To Build or Not To Build

April 10, 2020

In my last blog, we discussed identifying the Active Adult Community you plan to move to. Next you must decide whether to build or buy a resale. In some communities you may not have a choice as there may only be resale options. Same is true for new communities where there are only new build options

New construction vs resales in 55+ Communities

For the sake of this discussion let’s assume you have either option, build or resale. Resales are typically 10 -15% lower in price than a comparable new build in the same community. Resales also often have many expensive upgrades already in place, think window coverings as an example, that new builds do not. You would also not need to deal with new construction dirt and traffic in most cases.

Is Customization a Top Priority?

Most people who build do so because they prefer to have choices in every aspect of their new home. From lot size and location to upgrades and color schemes, home orientation (which way the sun travels over the home) and more. The trade off is you will pay more for a new build.

Consider Your 55+ Home Buying Budget

Another important consideration for a new build is budget. With a resale you negotiate the price and know what you are paying for the home. Often in a new build you will know the price of the lot, structural upgrades and model you choose when you go to contract and give a deposit, but you will not know the costs of the upgrade selections until after your design appointment. Depending on your taste and the size of your home, upgrades can be from $25,000 – $100,000+ . You may find yourself unable or unwilling to to afford the home and you are already under contract! Note that this is a very common practice with most builders. There are some exceptions but those usually involve limited choices for upgrade options and packages, which can defeat the reason for building in the first place.

What is your timeline for moving into your 55+ Community?

Your time frame for needing to move into your new home will also be an important factor if deciding to build. Many communities take up to a year or even more to complete your home. Check with the builder in your chosen community to find out their projected build time. Even then, outside forces can delay the build. Weather and supply shortages can lengthen build time. Are you prepared to do the dreaded move twice if your present home sells and the new one is not ready for months? In addition to extra moving costs you will also incur rental charges in most cases if you cannot temporarily move in with family, a scenario that has its’ own challenges.

My next blog in this series will discuss Financial considerations when choosing and buying in a 55 Active Adult Community.


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