New Construction: What Buyers Need to Know

Real Estate Agent with Carolina Mountain Sales NC #286533

"WHAT'S NEW in real estate?" you ask.  Houses.  Literally.  Everywhere.  New construction is being seen in many areas across the country, with an expected 9% increase in the number of single-family homes in 2017. Here in the Asheville area, new construction homes continue to be listed nearly every day, with many going under contract before construction begins.  



Right now, buyers are seeking out a wide variety of contemporary features when choosing a home. The ability to customize floor plans, materials and color pallettes that reflect your style is a fantastic advantage of building new.


Our local building boom has been in response to a severe shortage of available homes on the market.  In Buncombe County, new construction homes comprised over 10% of all residential sales in 2016.


These data illustrate that sales of new construction homes are a significant force in the Buncombe County housing market.  However, it's important to note that the MLS only reports those sales in which the homes were sold with the land. In other words, if you buy land and then later build a house on it, the MLS will only show the sale of the land.  Therefore, the actual percentage of new homes built last year was even greater than what these numbers show.


It has become increasingly popular for sellers to include a one-year home warranty with their existing home sale, to make the purchase more appealing.  Home warranties can provide a sense of security, knowing that you will not be financially responsible for any major repairs during the first year.  By law, new homes in North Carolina come with a one-year builder warranty.   This ensures that if any repairs are needed, your builder will address the problem with no cost to you.


Choosing a Builder

The process of choosing a builder can be overwhelming, considering there are over 625 members in the Asheville Home Builders Assocation.   Some builders specialize in certain types of houses, such as log cabins,  round houses.  Interested in Green Building?   There are plenty of local builders that can help you reduce your family's environmental footprint.


Each builder operates slightly different from the next.  Some builders have more limited options, while others will allow you unlimited customization.   It's important to ask these questions when meeting with builders, to fully understand what they will and will NOT do.  This will work to minimize the number of surprises you may encounter after construction begins.


The Price of a Brand New Home

As we saw from the first quarter market report for Asheville, prices continue to rise this year due to strong demand and a low supply of existing homes.  This trend is seen in the new construction market as well.  Not surprisingly, the cost of buying new construction continues to rise along with the cost of existing homes.


Due to the extreme supply shortage in our local market, it can sometimes be cheaper to build new than to buy an existing home.  To accomplish this, it's important to realize that your total budget must include not only the cost of the land and the cost of the house, but also the site work needed to get the home site ready.  Site work includes everything from clearing and grading, putting in a driveway, to getting water and other utilities hooked up, etc.   I assisted my clients who were able to save money by putting these pieces together.  However, if a new home is listed that you like and can afford - there's no need to start from scratch!


Building a new home doesn't have to be stressful.  With a little research and planning... and using a Realtor® with knowledge and experience selling new construction homes to help you every step of the way.


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