can lend dignity and beauty to a building. However, newer homes have a wealth of advantages you should also consider. Here are four reasons that buying a newly constructed home is a good idea.
When you buy a new home, it’s sometimes possible to have more control of your home’s construction. Often, you can collaborate with the developer and the architect to modify the structure’s plans to fit your needs. But even if your architectural involvement is limited, getting in on the ground floor allows you to… well, customize that ground floor. You won’t be stuck with the design elements and interior decorating choices of the home’s previous owner. Instead, your home is a blank canvas, and you get to fill it.
One of the real disadvantages of buying an old house is the repair cost. Within weeks of closing, you might find yourself calling roofers or replacing a furnace. With a new home, repairs are still a few years away. You should still, of course, keep a running maintenance schedule — inspect and clean your chimney every winter, seal those driveways every 3-5 years — and plan ahead for major scheduled (and unscheduled) repairs. But you can rest assured that in the immediate future, your house will stay upright and keep the rain and sleet at bay.
Sustainable Building Practices
The last 30 years have seen significant advances in sustainable building practices. It’s more than just eliminating asbestos and lead — today’s new construction aims to minimize carbon footprints, increase energy efficiency, and integrate itself seamlessly with the surrounding ecosystem. The Environmental Protection Agency has begun labelling energy-efficient appliances with an Energy Star label, so it’s easy to identify the washers, dryers, and HVAC systems that are best for the environment (and your utility bills). Innovations like low-e (low emissivity) windows, which have a thin metallic covering on them that allow light to pass through while blocking the transfer of heat, reducing heat costs and costly energy consumption, and reclaimed wood and recycled plastic are increasingly popular sustainable building materials.
When you’re in the midst of buying a new house, you probably aren’t that focused on selling it. But should you ever decide to move on, a relatively new home will be much easier to sell than an older one. Many potential homebuyers want the same things that you wanted, when you bought new: fewer repairs, efficient appliances, and sustainable materials. If you decide to sell, the youth of your home will be a major asset.
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.