”The Benefits of Buying A New Build” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
It is the age-old question: new build vs old? Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on this question, but how much of the negative sentiment is justified? Are new builds great investments? Do they appreciate like regular housing – and what are the benefits of buying a new build? When we lived in Houston several years ago, we had a house built. It was through a production home so we selected everything and signed the paperwork at the end of May and moved into the house October 31st of that same year. Not all new builds happen that fast but if you research your builder, you might find one that can. It was so exciting and worth it to have this opportunity.
In this article we’ll explore three benefits of buying a new build. Some of them you might be aware of, others perhaps not. So, let’s jump in!
A complete blank canvas
One of the most exciting things about buying a new build is the fact that it is a complete blank canvas. It has that ‘new car effect’. There is also something in living in a brand new home that no one has ever lived in before. This means that you will not need to grapple with the poor decorating choices of the person who lived there before you.
All of your utilities and furnishings will be new so there is no question as to whether or not the previous occupant looked after them or not. Those who criticise new builds as a purchase will often say that new builds lack character. And the reason that point of view is often put forward is because new build developers are building houses at scale. And to make that economical they will typically add some uniformity to the development. This means that they houses can be very similar to each other, even when they are slightly larger/smaller. Our builder allowed small changes that made the home seem specialized for example the 12″x12″ tile in the foyer was in a diamond pattern with the tile next to the wall framing it with 4″x12″ sizes.
That said, this does depend on the developer. There are developers that specialise specifically in creating properties with character. And the obvious response is: just because it might look similar on the outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it. But if you’re looking specifically for character you might find what you’re looking for on the open market.
New Builds are chain-free
Interestingly, the US in 2018 there was a total of 618,000 new build properties developed. In the UK, there were around 165,000. One of the biggest advantages of buying a new build is that that they are chain free, meaning they don’t need to sell a house for you to buy it. This might seem quite small but in practice that can make a big difference.
For those that might not know, a chain is defined as: a sequence of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase. Chains have been known to be as long as 30 houses – even longer! The risk you take when buying a home that is part of a chain is that if any link in that chain breaks, the house purchase can fall through.
You might have expended energy, time, finances and everything else into the purchase of the property only to have it fall-through. Now, that doesn’t happen all of the time, but it’s certainly a risk. One of the great benefits of buying a new build is the certainty of the purchase going through, and typically when it will go through. On the flip side, new build developments are typically done on a set development plan. That development schedule might get put-out due to adverse weather conditions or a delay in materials – potentially anything. And you just want to move home.
When you compare new builds and regular housing on this basis though, we have to give the nod to new builds.
Lower running costs
There is such a thing as a ‘new-build premium’ which means that you will pay slightly more for a new build just because it’s new. However, what most people neglect to consider is that the actual cost of running the new house is less. In the UK for instance, the average new build saves over £600 a year on energy bills. This is because new builds are a lot more energy efficient and are generally built with energy efficiency in mind. When our home was completely closed in(roof, exterior walls, etc), we spent the next day with a ton of tubs of caulk and literally tried to caulk every seam or any pin holes that we could. Our energy built on the 3,000+ square foot home was half of what we paid for our 800 square foot apartment we were living in. You can definitely save lots of money on energy bills with a new build. Be sure to check with your builder regarding the types of materials they use and how they install.
Additionally, you will also spend less per month on repairs and maintenance because your house is brand new. When you factor in the energy savings and the amount of money you save on repairs and replacements the new build purchase starts to look like a really good investment. Of course, as with all things this will differ from property to property, but more-so than not it’s a solid investment
Final thoughts: We hope you’ve found this article on some of the advantages of buying a new build helpful. It’s always the case that you need to speak generally on such topics as every purchase differs on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately, new builds receive lots of undeserved criticism. That’s why we must always critically consider what’s being suggested to see if it’s actually the case or not. Do as much research as possible. Good luck in your house purchase!