New Construction Frequently Asked Questions
There are often misconceptions about new construction that may lead you to believe that a new home isn’t for you. But just like buying an existing home, every new construction subdivision is different, and there is likely a timeline and price that will suit your needs. As specialists in new home sales, we’ve gathered the most common misconceptions and questions we hear to create this simple FAQ to help clear up some of the confusion.
Does buying a new construction home always take 6+ months?
Definitely not. Depending on when you become interested in a community, it may already be well underway and homes could be available in a much shorter time period. In addition, spec or model homes could be already listed. These homes are fully finished, or close to it, to serve as examples of what other homes in the community could look like and are move-in ready. In fact, depending on the market, it can actually be more time efficient to purchase a new construction home that’s only a few months out from completion compared to trying to find the perfect resale in a fast-moving market.
Is buying new construction always more expensive than buying an existing home?
With every home, there are going to be trade offs that affect price. Ultimately, there is no definitive rule that new construction is always more expensive. There is value in buying a new home. You won’t have to spend money or time doing renovation projects or updating fixtures and appliances. You can oftentimes customize finishes or even floor plans to your liking. Not to mention, new homes show significant energy cost savings compared to older homes due to increasingly energy efficient building code requirements. And in Maine and New Hampshire, minimum one-year construction warranties are required for all new homes, a safety net that buying an existing home does not offer.
What is a lot premium?
A lot premium is an additional cost that the builder may charge if the lot you choose for your home is larger or more desirable in some way compared to other lots in the subdivision. It may have more privacy, water views, or a wooded area. Essentially, there’s something that sets the lot apart from the other lots in the community, warranting the “premium” pricing. The lot premium amount gets added to the purchase price of the home, making it a one-time fee.
Can I make floor plan changes and other customizations?
The simple answer: sometimes. Each builder is different, so it really depends on the specific community you’re looking into. There may also be other outside factors like what the city will allow or how far along construction is that could influence what customizations are possible, but it’s always worth asking.
Can I (the buyer) choose whether the house has a walkout basement or bulkhead?
No, in most cases whether the house can have a walkout basement or bulkhead is determined by the grade of the land and can only be one or the other.
Can every builder build for the same cost?
There are tons of factors that influence the cost of a home. Materials used and finishes are two main costs that can change from builder to builder. One builder may offer premium, high-end finishes to really make a home feel luxurious. Another may offer more “builder-grade” finishes to help keep costs down. Even if all else is equal, materials and finishes can have a big effect on the final cost.
Just like resale, every new construction home and community is different, which is why we recommend discussing your options with an experienced REALTOR®. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in new construction, or check out our current new home communities now.