With both new construction and existing sales on the rise across the country, the question for many potential homeowners has become whether to build new or buy an existing home. Realtors say there are benefits to both and the choice really depends on the individual’s needs.
Many cities and counties have seen steady growth for several years.
Crown Point City Planning & Building Administrator Christopher Meyers said housing permits have continued to significantly rise since 2009.
Meyers said that due to the improved economy and record low mortgage rates, remodeling permits for kitchens, bathrooms and pools are also increasing.
The result is expanded choices for those seeking a new home.
“There are varied housing products that you can get: historic, contemporary, higher density, lower density and more wooded estate lots,” Meyers said.
There are some obvious and not so obvious reasons why one would choose to buy an existing home, said Realtor/broker Joshua Lybolt, president of Prime Realty.
A family who came to Prime Real Estate through its relocation department had specific and detailed requirements for their next home and community, Lybolt said.
“We were facing an uphill battle due to the extreme shortage of homes in their price range and demanding checklist, but they didn’t want to deal with the headaches and stresses of building, installing premature landscaping and trees, living in a subdivision without finished sidewalks and yards, and very little character,” he said.
The couple also wanted an established mature tree-lined street with character, something just like home, Lybolt said.
“They wanted their daughter to be able to ride her bike into town with friends, to visit the candy store or to walk with the family to other stores and restaurants,” Lybolt said. “They wanted that hometown, warm and welcoming feel that only an established home can provide.”
Lybolt said the clients bought a great, historical, Victorian home near the downtown square.
“In addition to checking off each one of the couple’s difficult checklist, the home that they purchased would have cost almost twice to build than what we ended up negotiating the purchase for,” Lybolt said. “The home needed a few improvements, but what family doesn’t come into their new home and personalize it anyways? Win-win-win.”
Realtor Carol Biel, of Century 21 Executive markets Regency Subdivision in Crown Point, said sales have been steadily rising in the subdivision.
“It is a good time to build.” Biel said. “You can just get so much more for your money right now.”
“The benefit of new construction is that there is nothing like a brand new home,” Biel said. “You get to pick everything out so you are making your own selections. You are pretty much building what you want.”
Biel said the new home warranty is also an advantage.
“If something goes wrong, the builder is going to back it,” Biel said. “Right now the pricing is so reasonable on our new construction you can get a brand new home for what an existing home would cost. And the existing home would probably need some changes.”