New Construction vs Rehabbing

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As more new construction homes continue to hit the market, I’m seeing more and more of my clients wondering whether or not buying the fixer upper or going with the new construction build is the right option for them. While both have their advantages & downsides, they’re two completely different animals. So, it really depends on you and your goals.

What’s important to you? What skills do you have? Can you handle giving the reigns to experts or do you want to be able to have input every step of the way? Are you trying to meet a deadline or are you flexible? What risks are you willing to take? And the questions could go on & on. There’s really no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, so only you can truly know what’s best for you!

Personally, I’m a sucker for a good rehab, but I’m also a crazy person who’s been known to wake up at 4:30am to work at property until after midnight with almost no breaks, so there’s that. Would I also love to be able to just walk into a brand new home that was built for me…I mean, that’s the dream.

Rehabbing

Pros

Quality

I’ve seen many corners cut in new construction homes. Sometimes they’re not big deals, but other times…oh boy. When rehabbing a home yourself, you know exactly what you’re getting and can ensure a quality job. And if you want higher quality products like Wolf appliances or Christopher Peacock cabinets, go right ahead. No one’s stopping you!

Customization

This is hands down my favorite part of rehabbing—the customization. You can create & design storage in hidden places. You can ensure your dining room table will fit by knocking down that wall. Maybe you want a soundproofed recording studio. The options are endless to create the home of your dreams.

Costs & Appreciation

When you buy a distressed property and put in some money to fix it up, you’re adding value to the home. If done correctly, your home can be valued even higher than the amount of money you actually put into it. And like most things, it usually costs less to do your own rehab as opposed to having the work done for you.

Cons

Time & Effort

Holy cow, it’s a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat & tears—you name it. You’ll be frustrated at times & sore from all the work. Sometimes you even have to drop everything you’re doing to run over to the property when you get the call from your contractor that something’s wrong. But it’s so worth it. That feeling of seeing what you’ve created once it’s all done is indescribable. I’m smiling even thinking about it.

Risk

Oh, the goodies you may find! No home is perfect, and a lot of homes have underlying issues that may not have been disclosed or even known about. Overall, they can go pretty smoothly with a few bumps in the road, but always expect the unexpected.

Costs

Yes, costs can also be a con here. Between all of the upfront costs for the home purchase, materials, labor, etc, there’s a lot of money to spend! Also, hidden problems cost money too. If it’s one of your first rehabs, I can almost guarantee you’ll spend more money than you anticipated. Set a realistic budget that includes an “oh sh*t” expense.


New Construction

Pros

Time & Effort

Being able to hand off the huge task of building and designing a home can be a relief. It gives you time to focus on the big move—organizing, packing & even time to start decorating.

Expertise

One of the main benefits to buying new construction is the fact that you’re relying on the experts. This goes for the actual construction and also the design as many times an interior designer is consulted along with architects & general contractors. With a good team, you can achieve a highly functional home with great flow that meets you and your family’s needs.

New Products & Concepts

Let’s be real, homes that were built in the 1900’s or earlier aren’t always ideal. From old cloth wiring to poorly designed layouts, older homes can have a lot of issues, even after they’re rehabbed. Starting fresh with up-to-date standards can be the biggest weight off your shoulders. Add in the fact that most new construction has a person’s lifestyle in mind whether it be a focus on outdoor space or amenities, you’ll likely be in a space that’s geared towards your overall happiness.

Cons

Costs

You’ll definitely be paying top dollar. A lot of time and effort went into constructing that bad boy, and paying to have not dealt with any of it & have experts on hand, it can be worth all that money.

Delivery

Just because someone says the project will be done by “this date,” doesn’t mean that it’ll actually happen. Whether it’s the fault of the developer or problems they’ve hit along the way, projects almost never get done on time. Definitely make backup plans or give yourself some wiggle room in case the home isn’t ready on time.

Lack of Control

Depending on when you decide to purchase your new construction home and how far along they are in the build, you may not have that much in say in finishes or other possible customization. Also, because you’re not overseeing the project, you have to hope the developer is ensuring a quality product sans cut corners.