If you are considering buying new construction in Anne Arundel County, make sure you know what building codes that they builder will be building too. Considering we are in 2014, you may think it would be logical that the home you are buying will be built to current codes (with the most dramatic changes taking places to these codes in 2012). These changes make a major impact on energy efficiency and it seems reasonable to assume that builders would have adopted them by now.
HOWEVER, many builders and developments have not. Why they have been able to do this is a topic for another blog. Builders were able to skirt the codes, by pulling permits for construction prior to the deadline for the new codes going into effect (July 1, 2012). The permit office was REALLY busy in June 2012. Builders were pulling permits for homes by the hundreds in some cases. Not many of these homes that were permitted were under contract, much less ready to be built.
The county and the state allowed builders to who pulled the permits prior to July 1st, to build the homes using the codes established in 2003 and amended in 2005. Many of the homes that were built in 2013, are going to be built in 2014 and 2015 will not be built to the codes established in 2012.
This is important for a consumer to be aware of in advance of writing a contract to buy. The reason it is important is the 2012 building code requires builders to build a much more energy efficient house. This efficiency will dramatically reduce the utility bills during the time the homeowner owns their property.
The 2012 code forces more costs on the builder so the consumer will benefit in the long run. Thus the builders want to avoid constructing to the new codes. Not all builders have done this, but many have.
This is just another reason to have a knowledgeable Realtor involved when buying new construction. The long term energy savings could be in the tens of thousands of dollars over time.