- Pat Setter The San Diego Union-Tribune
Yes, older homes tend to have more character than new construction, from unique architectural features to lovable little nooks. But what looks charming is often not practical. So before you invest in vintage, consider the perks of buying new.
Here are 10 reasons to buy a brand-new house:
1. Personalized picks
Purchasing a house that hasn’t been completed allows you to customize your home. Buyers can often choose everything from the floor plan to the finishes in a new, master-planned community.
2. Modern design
New homes reflect the lifestyles of today’s families, with open floor plans, flex rooms and livable outdoor spaces, as well as plenty of closet space and roomy master suites. They also have all the outlets and charging ports needed to keep everyone and everything plugged in.
3. Energy efficiency
State law requires that California builders be extremely energy-efficient, which means new homes come with thicker wall insulation, highly efficient heating and cooling systems and appliances, along with double-paned windows, and LED lighting. An increasing number of new homes also are equipped with solar panels, making these residences good for the environment as well as your pocketbook.
4. Low maintenance
Besides having everything new and in perfect working order, new construction is also focused on low maintenance, often with composite building materials that won’t weather or crack and won’t need to be painted every few years.
5. Worry-free warranty
If something does go wrong, state regulations require builders to offer a 10-year warranty on major structural defects — items such as a faulty foundation or sagging roof. Limited coverage on materials and workmanship usually lasts from one to two years. Be sure to check with the builder, as warranties differ from one company to the next.
6. Safe haven
New homes are constructed to the latest building codes, which are constantly updated to address consumer safety issues. Codes include elements that range from insulation to plumbing and paint. High-tech ventilation and air-filtration systems ensure that even what you can’t see won’t hurt you.
7. Fire safety
New homes are required to have fire sprinklers, even in single-family residences. They also must have hard-wired smoke alarms with a battery backup. Smoke alarms need to be interconnected, which means that if smoke is detected, all alarms will sound.
8. Friendly financing
Builders often have a mortgage company that can offer incentives to buyers.
9. Neighborly neighborhoods
Because everyone is moving into the community at the same time, chances are you will get to know your neighbors, whether it’s at a social organized by the builder or at one of the many amenities that come with the planned community. Often, new communities attract like-minded people, so your new neighbors are likely to become your new friends.
10. It’s new!
There’s an emotional factor to owning something that’s brand-new. Like a new car with that new car smell, owning something that’s never been used is gratifying. The same is true for a house that’s shiny and unscratched and has never been occupied by anyone but you.