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Old 10-01-2010, 01:50 PM
 
149 posts, read 253,182 times
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I'm just curious what everyone thinks regarding buying an existing home or buying new construction. I think of it as buying a purebreed dog vs. shelter. You get a similar dog at the shelter but don't have all the high cost that a purebreed may bring-lol. You still have the dog..
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Union County
5,897 posts, read 8,815,542 times
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I'll chime in because I know that my response in the other thread may have had something to do with your question...

All things being equal about the actual house, in much of the Charlotte area - you can get more bang for your buck from new construction then going resale. I said that and stand by it based on my personal research. Now this isn't an endorsement of building or builders, I mean it more as a factor of how much the resale market still needs to come down.

I understand that an offshoot of this debate is buying in an unfinished neighborhood (you're going to lose "value") and stuff like landscaping (it's going to cost you more when you build). I'll leave that alone as my comment is purely from a house perspective. Details like full brick to partial vinyl, rugs in the LR and DR to hardwoods throughout, cheaply finished kitchens to granite/stainless, etc, etc - all at a cheaper cost per sqft.

Now, if we factor in everything else besides just the finish/house itself... That's a tough debate as I can play both sides.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:41 PM
 
149 posts, read 253,182 times
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It just sparked something- i know I for one will never buy new construction for many reasons and am just wondering how many feel the same.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:41 PM
 
569 posts, read 1,267,820 times
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IMO the "purebreed" would be the existing house and the mutt and the shelter would be new construction. Lots of benefits to existing houses...especially older ones in established areas. Benefits are:

1) Less flaws than most new construction (lets face it older homes were built better back in the day)
2) No builder to deal with.
3) Many times no HOA fees in older areas.
4) Existing homes are already proven or unproven. You will know the trend of the neighborhood and where it is likely tracking. With new homes you never know what will happen to property values because you do not have anything to gage it against. Especially if the builder decides to move down the street and start phase 2 of your neighborhood in a couple of years. Good luck selling your house at a profit then when you have to compete with the newer houses down the street built by your own builder with their own in house finance company.
5) Old houses are more green. (why build now when there is a massive flood of existing homes already? That is one of the causes of the real estate bust in the first place)
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:45 PM
 
123 posts, read 292,513 times
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Location will always be the most important consideration. “New” goes away pretty quick but the location is what you wake up to in the morning and come home to at night. Most important is what schools do you want your kids to go to and what commute can you deal with every day. If you find an area that satisfies most or all of what is important to you and they are still building, that’s when you need to look at all of the options available. The best thing to do is find a resale or two that you really like and would have no problem moving into. This gives you some leverage when negotiating with the builder and also helps you from getting to attached to the model home which naturally happens. Look at the builder upgrades they offer as well as any closing costs that they are paying and weigh that against the features included in the resales. Many of the resales on the market right now are only a few years old anyway and have items like underground sprinklers that many builders are charging extra for now. Also, builder inventory homes usually have the most negotiating room. Builders pay HOA dues, utilities, insurance…etc and really want to move these homes.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:30 PM
 
Location: livin' the good life on America's favorite island
2,189 posts, read 3,855,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forevaNYka View Post
It just sparked something- i know I for one will never buy new construction for many reasons and am just wondering how many feel the same.
I've built four homes out of the six purchased and have had great experiences with all but one.....a home we built in Philly in '87, what a disaster, reminded me of the movie Money Pit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmDX0tgONFs I could do a comedy of all the things that went wrong...garage concrete floor caving in (lack of fill), yard with so many rocks that you could walk barefoot. Vinyl siding twisting due to house settling. Asphalt driveway with large coarse stone, interior walls cracking big time. The clincher was when we put up for sale 18 mos later a storm hit. Water was filling in the window well(?) and I pushed it closed, the glass broke and water with mud poured in to the extent I had about 3 inches of water//mud mix. Meanwhile the house behind me got hit by lightning and caught fire....I was hoping it would hit my house next. I got the builder to fix each defect but it was painful process. I ended up selling it 2 weeks later.......It turned out to be a great investment though, made $90k on a $150k house purchase in just a yr and half

Last edited by ZnGuy; 10-01-2010 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 91,713,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyKid View Post
I'll chime in because I know that my response in the other thread may have had something to do with your question...

All things being equal about the actual house, in much of the Charlotte area - you can get more bang for your buck from new construction then going resale. I said that and stand by it based on my personal research. Now this isn't an endorsement of building or builders, I mean it more as a factor of how much the resale market still needs to come down.

I understand that an offshoot of this debate is buying in an unfinished neighborhood (you're going to lose "value") and stuff like landscaping (it's going to cost you more when you build). I'll leave that alone as my comment is purely from a house perspective. Details like full brick to partial vinyl, rugs in the LR and DR to hardwoods throughout, cheaply finished kitchens to granite/stainless, etc, etc - all at a cheaper cost per sqft.

Now, if we factor in everything else besides just the finish/house itself... That's a tough debate as I can play both sides.

Problem is, "new" is riskier right now.

Unless you can find a new house in a neighborhood that is about to be all finished up AND all the amenities are in place as promised. But I'd only buy in a new neighborhood where I was literally the last new home being built myself.

Also, desirable, established neighborhoods are more stable and have seen smaller drops in value, fewer foreclosures and therefore have the potential for the most growth in equity over the long haul.

In addition, buying an existing home gets you closer in for better commute times.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Union County
5,897 posts, read 8,815,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Problem is, "new" is riskier right now.

Unless you can find a new house in a neighborhood that is about to be all finished up AND all the amenities are in place as promised. But I'd only buy in a new neighborhood where I was literally the last new home being built myself.

Also, desirable, established neighborhoods are more stable and have seen smaller drops in value, fewer foreclosures and therefore have the potential for the most growth in equity over the long haul.

In addition, buying an existing home gets you closer in for better commute times.
You know I agree overall, but some of your points apply more specifically to the traditional South Charlotte area vs. the sprawl areas (basically everywhere else lol). When it comes to Union County as an example, many of the "new" nearly complete neighborhoods are nestled right in between completed and established subdivisions all over the place. Actually some of the nearly empty subdivisions are next door to finished/mature neighborhoods. In all cases they share the same exact schools, shopping, eating, etc - and most often their on site amenities are completed.

On the flip side, there are plenty of "closer in" new construction options similar to what you see in Union County. So we can't simply come up with a broad stroke rule specific to new construction vs. resale. You'd have to speak more in terms of specific areas (i.e. Myers Park).

As for equity, drops in value, and foreclosures... I honestly don't think you can reliably escape the risk even with resale. For example, a completed/established neighborhood sold out from 2005-2008 is going to likely lose more value then something bought today (new or otherwise) because everyone there is going to almost be guaranteed underwater and at a higher risk of foreclosure.

In the end, you're right on so many levels and I might be over analyzing this... So I'll end to say that each person's situation is unique enough that unless you're buying in the ultra prime areas, you're at serious risk new or resale and you need to do a very deep analysis for yourself.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 91,713,935 times
Reputation: 39994
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyKid View Post
You know I agree overall, but some of your points apply more specifically to the traditional South Charlotte area vs. the sprawl areas (basically everywhere else lol). When it comes to Union County as an example, many of the "new" nearly complete neighborhoods are nestled right in between completed and established subdivisions all over the place. Actually some of the nearly empty subdivisions are next door to finished/mature neighborhoods. In all cases they share the same exact schools, shopping, eating, etc - and most often their on site amenities are completed.

On the flip side, there are plenty of "closer in" new construction options similar to what you see in Union County. So we can't simply come up with a broad stroke rule specific to new construction vs. resale. You'd have to speak more in terms of specific areas (i.e. Myers Park).

As for equity, drops in value, and foreclosures... I honestly don't think you can reliably escape the risk even with resale. For example, a completed/established neighborhood sold out from 2005-2008 is going to likely lose more value then something bought today (new or otherwise) because everyone there is going to almost be guaranteed underwater and at a higher risk of foreclosure.

In the end, you're right on so many levels and I might be over analyzing this... So I'll end to say that each person's situation is unique enough that unless you're buying in the ultra prime areas, you're at serious risk new or resale and you need to do a very deep analysis for yourself.
We completely agree, as usual Mikey

That's why I said, "desirable, established neighborhoods" - THAT'S the way to be sure you're making the wisest investment in the current market.

A home built after 2000 is too new to qualify for that distinction, unless it was built in a much older, "desirable, established neighborhood", which some were as in-fill projects
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:24 AM
 
109 posts, read 323,908 times
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First of all, I think a lot of your decision should be based on personal preferences around a number of factors: location of employment, schools, amenities, access to stores, surrounding properties, safety, etc. With that said, we faced the same dilemma two years age. We ended up with new construction.

Our prior neighborhood, though slightly more than 12 years old, was starting to show some wear. I had to replace the HVAC, needed roof repairs, had mature trees that were becoming dangerous with falling limbs, replaced all most all the appliances and flooring, windows were close to needing replacement, bathroom showers and tubs forming hair line cracks, garage doors and openers needing replacement, and the vinyl siding having to be replaced in a few years. Not that the home was poorly constructed, just part of owning a home. I was able to sell the home at $120 sq. ft. two years ago.

We bought new construction: all brick, 1200 additional sq. ft., fully sodded yard with irrigation, full hardwoods down, granite and tile backsplash, Kichenaid appliances w/double wall oven, front load washer and dryer, 3 1/2 bath with tile, wrought iron bannisters, extended garage, 10 ft. first floor ceiling with crown molding, etc., for $95 a square ft. We moved less than 3 miles and went from good schools to great schools.

Yes, we gave up our cul-du-sac and mature trees, along with some great neighbors - yet many of them have moved or plan on moving in the next couple of years. With the current proposed changes with CMS, I feel we have a much better chance of staying in our current schools. Our prior neighborhood straddles boundry lines and I fear they could end up rezoned to lower performing schools.

There are always trade-offs. Our new neighborhood is almost 70% built-out and there have been 25 new home sales this year (almost 1/6 of the 150 lots). Our build just increased the base price almost 40K. I feel good about our decision to buy new construction and hopefully not have to do any major repairs/replacements in the first 10 years and then maybe downsize at that time.

Good luck with you decision.
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