Builder's Focus: To Buy or Build?

2013-09-14T11:45:00Z Builder's Focus: To Buy or Build?Michelle Krueger Times Correspondent
September 14, 2013 11:45 am  • 

When you're in the market for a new home, there are many factors to consider – starting with whether to buy or build.

Since most people have a particular area where they would like to live, a good starting point would be to explore your options whether you favor a location near family and friends, a particular school district or convenient route to work. It shouldn’t take long to determine if any of the available homes – new or existing - meet your criteria in your preferred location.

It’s usually fairly simple to determine whether a home meets your needs functionally. However, when it comes to the specific features as well as the overall quality you are seeking in a specific price range, things can get a bit more complicated.

With an existing home, chances are there will be updates and renovations to consider. You’ll want to factor in those costs when you are comparing the pricing of different homes and also weigh in the short and long-term benefits of buying new.

For example, you may find that you are compromising a number of items on your wish list by purchasing an existing home. You may find that your overall investment for updates and repairs to an existing house would cost just about as much as building new. If that’s the case, then new construction is worth investigating.

For starters, already built or nearly built new construction gives you the option of buying new and moving right in. It can also be a good place to start when searching for vacant land to build from the ground up.

Once you have reviewed your options based on location, you should investigate the local builders.

Whether you are looking to build your home in a new or established neighborhood can play a part in who builds your home. Some builders only work in specific neighborhoods, offering everything from a selection of specific plans for the location to semi-custom options and full custom homes. Either way, a good quality home starts with a reputable builder.

The best way to learn about different builders is to visit the homes they are building and model homes, which are often furnished to give you ideas on how to use the space. Home shows, such as the upcoming “Fall Home Tour” sponsored by The Times, are a great opportunity to look at homes.

When touring a home, look at the overall flow of the floor plan and examine the quality of construction, including cabinetry, flooring, trim work, paint and any special architectural features. Then step outside for a look at the overall visual appeal of both the individual home and the surrounding neighborhood. If any homeowners are outside, introduce yourself and ask about the builder who built their home.

Local builders are looking forward to meeting you during the Times “Fall Home Tour,” local builder models including available new construction will be open September 27-29 from noon-4pm daily. Look for complete details next weekend.

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