When you decide you want to buy a home, new construction might be your top choice. Moving into a new home that no one has ever lived in before is a dream come true for many people. Choosing your finishes, deciding if you want a basement or a second floor, a detached or attached garage, and more make building a new house very personal and rewarding. Let's look at some factors that will help you decide if building a new home is the right choice rather than buying an existing one.
Newly constructed homes are popular, and you'll find many options throughout the country. Between 2014 and 2022, over a million housing permits were filed yearly to build new homes (U.S. Census Bureau). With numbers that high, you have many options for buying a newly constructed home.
It typically takes 7-12 months to build a new home, but this timeline depends on several factors. The builder's experience, supply constraints, passing inspections (ex., plumbing, electrical), inclement weather, and your approval of design and finishes can affect the timeline. If you're having an architect help you design the house, you'll need to plan for an extra month or more before you can build. Also, if you're buying remote land to build on, you'll need to hire an excavator to clear and level the ground and a surveyor to stake the foundation. Any hiccups and the building process may be extended by weeks or months. When building a new home, it is helpful to be flexible with the timeline.
- 7-12 months to build a house
- Choose your finishes
- Determine the layout
- Hire an architect or use builder floor plans
When you first consider building a new home, look into builders in your area. Local builders are familiar with local building codes and timelines for getting approved for permits and will likely employ local contractors, which can save you a lot of headaches. Another benefit of using a local builder is seeing their work firsthand. Many builders work on neighborhood developments, and there is typically a completed show home that you can visit to get ideas on what floor plan and finishes you like. Using the builder's pre-designed floor plans will save money and time when building a new home. Get recommendations from friends and family and look at online builder reviews before deciding on a local home builder.
- Builder keeps track of deadlines, inspections, permits
- You can visit a completed builder show home for inspiration
- Talk to existing clients who have purchased the builder's homes
- Get recommendations and see online builder reviews
Get to Know the Neighbors
When you visit a local neighborhood development project, you have the opportunity to talk to people who have already purchased and are living in newly built homes. Visit these neighborhoods and ask the homeowners what they like and dislike about their new home, what the building process was like, what they would have done differently, and what they like about the location. Talking to homeowners who have gone through the process of building a new home provides insights on whether or not new construction, or a specific builder, is for you.
A prefabricated house is a good option if you want an alternative to traditional stick-frame construction (from the studs up). Prefabricated houses can be built in 6 months, getting you into your new home faster than conventional construction. Pre-built panels are assembled off-site, then transported to the building location. These prefabbed sections include entire walls that can be assembled quickly and are less labor intensive, saving you money.
Some customizations are available for those who choose to build a prefabricated home. You can select flooring, countertops, fixtures, and more in many prefab homes, making the house more customized. Remember that the more you customize your new home, the more it will cost you.
- Quickly assembled
- Easy to meet deadlines
- Set fixed prices and stay on budget
When considering buying a newly constructed home, talk to friends and family about their experiences and who they used for a builder. Talk to other homeowners who have lived in houses built by local contractors. Talk to your real estate agent about your budget and timeline and what to expect with new construction. You could own a brand new home in as little as six months! We hope you'll send us a photo of your new home!
TIP: Tiny homes are another affordable option for "new construction."
Learn more about buying a home in Reazo's comprehensive guide: