top of page

BUYING A NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME


New Construction Home
Luxury Waterfront Home

REASONS TO BUY A NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME IN NH


Nothing beats the “New Car Smell” that we all immediately recognize, nothing except the smell of a brand new home that is yours to call your own. The aroma of fresh paint, the lingering pine smell of the kiln-dried lumber, the dry and unused basement, the citrus in the air from the last cleaning prior to closing…

All of that is wonderful of course, but what else is so appealing about new construction homes? For most New Hampshire home-buyers the reasons to purchase a new construction as opposed to an existing home boils down to a few important realities.


IT IS “YOUR” NEW HOME! For many buyers the single biggest reason to buy a new construction home is the opportunity to be the first to live in it. The first to prepare food in the new kitchen, the first to sit on the deck and watch the sun come up, the first to throw a baseball in the yard with their daughter. I know all of those reasons were in my mind when I decided to build my own home and I hear them every day from clients who are making the same journey. I feel like this is especially true for people that are moving to New Hampshire from another state. The desire for a fresh start is strong, and nothing is fresher than being the first to live in a brand new home. The other aspect of being your home’s first owner is that you have been able to help design the home to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Most builders will allow reasonable customizations and even encourage their buyer to make choices in regards to flooring, cabinetry, countertops, paint colors, lighting, and even kitchen and plumbing fixtures. A home can be made completely your own with just those selections. Just please don’t ask to move the walls!


REAL COST-VS-LIST PRICE: Although the initial cost of a new construction home can be typically 20-30% higher than a “comparable” existing home in the same market there are many other things to consider. Once you have signed a purchase and sales contract with your builder and have selected your choices and upgrades, there SHOULD be reasonable cost certainty going forward. That may not be the case when you purchase an existing home. Sure, the home was less than the new neighborhood down the street, and all you really have to do is renovate the kitchen and maybe the primary en-suite. And yes you should probably get the roof looked at. And maybe the hardwood floors need replacing on the main level, but you got estimates for all of that work… Will you still come out ahead? Will those estimates be accurate? Do you want to live in a house being rehabbed? And what else will they find when they rip open the walls to plumb the new bath? All of a sudden, the higher initial cost of that brand new home down the street starts to look better and better.


COST OF LIVING: Despite paying more for a new home than a comparable existing home, the new home can actually be cheaper to live in. With all your systems being brand-new the cost of their maintenance should be minimal, also keep in mind that NH provides for a mandatory one year builders warranty to cover much of what you are purchasing. This will add to your peace of mind as well as your wallet. Additionally, new homes are built to an incredible standard of efficiency. Your new home should feature the most modern heating and cooling systems and be built to insure the lowest costs possible of their operation. Also, many builders are offering “smart home” options or even building them as standard offerings. These homes will include smart lighting, remotely operated smart thermostats, voice controlled devices, all of which are built to the most modern standards to insure reliability and low costs. Another consideration is that if you are purchasing in an HOA or condo association, the fees of a new community are typically lower to start, as the association should not have any unexpected repairs causing surprise special assessments that can run in the thousands of dollars. This is far more likely in an association of older homes with deferred maintenance or lax oversight.


LONG TERM INVESTMENT: A new home can be a terrific financial decision. Although typically new homes cost more than a “comparable” existing home, a smart buyer can put themselves and their family in a great position going forward. Some things to consider if you are looking at your new home purchase as an investment are:

  • Select your new home community wisely. Make sure that this new neighborhood is in a long-term sustainable location, close to established job centers and transportation hubs. Many areas of New Hampshire, such as The Lakes Region, are terrific places to live because they are close to the population centers of Concord and Manchester but they are far enough away to be out in the country in the true New Hampshire sense.

  • Make sure that the home builder has an established track record of success. Can they point to other successful projects? Do their communities hold their value and their quality? New Hampshire is fortunate to have many developers who have been at it for a long time and can provide real-world examples of successful communities that they developed.

  • Do not over-customize or over-personalize your new home. Over-customization can lead to an unexpectedly high purchase price that defeats the purpose of looking at this new home as investment. Overpersonalization (such as turning a 3BR into a 2BR or turning your garage into a ceramics studio) will make your home far less desirable when you decide to sell.

  • Keep an eye out for new projects. Being one of the first buyers of a new construction neighborhood can have many advantages. Most importantly, there is usually a large discount for those buyers willing to take that leap of faith when a community is just an idea and not a reality. That initial discount can be as much as 40% when compared to the price of the “same” home at the completion of a project. New buyers often have the advantage of selecting the most desirable lot or location. What’s not to love about paying the lowest price in the best location in your neighborhood. There are caveats to being the first to buy in a new construction project, due diligence is certainly required. Research your builder and completely examine all the building specs, floor plans, and site plans before you commit. And walk your lot with the builder or their representative to get a good sense of whether the other homes will be too close or if the enjoyment and desirability of your new home could be compromised by future development.

  • After you move in, keep an eye on the local real-estate environment. The New Hampshire real-estate market can change like the weather. Learn to recognize those seller markets that can truly multiply your profit. Most importantly, keep in communication with the project’s listing brokerage as they should have a ready list of buyers looking to move into your desirable neighborhood. Some of those buyers are not in a position to wait for their new home to be built and will want to jump on an existing property such as yours. Just keep in mind that you will need a place to go! So keep your options open on that end as well.


HEALTH AND SAFETY: For most of us, the physical and mental well-being of ourselves and our family is of paramount importance. New and existing homes each provide reasons for concern. For example, a new home may be built with chemicals, particularly but not limited to, in their carpeting and structural materials that may cause concerns. Some people are also concerned that new homes are being built “too air-tight” which would bring its own issues of ventilation and air quality. In New Hampshire, radon is a relevant concern. Existing homes however, particularly older homes, provide many more reasons for worry. The most well-known concern of course is the potential presence of lead. Many other concerns exist in older homes, such as whether or not the heating systems are fully functional. Issues with carbon-burning systems can of course lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, you or your family member may be susceptible to allergic reactions to the environmental factors potentially existing in older homes as well. Pest dander and excrement, dust, excess moisture etc can all pose risks. Older homes often have uninspected or unregulated sources of drinking water that provide other challenges. Another concern centers around the fact that older homes were built with outdated or nonexistent building codes. This can result in stairs and/or railings that are unsafe especially for the very young or elderly. Fire and/or carbon monoxide alarms may be non-existing or poorly functioning. Lastly, it has been shown that a resident’s mental health can be adversely affected by the limited natural light in older homes caused by small windows or poorly designed rooms that lack proper sunlight.


To be sure, many older homes are extremely well-built, and they can provide a charming and safe refuge for you and your family for decades, but these are all things to consider when deciding between an existing home and new construction.


MODERN LIVING: What’s new isn’t always best and what’s best isn’t always new but to today’s home buyers the idea of modern functionality combined with modern design imperatives are a tough combination to beat. For example, most homes being built in New Hampshire today seem to incorporate the two most important elements 1) Open concept 2) First floor owner’s suite. It is very difficult in today’s market to sell homes that don’t have those features. Obviously other elements can overcome those flaws but it is difficult. Other extremely important features that typically exist in new homes but not in necessarily in older homes are high ceilings, multiple closets located throughout, spacious kitchens, well-appointed bathrooms, and a commitment to easy maintenance through the use of vinyl siding, Trex or similar decking, and intelligent landscaping (no big lawns!). All of these elements are easily found in new construction homes and communities.


So the reasons are many to pursue a custom dream home in the beautiful state of New Hampshire. I encourage anyone interested in a new construction home to reach out to me today for a full inventory of projects in the midst of development or in the beginning stages. I would be happy to represent you on your journey for the best home possible for you and your family.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page