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Buying a New Construction Home

What you should know when buying a new construction home

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to buy a new construction home instead of a resale. You can pick up a distressed property or a foreclosure very cheaply, and a resale is always going to be less expensive than new homes in Orange County, but there are benefits to buying a new construction home. Let's talk about some of the advantages of new construction homes.

Customization

This is probably the main reason why people buy new homes in Orange County. Builders will frequently allow the buyer to help with the design, and that means that you get a living space that's specific to your needs and tastes. You can usually choose your color scheme and even make adjustments to the building plans. If you're moving into a new subdivision, you can also choose the lot you prefer.

Fewer Repairs and Lower Maintenance Costs

It almost goes without saying that buying a new construction home is going to require less maintenance than a house that has seen wear and tear over the years. With a new construction home, you know that you're not going to have to re-paint, redo your flooring, or upgrade the plumbing any time soon. With a resale home, you really have no way of knowing what's going to have to be done in the near future.

New homes in Orange County are also constructed in such a way so as to minimize maintenance - just as an example, vinyl siding is going to require considerably less work than clapboards or shingles, which need repainting and replacing from time to time.

Energy Efficiency

Building codes today require higher standards than they did when people first began to be concerned about energy efficiency in the late 1970s. In fact, the standards have become more stringent year by year. In 2009, for example, the International Energy Conservation Code required 17% increased efficiency over just three years previous. The newer the home, the more energy-efficient it's likely to be.

Buying a new construction home has a tighter building envelope (the enclosed part of the structure) that keeps cool air in during the summer months and warm air in during the winter. This is because of improved insulation, and more tightly-sealed doors and windows. Remember single-pane windows? You probably don't, unless you're of a certain age. You're probably familiar with double-paned, but now new homes are featuring triple- and even quadruple-paned windows.

Green appliances are also part of the trend toward energy efficiency. High-efficiency refrigerators, stoves, water heaters, and HVAC systems are far more common now than they were in homes that were built even a few years ago. Of course if you buy an older home, you can always upgrade your HVAC or buy green appliances, but that can be expensive.

Fire Safety

New construction homes include fire-safety features like fire-retardant insulation or carpeting, and all new homes in Orange County are now required to be equipped with hardwired smoke detectors that run on electricity with a battery backup.

Warranty

Buying a new construction home is a better option because many new construction homes are warranted by the builder for at least a year, with some components covered for longer. If anything goes wrong, the builder covers the repairs. With a resale home, if the roof leaks or the water heater dies, you're on the hook for the repairs.

Financing

Often, new home buyers have access to mortgage financing advantages that are available through the builder. Larger builders in particular may offer to pay closing costs, or buy down certain rates for the buyer. This isn't going to happen when you buy a home on resale. So, buying a new construction home is definitely better.

Summary

In the final analysis, it's up to you - resale, fixer-upper, foreclosure, or new home - they all have their advantages. For peace of mind, though, it's hard to argue with the benefits of new home construction.