The Times celebrates new homes month with Spring Builder Tour

2014-04-01T07:30:00Z 2014-04-02T20:13:06Z The Times celebrates new homes month with Spring Builder TourMichelle Krueger Times Correspondent
April 01, 2014 7:30 am  • 

Despite a very long, cold winter and surprisingly snowy spring, area builders are gearing up for the season’s first “Builder Tour.” Sponsored by The Times in honor of the National Association of Home Builders’ “New Homes Month,” the Spring Showcase of Homes is set to kickoff April 5.

If you find that you are compromising too many of the items on your wish list when it comes to purchasing an existing house, building new may be just the option for you, and the Spring Showcase of Homes “Builder Tour” is the perfect way to get started.

When it comes to buying a home in 2014, the NAHB notes that new construction homes offer outstanding comfort, convenience and overall cost savings. When you put that together with today’s historically low interest rates and competitive prices, the time has never been better to buy a new home.

Other benefits of new homes include open space floor plans, creative storage options and entertainment resources that cater to modern lifestyles, as well as the safety considerations that the structure was built and wired to the latest codes and standards – no worries about any do-it-yourself updates or repairs in an existing house.

Using data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, NAHB found that buyers can purchase a more expensive newer home and achieve the same annual operating costs of an older, existing house (something especially important for people looking to stay within a certain monthly budget for housing expenses) – demonstrating the importance of looking beyond just the sales price when choosing between new and existing homes.

The NAHB study measured how utility, maintenance, property tax and insurance costs vary depending on the age of a property. It found that homes built before 1960 have average maintenance costs of $564 a year, while those built after 2008 average $241.

As a result, operating costs average nearly 5 percent of the home’s value for pre-1960 structures, while they average less than 3 percent for those built later than 2008.

For starters, new home owners are far less likely to be surprised with repair bills for issues such as structural defects, hidden water damage, faulty appliances or anything else that may not have been apparent during the inspection of an existing house. A new home is under warranty and any issues that arise or appliances that fail during the warranty term will be fixed at no cost to the homeowner.

Next, the study compared the first year after tax cost of owning a home by the year the house was built, taking into account the purchase price, mortgage payments, annual operating costs and income tax savings. This data showed that a buyer can afford to pay 23 percent more for a new home than for one built before 1960 and still maintain the same amount of first year annual costs.

When the purchase price of a newly built home is higher than a comparable existing house, lower operating costs mean the buyer will have annual costs that are about the same if they were to buy a lesser-priced older house with higher operating expenses, according to the NAHB.

In addition, the NAHB reports that new homes not only benefit the homeowner, they benefit the community at large with an estimated one-year local impact from building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area resulting in $21.1 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments plus 324 local jobs. Plus, the estimated additional annually recurring impacts of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area include $3.1 million in local income, $743,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments plus 53 local jobs.

When you consider that the 30 homes in the builder tour represent nearly a third of this impact alone, new construction is certainly an important economic driver in Northwest Indiana.

With such a great selection of brand new homes – many available for purchase and immediate occupancy upon closing just like an existing house - open to tour over the next two weekends, you’ll have the opportunity to see how new construction offers incredible peace of mind for homebuyers.

Along with choosing the design for the new home of your dreams - which includes the location, and floor plan plus all the features and amenities that best suit your lifestyle - modern construction methods and technologies result in a more structurally sound and energy efficient home with warranties that back everything from materials and workmanship to mechanicals and appliances.

As a homebuyer, it’s important to not rule out new construction without carefully considering all the benefits. Starting next weekend, the Spring Showcase of Homes “Builder Tour” is your chance to walk through and compare a variety of new construction and meet the builders to find out if there’s a new home option that’s just right for you and your family.

Whether you are hoping to move now or later this year, these builders have something to offer you – from complete and ready to move new homes to others that are in various stages of construction offering the opportunity to make a few personal selections to building from the ground up based on your precise specifications in the location of your choice.

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