Charlotte Home Buyers – Charlotte Real Estate Q&A – New Construction or Old House?
Which Should You Buy?
This is a re-post/revision from 2013 as we have a number of buyers debating over new construction and resales. We thought we would revive this post to help detail the pros and cons of each.
Trying to choose between Charlotte new construction and a resale home? While there are many differences between the two, the majority of the time, a Charlotte home buyer’s decision is made based upon one or more of the following factors:
What You See Is What You Get
When purchasing a resale home (for the most part), what you see when you tour the home is what you get when you move into the home. Anything affixed to the property such as window blinds and shutters, build-in speaker systems, curtain rods and even the trees and shrubbery planted in the yard, remains with the home.
When I say, “for the most part,” I mean that some sellers inadvertently remove items like curtain rods, TV bracket mounts, etc. That does occasionally happen but, your agent the the listing agent will work it out for you prior to Closing.
With new construction, you do want to be sure that you have a REALTOR® who is representing YOU to get you through the purchase of a newly built home in Charlotte. When you purchase new construction in Charlotte, or anywhere for that matter, you never know what the price is going to cover. Is it going to cover all of the fine appointments which you see in the model? Don’t forget about the blinds, the towel racks and irrigation! Those and many other items are considered ‘extras’ in the builders’ eyes.
When comparing costs, it may well be a smarter financially to purchase a resale in Charlotte as the upfront costs may very well be less than with new construction. Conversely, consider the age of the resale though – costs for upkeep may exceed those costs with new construction.
Location, location, location! I’m sure you’ve hear that a time or two over the years – especially when you’re the one who is in search of a Charlotte home! Old or new, ultimately where the home is located, is of utmost importance in not only your happiness but, your resale value.
Resales are typically in established Charlotte neighborhoods that boast mature trees and landscaping and already have the desired community amenities that you’re in search of.
Not so much with new construction – you don’t know if or when the community will be completed. You don’t know if those amenities that have not yet been installed WILL be installed and the landscaping typically leaves some ‘height’ to be desired!
Lifestyle needs are based upon location – proximity to work, schools or extracurricular activities are a major part of your home purchase decision. Don’t let that shiny new stainless sway you into moving to an outlying area where you may not be happy. Conversely, if commute time is not important to you as you work from home, then location may not be a factor in your decision and may allow you to go for the shiny new construction home!
Price per square foot in a new construction home may appear to be fairly comparable to resale homes in the area. Don’t be fooled by this initial ‘cost’ as new construction costs typically bring final costs of well over the price per square foot of a resale in that same community.
However, the builder may offer some incentives which can bring those final costs down a bit. Dollar for dollar, old and new homes alike, have hidden costs that some buyers don’t think are important until they’re faced with them–either in maintenance of an older home or in capital costs for new neighborhood associations. Either way, your Realtor® will explain these costs to you as you make your way through the buying process.
One of the best things about a new construction home in Charlotte is that all of the major systems are brand spanking new! This typically means lower maintenance and repair costs for you during the first 5 years of homeownership. You may find yourself a resale gem though, that has had major renovations including high-dollar items such as the roof, HVAC and appliances. Did I say, those homes are GEMS!
But, don’t sell resales short – even new construction has its problems, so be sure that your agent schedules a home inspection for you. I have been witness to some new construction inspections that are far worse than any of the 50+ year old homes I’ve sold! If the agent for the developer tells you that you don’t need an inspection, RUN! You do and you should not Close on the home until the inspections are completed!
Your decision to purchase a new construction home or a Charlotte resale is entirely yours. Begin with a thorough evaluation of your lifestyle needs, neighborhood preferences and narrowing down the perfect home for you should be an easy decision.
*Note: Between 2008 and 2012, new construction prices were more affordable and were also more inline with resale prices. In 2015, we are finding that new construction price per square foot is considerably higher than resale prices. Now we love new construction and sell quite a bit of it but, most buyers in the $400,000 price range and above can do far better in the resale market at this point in time. However, if you’re buying new construction below the $400,000 price range, your cost per square is going to be closer to resale price per square foot.
Thinking of buying a home in the Charlotte Metro region? Give us a call at (704) 491-3310. We’d love to help you find your dream home, whether it’s a glorious new construction home or a fabulous 75-year old home!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group Real Estate | SavvyBroker@me.com | Charlotte Home Buyers – Charlotte Real Estate Q&A – New Construction or Old House?