For most new home buyers, the journey to finding that perfect property begins with a list of must-haves and deal-breakers. For some, it’s a mental list; for others, it’s a dashed-off email; and for a few overachievers it’s a multi-tabbed spreadsheet (which may or may not involve a points system).
I often sit down with new clients and look over their list, knowing that unfortunately many of their must-haves will be hard to find within the Portland area’s older housing stock.
Looking for something with character? No problem. From West End carriage houses to South Freeport seaside farms, there’s no shortage in Southern Maine of the detail-rich historic style many buyers desire. Also need an attached garage or walk-in closet? Not as easy to find. These and many other modern requirements (open floorplans, hardy insulation, modern wiring…) are rarely part of the turn-of-the-century or craftsman package – especially at entry-level price points.
So what’s a would-be homebuyer to do? As in the dating world, you can always compromise a little, opt for a fixer with potential, or just keep waiting for something to come on the market that sweeps you off your feet.
Or, in an option unique to house hunting, you can build it. Here are 5 reasons why a lot of house hunters today are ultimately choosing to build a home:
1. More options and greater relative affordability
New construction has always been an attractive option for buyers with very specific criteria or preferences. And since the real estate market rebound has thinned existing inventory over the past couple years, new construction starts have increased in step.
2. Get exactly what you want
Using the latest materials and techniques, builders today are able to create homes that are rich both in character and in modern amenities—and you might be surprised how easy and affordable it can be to design one tailored to you.
3. The turn-key advantage
Traditional construction loans are notorious for requiring heavy down payments (20 percent or more) and logistics that involve disbursements to contractors, multiple inspections, and the need to refinance into an end loan. In response to the turn-off this creates, many builders today are widening their pool of buyers by offering turn-key construction. In this scenario, the builder finances the construction and delivers a finished, customized home for the buyer to purchase using their mortgage of choice.
4. Short- and long-term savings
The turn-key option reduces most buyers’ down payment requirement from 20 percent or higher to just three percent – with some buyers in rural locations qualifying for zero percent down loans. In the short term, this leaves your bank account better-prepared to decorate, furnish, and entertain friends at your brand new home. And long after the housewarming’s over, the savings from energy-efficient features and long-lasting materials will continue to add up.
5. A home to fit your heart
There are plenty of benefits to starting fresh: control over design, basic materials, finishes, and decor; the comfort of warranties on materials, appliances, and workmanship; and of course, the privilege of being the first owner of a brand new home – one that was made just for you.
Turns out, at least in real estate, money can buy true love.
FEATURED BUILD PACKAGES:
On Berkshire Way in Westbrook, located in the Pride’s Corner neighborhood, finished lots have sold fast but we still have one build package available with more to come in Phase II of the development.
Alternatively, if you’d like something new but don’t want to wait for it to be built, check out 4 Bella’s Way in Falmouth – a gorgeous light-filled colonial just waiting for its new owner.
Interested in learning about all of your building options? Contact us for a new construction consult. Tim and I have been developing neighborhoods, building homes, and helping clients navigate the process for over 30 years – and we’d love to help you, too.