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Old 01-26-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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We are trying to decide on what to do. Can you please give some pros and cons from your experience about buying old vs new.
thanks
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
957 posts, read 1,550,007 times
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It really all depends on what area and price range you have in mind. In the upper price range there are a few great deals and it would be tough to build for the price you can buy an existing home. The upper end has not appreciated in most areas and in fact, has lost value. Of course, there is always an exception to the rule. In several areas there are homes in all price ranges that builders are trying to unload, so this could be the perfect time to buy a new home, already constructed. In some cases the builders may not want to compromise the sale price for future sales and would rather give you credit towards fencing, closing costs, upgrades, etc. As I mentioned earlier, it really depends on the area.

Another pro to buying existing is the interest rate right now. Who knows what it will be 6 months from now.

Con to buying existing is not getting exactly what you want and more maintenance over the long term.

If you do buy existing, you can always ask the seller to provide you with a one year warranty (that covers mechanical systems mainly). Be sure to read what each company covers and check out the warranty provider. Whether building or buying new, always get a home inspection from a reputable inspector

Pro to build is the one year "bumper to bumper" warranty that comes with new construction. Some builders offer a 2/10 warranty as well. 2 years mechanical, 10 years structural. www.2-10.com

When deciding on a new neighborhood, perform your due diligence and READ the HOA restrictions/rules/regulations. Who has control over the neighborhood and when will it be turned over to the homeowners. This is VERY important. Go in with eyes wide open. Be sure to check the BBB for any builder and knock on a few doors in the neighborhoods they build in. Don't rely on the builders to give you references. Find them yourself for the best reference. Building a new home can be very rewarding, if you do your homework up front
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,412,104 times
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Building a new home vs. buying already built - Google Search
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Hampton Cove, AL
652 posts, read 921,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliska21 View Post
We are trying to decide on what to do. Can you please give some pros and cons from your experience about buying old vs new.
thanks
Coming from a family of builders/various building contractors, I will almost always chose existing.

The cons of that are I can never customize my home before I move in, there are always things I want to do starting the day I move in. I will never get to pick my exact layout or lot, only from the list of available home inventory.

The pro list. I want a house to "settle" before I move in, I don't want to be suprised with foundation cracks and settlement issues in <3-5 years(or in this area sink holes ) Most problems don't surface within the 1-2 year warranty period. When you build new, everything you paid extra to upgrade, will almost always be "given away" in a sale, at least for the first 5 years(there are exceptions)-ie if new homes start at $200 and you paid $220 after upgrades, very rarely will the $20K in upgrades be the same $20K in upgrades your buyers would have chosen, therfore they only want to pay $10K for them(or less). If you experience an economic downturn and the builder is still building, you are dead in the water, they can cut more/offer more incentives than you ever can. New home prices are often also overpriced by $10-20K+ to compensate for things the builder had to pay for(roads, utilities, permits, etc), that $ is like driving a car off the lot and will take several years to recover from. The other problem is not knowing what will be coming, whether it is retail space in a vacant lot, the rest of the subdivision in the event of builder bankruptcy, HOA, amenities that can change, etc.

Our ideal situation when we move is to find a property that is less than our budget and underpriced/undervalued. This allows me to add all those pretty upgrades and change things without risking losing my shirt. You can do these upgrades/change things over the course of your time in the home(I recommend not starting for a year, you will change your mind after living in a home) one major advantage is you aren't financing upgrades. There are so many things that I want to add/change, this keeps me busy shopping, deciding, etc. There are things I thought I wanted that now 3 months later I think I want to do differently now, this will happen in a new home also, however in a new home those very well might be the things you paid to upgrade.

If you are addicted to the new house smell, buy a few sheets of ply wood, cut them and put them in several rooms, by the next day it will smell like a new home

Just my 2c and at the end of the day it always comes down to personal preference and what you can live with. So far I have never come across a situation where I couldn't find something that was reasonably close to what I wanted. However, someday the situation may come up, at that point I might consider new.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:18 AM
 
1,126 posts, read 1,549,624 times
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Tammie, You make some excellent points. However to me we couldn't find an existing house in Huntsville that wasn't overpriced and needed alot of work. I just felt tired just looking at some. We looked and looked everywhere but homes here were in our opinion overpriced 2 years ago. AND here is my personal thing. Most were NOT CLEAN up to my standards. I am anal, according to my husband. The idea of moving into a house that was not clean and used (their bugs?)and overpriced was not appealing. When we sold our house in Atlanta in 2008, the buyer's realtor told me at closing that our house was the cleanest she had ever seen at closing walk tru. She was one of the top sellers for REMAX in Atlanta. So you can see where I come from when I walked through some of those old resales. Just me. It is all a personal thing.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Hampton Cove, AL
652 posts, read 921,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mawoods View Post
Tammie, You make some excellent points. However to me we couldn't find an existing house in Huntsville that wasn't overpriced and needed alot of work. I just felt tired just looking at some. We looked and looked everywhere but homes here were in our opinion overpriced 2 years ago. AND here is my personal thing. Most were NOT CLEAN up to my standards. I am anal, according to my husband. The idea of moving into a house that was not clean and used (their bugs?)and overpriced was not appealing. When we sold our house in Atlanta in 2008, the buyer's realtor told me at closing that our house was the cleanest she had ever seen at closing walk tru. She was one of the top sellers for REMAX in Atlanta. So you can see where I come from when I walked through some of those old resales. Just me. It is all a personal thing.
What are you talking about at walkthrough? Your house is one of the cleanest I have ever seen lived in If they sell the models, the builder could just use yours

Like I said, personal choice. I spent 4 days scrubbing floors, putting scratch cover on my cabinets(in places no one else could see scratches) and I still found crayon on the inside of my cabinet the other day-my kids are past that. I guess I missed it(it was WAY in the back of dark cabinets). But it also comes down to what you can live with. We have moved too often and are too young to be able to justify it, 20 years from now it might be a different story, but at this point I figure between the pets and the kids we will have enough of our own little messes that we will cover up theirs


However, I think I looked at some of the houses you did Not clean, simple things not maintained, but even if you were to figure the cost of having a professional come and clean/paint sometimes it is beneficial to consider the resale....if that is your personal choice
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:20 AM
 
46 posts, read 79,551 times
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thank you for your comments!!!! We have been looking to build with Adams homes at lanier lakes but at the same time still not sure, we did find out about HOA and spoke to people that live there and they are pretty happy with their purchases. However we still looking at houses that are already built. I just cant seem to find that perfect one for our budget.
And also, do we need to hire our own lawer? im from ny and by law we have to have a lawer there. what about here? Some people tell me they used mortgage co lawer...i dont really trust them!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:19 PM
 
86 posts, read 132,943 times
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My wife and I built with adam's homes in Ashtynn Manor. The deciding factor for us was looking at homes that were 10-15 years old, needed interior work, and about the same price versus picking everything out and not having to worry about that.

That being said, if they tell you they will have it done in 5 months instead of the 6. Don't change any plans to move until the 6 months is up. This really put a crunch on us because we went ahead and gave our notice to the apartment complex and then the house was done 2 days before we had to move out. Just make sure you have a leniant time schedule for moving because you never know what may happen.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:02 AM
 
1,112 posts, read 1,748,792 times
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Our experience building new.

Pro - got to pick everything; are aware of every tiny detail.

Con - must use your imagination to picture everything (and what is drawn isn't always exactly what you think)
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
2,040 posts, read 1,922,795 times
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Generally here one attorney is used to close the loan (If you are looking at Adams, Charles Brinkley will close it...and you will LOVE him! He's great!). The attorney actually represents your lender, not you or the seller. I have been to ONE closing in the past few years where the seller hired her own attorney to represent her at closing, and he sat there like a bump on a log and collected his $400 fee for showing up (Craig Paulus was rolling after that one!)
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