by Jill Mertens
Every once in a while, I work with buyers that have requirements for their home which are so specific that we just can't find what they want within the existing inventory of available homes - so we change gears and start looking for land and builders. I recently had one such property close with a wonderful client and a great builder so I wanted to share some thoughts. New homes are wonderful because you get to specify exactly what you want. I also love that once your home inspection is complete, we can hand it to the builder with expectation that all items will be addressed. When your home is new, it is as close to perfect as it ever will be!
Of course, there are challenges with building a new home. First, it does not happen overnight so a buyer must be prepared to live somewhere else while the home is under construction. Recent changes in Wake County's permitting process have only added time to the process- but we hope that has begun to stabilize. Finding lots and selecting the right builder is also a project in-and-of-itself (just because a builder has a license does not necessarily mean they are a good fit for you!). Lastly, the selection of colors, appliances, lighting, faucets and other hardware can be exciting to some- but absolutely overwhelming to others.
And then there is price. In most markets, a new home will cost more than a newly renovated one. (Oddly, this was not the case in the downtown Raleigh area until a year or so ago.) Unfortunately, the costs associated with construction have been on a steady rise so home prices will continue to increase. My husband, Paul, who is in the appliance industry, has seen prices jump up to 30% since new tariffs were introduced on imported appliances, hardware, etc. As I am sure you see on the news every day, this situation is in flux and I hope that it will stabilize soon. At the same time, labor costs are also rising dramatically. Builders tell us that immigration issues have exacerbated the labor shortage which has, in turn, further increased costs as well as build timelines. Needless to say, it is a challenge for builders to manage all these variables.
These are strange and exciting times! This is where a well-informed professional can help determine whether it makes sense to buy new, buy existing or buy-and-renovate. Contact me today if you are debating these same options.