The median age of homes for sale in Austin, Texas is nearly 30 years. Think of it this way: 1990 – Ford Festiva Hatchback, Buick Century Station Wagon; Nissan 300 ZX Twin Turbo. 2020 – Tesla Model X, Kia Telluride, and Chevy Silverado. Were there classics from 1991? Absolutely. Are there lemons in 2020? Yes. Are collectors hunting down 1991 Pontiac Fireflies? Probably not. Are car-buyers scooping up 2020 Mitsubishi Mirages? I don’t think so.
Likewise, not every homebuyer covets a 1990 Anderson Mill two-story stone structure. And not every buyer desires a 2020 suburban two-story stone and stucco house.
So why might a newly constructed home prove smarter than a 1990 resale?
After all, builders remain in business because they keep building and selling houses. They are motivated! Austin sellers, on the other hand, can be a bit ambivalent. What kind of incentives might you find? I’ve seen free upgrades, discounts on inventory homes, paid closing costs etc.
LEED or EnergyStar certifications accompanied by energy-efficient appliances, windows, and insulation make for lower utility bills and smaller carbon footprints. This sets new construction apart for those eager to save money while saving the planet. The difference between a 1990 Austin classic and a 2020 new build can be a 30% utility savings.
A 1990 Austin resale begs for home improvements. Roofing, HVAC, irrigation, appliances etc. all will need attention – some sooner than later. New construction provides a one-year roof to slab warranty. Some builders even extend this protection.
Remember 1990 floor plans? Galley kitchens, formal living rooms, hallway bathrooms with one sink, master bedrooms with a minor closet, and minuet bath. New homes offer open floor plans with 10’ ceilings, lighter, brighter rooms, grand kitchens, home offices, and master suites. Today’s finishes: quartz, granite, laminate, engineered hardwood work together to create a fresh and appealing living space.
New construction usually takes place in a planned community which means – well, everything is planned out. Bike paths, nature walkways, amenity centers, swimming pools with splash pads, workout gyms, weekly food trucks along with on-site event planners make for an all-encompassing lifestyle. People meeting people; people making friends.
New construction affords the possibility of buyers creating a house that works best for them. You want two living spaces? No worries. You need two home offices? Not a problem. You prefer a master on the main with children’s bedrooms upstairs? Easy breezy. Looking for an extended covered patio? Yep, option 12a. You have a sectional the size of HEB’s parking lot? Uh…I’ll let you talk to the sales counselor about that one.
Need to move immediately? Most builders have ready to move in inventory homes from which to choose. Want to move in three months? Options abound. Desiring to select a lot and design a floor plan? You got it.
The rigors of conforming to current building standards can mean more than fifteen specific inspections. Electrical, plumbing and structural standards from 1991 may present hazardous conditions. To accentuate the contrast, even more, many builders install Ring doorbells, security systems, home assistants, intelligent appliances, and thermostats along with smartphone integrated living packages.
Is new construction the right choice for every homebuyer? Absolutely not. Some are like classic car collectors tracking down 1991 GMC Syclones. However, how exhilarating to glide in behind the wheel of a Tesla X and silently pass unsuspecting race car wannabes. Likewise, walking into a never-lived-in house where every step leads to light, bright WOW simply makes sense and seems smart.