By Blair Kuhnen
My wife and I relocated to Austin last week and moved into a brand new home. This is our seventh home since we married 26 years ago and we hope it will be our last. This is our first newly built home, and so far we love it. Although we downsized quite a bit, we still wanted all the things we had in our previous home: character, space to entertain, and a safe, charming neighborhood.
For us, buying new was an easy decision. Some of our key reasons were:
- Energy efficiency. Our home is an Energy Star™ home and comes with a guaranteed monthly heating and cooling cost of $52 per month. Not bad for a 2,600-sq. ft. home.
- Brand new. That means our weekends will not be spent at the local hardware store or on laborious home projects. Having nothing to fix means no honey-do list for this guy.
- A solid warranty. Not just the builder’s warranty, but a slew of manufacturers’ warranties mean we don’t have to worry about when our roof, heating and cooling systems, appliances, windows, and more will need repairs or how we’ll manage the cost.
- The latest and greatest features. Killer appliances, granite countertops, super flooring, advanced Internet wiring, etc.
We later learned what should have been one of our top reasons for buying new – the seller’s attitude. From a practical standpoint, we understand that our builder has to sell a number of homes, so making sure all their buyers can recommend them will only help them achieve their sales. However, throughout the buying process, we felt as though our builder wanted us 100 percent satisfied – not just for their internal report card or J.D. Power – but because we honestly felt they cared. When buying resale, it seems as though making the sale is the only thing on the seller’s mind. So, we appreciated that our builder made our concerns a priority.
One final thing that comes to mind about buying a new home is the relative value in new housing. Here in Austin, we have a strong housing market. I feel like we paid no real premium over the many resale homes we considered, yet everything is new. I don’t know what the value of the higher efficiency, warranty, updated features, and things I don’t need to fix are, but it seems like these benefits were provided at no additional cost.
I expect that there are quite a few great builders in Austin. Our home was built by David Weekley Homes. Did you recently buy new? Tell us about your experience. Send us a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear your new home story – and may even ask to publish it here on our blog, as well.
Blair Kuhnen heads up partner and search marketing for NewHomeSource and its parent company, Builders Digital Experience. He’s happy to no longer be a weekend warrior.