Q: My wife and I are looking to buy a home soon. She’s insisting we have to buy a new home, not a used home. Does that really matter when we’re shopping for a home?
A: As a homebuilder, I would have to say it’s an excellent idea to buy a new home, with all its modern features and qualities, but let me quote from a respected local real estate expert, Ron Rulof of Team Power Marketing.
“An existing home can be a ‘money pit,’ ” says Rulof, who has researched the new vs. used home choices in our community. Rulof points out that homebuyers who purchase a used home will need additional money for immediate repairs and improvements beyond the money they have for the down payment, closing costs and the other expenses of purchasing a home.
“If you buy a brand-new home, you take possession with a minimum disruption to your life. You don’t waste hours looking at resale homes that may be under contract by the time you make an offer,” Rulof states in his “Why Buy New?” position paper.
New homes are healthier than used homes because they feature so many “green” and environmentally sensitive features, according to Rulof.
Some people say used homes are less expensive than new homes — but not really, when you factor in a lot of the true costs of the purchase. In many cases, it’s the builders who pay much of the typical closing-cost expenses, so the buyer of a new home is spending thousands of dollars less on closing costs compared with the buyer of a used home, Rulof says.
Also, a new home is tailored for the buyer. “You can chose colors and features that you want,” Rulof says. “A used home is like wearing a hand-me-down suit, except a home is a ‘suit’ that you’re going to ‘wear’ for a good number of years.” New homes are more energy efficient; they use less water, electricity and natural gas compared with used homes, thus saving the homeowner hundreds, possibly even thousands, of dollars a year on their utility bills.
Please send your questions or comments about new homes to email@example.com. We will try to answer as many questions as we can given space and time limitations and constraints. For more information, visit www.snhba.com.
Rob McGibney, Las Vegas division president at KB Home, is the 2014 president of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, the largest and oldest trade organization representing the residential construction industry in Nevada.