I sell lots of New Homes, I have seen lots of finished new homes from a host of new home builders and here is what I advise my homebuyers to do to get the most value in a new home.
POINT #1: This is not the 1980's! Don't buy a home that looks like the 1980's and has nearly NO advancements in technology, energy efficiency, QUALITY and functionality.
POINT # 2 - Generally speaking you most likely will get what you pay for. So think ahead! Saving $250 a month on a mortgage just to pay $400 a month or more to cool a poorly insulated home in the end is a cash flow NEGATIVE proposition.
With that said here is what you should be thinking:
1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY! Granite Counters and other upgrades are nice, but are they more important than saving money on electric and gas bills? What I mean is this. Get the BONES of your house right FIRST because what you can't see in the home you are buying can come back and bite you in the wallet. Want to see some options to think about click this link: NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION TIPS.
2. PAPER OR PLASTIC?? Oops I mean Copper or PEX? It is truly hard to believe that home builders are using PEX polyflo tubes instead of time tested copper pipes. Wow, talk about taking a gamble on your homes future market value. Think about this fact, there are simply no long term reliability studies on PEX. If you know plastic like I know plastic you quickly should be concerned about crimp fittings failing and polymers in the plastic itself out gassing or being dissolved into your home's water. What is even more uncertain is how plastic polyethylenes in the PEx plumbing will react to HOT WATER and the thousands of temperature cycles this material will be exposed to. Wow, I shutter when I think how the expanding and contracting of plastic tubes will weaken crimp joints and advance the chemical decay of the polymers that keeps the plastic tubes in a functional state. Also what happens when the insurance company decides to NOT insure water damaged homes with PEx plumbing? You know the old saying, "if it can go wrong......"
A prudent home owner may also want to talk with their insurance agent to determine if there are any limitations to insurance coverage, based upon the plumbing system installed. Keep in mind that the first use of "plastic" plumbing resulted in a class action law suit: http://www.spencerclass.com/index2.htm
Again PEx provides cost savings to home builders.
3. TECHNOLOGY FEATURES: If you never use the internet, don't want satellite TV and instead love AM Radio, then you can skip ahead to No.4. IF on the other hand these 21 Century technology features are important then DON'T Buy a new home that does not incorporate a TECH CENTER. The cost to add a Technology Center where Cable TV, Satellite TV, Phone, FAX and Whole House CAT 5 RJ 45 Highspeed data networks can be connected to a Router are MINOR when the home is being built and darn near impossible to retrofit after the dry wall is installed.
4. FINANCIAL STABILITY AND FUTURE WARRANTY - Homes are built by people. People make mistakes. My question to you is what kind of warranty will you settle for? You have a wide spectrum of possibilities from a Foreclosure with no warranty from a builder that no longer exists to a home built by a financially stable builder with a long reputation of home owner warranty support. Did I say you get what you pay for??
5. LOCATION! Yes, location can add cost. Normally the better the location, the easier it is to experience home price appreciation. Home builders who select questionable locations could mean a hard resale years down the road.
6. ASK QUESTIONS! Your agent is your conduit into getting your questions answered. You are making a big investment, get as much information as you can from your agent. Make the right choice and all is well in the world! Make the wrong choice and you home investment can turn into a financial nightmare.
Here is a quality example of a fantastic New Home buying opportunity on Lake Lewisville about 30 minutes from DFW Airport in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex
Good House Hunting!