Old houses have their charms. But if you want a spacious house with an open floor plan, state-of-the-art technologies, and low-maintenance comfort, put new construction on your shopping list for these reasons:
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Older homes are seldom as energy efficient as new homes. Homes built only 10 years ago may use twice the energy of today’s homes. Your new home will have greatly improved heating and cooling systems, energy-saving windows, and super insulation. Also, many mortgage companies nationwide take energy use into account when qualifying buyers and will make a large loan on an energy-efficient home because average monthly utility bills on that home will be lower and that frees up more of the budget for mortgage payments.
UPDATED APPLIANCES: Appliances are new, energy-efficient, and easy to use. New dishwashers are quieter and use less water; ranges are designed for quick cleaning; and refrigerators are larger and come with more convenient options. Even a home inspection is no guarantee that older home appliances will last long after closing. Especially for cash-strapped first-time buyers, the sudden need for a new furnace or dishwasher can lead to other expensive repairs, such as replacement of wiring or plumbing.
SAFETY CODES: Built to the latest fire, health, and safety codes, new homes are safer and less expensive to operate and maintain. Codes require lifesaving detectors to signal presence of smoke or carbon monoxide. New homes are free of lead in paint or pipes and free of asbestos.
BUILDING TECHNIQUES: Builders today benefit from advances in building techniques. This means dry basements, expansive rooms, and a quieter, more comfortable atmosphere.
UPDATED WIRING: In many areas, new homes of all price ranges include whole-house wiring for cable, telephone, and music systems. Computer stations and home theaters are also becoming part of standard packages. In electricity and wiring, more is better. New homes have 200 amp electrical service; some older homes still have inadequate 60 amp service.
A ROOM WITH A VIEW: New homes are light and bright. Not only do they have more energy efficient windows, but they also have more of them. New homes are often “see-through” homes. From the front door, the viewer looks through the home to a panorama of windows that frame views of the back garden.
A HOUSE FOR TODAY: New homes mirror today’s lifestyles. Families live differently than they did just 10 to 15 years ago. Cooking is a group experience and no one wants to be too far from the television. New homes blend the kitchen, eating area, and family room into one informal space. New homes also have more and larger bathrooms and closets.