Making bad decisions during the home building process may mean that you don’t get the most value for your money. Spending too much on features you don’t really need or selecting a New Jersey builder with an iffy reputation can derail your budget or lead to regrets. Fortunately, many mistakes can be avoided by following these guidelines.
Don’t Compromise on Location
Location is important whether you’re buying an existing home or building a brand new one. New homes located far from amenities or services or located in questionable neighborhoods will always be less expensive than those a short drive from businesses and excellent schools. Although it’s always possible that the neighborhood could become more desirable in a few years, you’re taking a gamble if you buy in the area.
When you consider new home communities in New Jersey, think about:
- Convenience: Will you need to travel far to reach grocery stores, malls, convenience stores, medical and dental offices, highways and public transportation?
- School District: Is the district well regarded? School district quality is a key factor in resale value.
- Lot Location: Do you want a lot situated close to the development’s entry road or one that backs to the woods or undeveloped areas? Lot location can impact your enjoyment of your home and should be carefully considered.
Carefully Consider Square Footage
Buying a home that’s too large or too small can cost you money. If you buy a home that’s too big, the hefty purchase price won’t be the only concern. Bigger homes cost more to heat and cool and take more time to clean. If you’re sure you’ll use every bit of the square footage, a larger home may be ideal. Otherwise, you may soon wish you’d bought a smaller home.
Choosing a house that’s too small because you want to save money is a common mistake. In most cases, the next largest floor plan won’t cost that much more, particularly when you consider the headaches involved in moving or adding an addition on later.
Choosing the Wrong Floor Plan
The ideal floor plan meets your needs now and can change to adapt to your needs in the future. Although you certainly can build an addition or expand the kitchen later, renovations will be more expensive than selecting a floor plan that actually meets your requirements.
When evaluating floor plans, consider how many bedrooms you’ll really need. Is there a possibility that you might add another child to your family or take in an elderly relative eventually? Does the floor plan you like offer flexibility? Could a home office or study be turned into a first-floor bedroom if needed?
What about the kitchen? If you rarely prepare meals, a space that’s a standard size may be adequate. If you cook often or host holiday meals, you’ll want a large kitchen with plenty of room for guests or multiple cooks.
Use Your Crystal Ball
The future is always an unknown, but you can probably make a few guesses about things that may happen later in life. Do you hate the thought of moving into a tiny apartment or condo when you retire? Aging in place may be a better option for you. Making a few modifications to your new home will help ensure that your home is comfortable and safe when you get older. You might want to add a first-floor bedroom and bathroom or choose a floor plan that offers plenty of space to maneuver if you’re ever confined to a wheelchair.
Have you always dreamed about adding a home theater, recreation room or bar to your home? Homes that offer full, high-ceilinged basements offer plenty of room for expansion. Will you finally splurge and buy that classic car you’ve been dreaming about for a year? A three-car garage might make a nice addition to your new home.
Pay a Little More for the Features You Really Want
You probably won’t want to add every option your builder offers, but it’s not a good idea to automatically reject every upgrade either. In most cases, it’s more cost effective to include the features you want than to renovate your home in a few years. If you spend every minute of your free time in the kitchen perfecting recipes, it makes sense to splurge on counters, cabinets and appliances you love and will use.
Investigate Your Builder
Builder quality and reputation can vary considerably. If you choose the wrong company, you may spend the first few months in your home fighting with the builder to correct problems. The best builders have been in business for years, have solid reputations in the community and can offer references from satisfied homeowners. When you visit communities, ask:
- How will I communicate with you?
- How long will it take you to get back to me?
- Will I have one contact in your company or work with multiple people?
- What does your new homeowner warranty cover?
- What features are included in the purchase price?
- How much will I pay for a premium lot?
- Will other sections of the community be built sometime in the future?
Are you ready to move into your new home – as soon as you find it? Country Classics at Hillsborough offers four-bedroom, 2.5 executive homes on large lots. The homes offer two-car garages (with a three-car garage upgrade), gourmet kitchens, first-floor studies, large family rooms, and elegant dining and living rooms. Contact us before we sell out during our final phase.
National Institute on Aging: Aging in Place
National Association of Home Builders: Questions to Ask Your Builder
National Association of Home Builders Green Building Practices Becoming the Standard for New Homes