Best Neighborhoods near Fort Bragg, NC

Whether you are a looking to purchase your first home or anticipating retiring close to world class golf courses to master your putt, McKee Homes in the Fort Bragg area of North Carolina has the ideal neighborhood for you. You may be facing budget constraints, looking to upgrade your existing residence or simply want a more maintenance free home. McKee Homes carefully designs and plans its neighborhoods to meet your specific needs and fulfill your desired wish list as well.  We feature some of the best places to live near Fort Bragg.

country club living

For first time homebuyers, military families, retirees on a fixed income and renters looking to begin the rewarding journey of home ownership, McKee Homes has several delightful neighborhoods from which to choose. River Glen, close to Fayetteville, offers family friendly floor plans that start in the high $100’s. This affordable community has walking trails, country living and a clubhouse with pool to be built next year, in addition to being located within the Cumberland County School District.

Another budget-friendly community is Sinclair with over 200 acres of lush countryside and views of the greenbelts from nearly every home, as well as a community pond for fishing and other recreational activities. Sinclair is just 15 minutes from Fort Bragg’s Manchester Gate. If extra security is on your must-have list, the neighborhood of Oakmont features a gated entry. For those who simply cringe at the acronym DIY, The Cottages at North Ramsey feature maintenance-free exteriors with long lasting cement board lap siding, soffits and eves. In addition, The Cottages offer excellent proximity to Fort Bragg, the Goodyear plant, hospitals, diverse restaurants and easy access shopping. Moreover, each neighborhood is located within excellent school districts: Sinclair in Moore County School District, Oakmont in Harnett County School District and The Cottages at North Ramsey in the Cumberland County School District.

Perhaps your family is growing or you and your spouse simply want more room, then McKee Homes has neighborhoods that offer larger homes with square footage that ranges from 2,000 to 3,900 square feet and prices from the low $200’s. Liberty Hill at King’s Grant offers close proximity to golf courses, Fort Bragg, the Goodyear plant as well as easy access to highways, shopping and dining. If you want to live near Pinehurst, NC on the west side of Fort Bragg, Foxcroft is within 15 miles of 43 golf courses, while the golf communities of Legacy Lakes and Mid South Club have all the amenities of country club living.

Whether you are retired and looking for a community that offers easy access to professional level golf courses or just like to get out on the course during the weekends, avid golfers can tee off at one of the many golf communities offered by McKee Homes. Legacy Lakes offers the Nicklaus Design Legacy Golf Links, or if slicing a fuzzy yellow ball over the net is more your style, The Racquet House Racquet and Fitness Club has six stunning clay courts, as well as a pool and clubhouse. Legacy Lakes, Mid South Club and Foxcroft are in Moore County close to west gates at Fort Bragg.

Other communities offering easy access to world-class golfing are The Cottages at Carriage Creek, The Cottages at Carriage Glen and Valley Streams in Anderson Creek Club. Enjoy living in a secure, gated community with a golf course as well as a clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center, pool, tennis, basketball, baseball, volleyball, parks, playgrounds and tranquil walking trails.

One of the most upscale McKee Homes neighborhoods is Plantation Pointe, which is located in a private gated community of Mid South Club in Southern Pines. This beautiful community features all the amenities and extras for those seeking the country club lifestyle. A trip to the clubhouse, tennis courts, pool, driving range and golf course is an easy stroll from your home. Moreover, Plantation Pointe offers such upscale amenities as energy efficient open floor plans, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and designer cabinets to create a unique ambience that truly reflects your individual personality.

We all have different needs and wants at various times in our lives. Whether you’re looking for your family’s first new home, a new home for a growing family, or want to retire in an active adult or golf community, McKee Homes offers new homes in a perfect neighborhood for your family. From entry level new homes to upscale communities with invigorating hikes along verdant trails and lush golf courses, McKee Homes has a neighborhood for you.

Custom Home Vs Personalized Production Home Builder Touch Points

This is part five of our series of articles comparing custom homes to personalized production homes. This article will focus on the touch points with the homebuyer offered by custom home builders vs. personalized production home builders.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions.

home builder touch points

Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes

When building a custom home, you generally acquire your own land, design your own floor plan (or have it designed) and submit it to the builder. Additionally, you will be directly involved in the planning and development of every aspect of your new home.

Custom home builders are able to offer you a more personalized service because they only build a limited number of homes each year and therefore have the extra time to spend with each individual customer.

Being involved in the building and decision making processes can be exciting but it also requires a fair amount of time and effort on the part of the homebuyer, so if you decide to have a custom home built, be prepared to spend many evenings and weekends with the builder working out issues and making decisions and choices for your new home.

Once the home is complete the builder will walk through the home with you and explain how to use all the systems in the home as well as create a punch list to deal with any unfinished items or issues that need to be corrected before move-in.

Personalized Production Homes

When having a personalized production home built, it’s customary for the home and land to be offered as a package deal. You will have the ability to choose from a variety of home floor plans and new home options; therefore, with a personalized production home, you will still have the opportunity to customize your home to a certain extent.

Production home builders may build hundreds of homes per year and therefore cannot offer as many personal touch points as a custom home builder. However, good production builders have well trained project managers and customer service representatives who will meet with homebuyers and their agents at specific times during the new home building process. Each team member will help the customer make their new home selections, review the progress of the home and make sure all options and selections are correct.

While you won’t have as much input into your new home with a production home builder, you also won’t have to spend as much time and energy making decisions and selections for your new home. You will generally have a comprehensive selections meeting before the home is started to make selections and choose options for your new home. You will also get to see the home being built and should get at least two or three detailed walks through the home with the project manager during construction of the home. Once the home is complete you will have a final walk through the home with the project manager who will show you how to use the systems in the home and make sure all selections are correct and the home is move-in ready. The project manager will create a punch list to take care of any issues that need to be addressed before you move into your new home.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

Custom Home Warranties Vs Personalized Production Home Warranties

This is part four of our series of articles comparing custom homes to personalized production homes. This article will focus on the warranties offered by custom home builders vs. personalized production home builders.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions. Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes

When building a custom home, you generally acquire your own land, design your own floor plan (or have it designed) and submit it to the builder. Additionally, you will be directly involved in the planning and development of every aspect of your new home.

Each builder will have their own specific new home warranty and levels of that warranty. Most custom home builders cannot afford to include a custom warranty that will cover a home’s structure for up to 10 years. They generally only give the home buyers a one year builder’s warranty. However, some custom home builders will take care of problems with their homes beyond the required warranty. Each builder is different and it’s up to the home buyer to find out the specifics of the different new home warranties that each builder offers.

There are numerous home warranty companies that offer extended warranties for new and older homes, so even if your builder only offers a one-year builders warranty it is possible to buy additional coverage. It’s important to research new home warranty companies before purchasing coverage to make sure you are getting the coverage you need at a fair price from a reputable company.

Personalized Production Homes

When having a personalized production home built, it’s customary for the home and land to be offered as a package deal. You will have the ability to choose from a variety of home floor plans and new home options; therefore, with a personalized production home, you will still have the opportunity to customize your home to a certain extent.

When it comes to offering a warranty, each production home builder is required to offer a one year builders new home warranty for their homes. However, some builders offer custom home warranties, such as the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® offered by McKee Homes that covers the material and defects for one year, the home’s systems for two years and the structure for 10 years.

Having a good quality home warranty provided by your home builder saves money over the years as you don’t need to purchase additional coverage after the first year. Another advantage of the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is that it is fully-transferable, which increases the resale value of the home, should you ever need to sell it.

210 Home Buyers Warranty

2-10 Warranty Coverage Details:

  • Ten (10) years of structural defect coverage for load-bearing components.
  • Two (2) years of systems surety coverage against defects in wiring, piping, and ductwork in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating, and mechanical systems.
  • One (1) year of surety coverage against defects in workmanship and materials.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

Pros and Cons of Custom Homes Vs Personalized Production Homes

This is part three of our series of articles comparing custom homes to personalized production homes. This article will focus on the pros and cons of custom homes vs. personalized production homes.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to have a custom home built or buy a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between the two, so you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make a final decision.

custom homes vs production homes

Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes

Advantages:

  • You will be able to choose the location of where your home is to be built.
  • You will get to decide the details for every product and feature of the home.
  • Your new home will be unique from every other home.
  • The quality and functionality of the home will meet all your requirements and standards.

Disadvantages:

  • Custom homes are expensive to build compared to personalized production homes.
    • A custom home builder is not able to buy the supplies needed in bulk, making the materials for the home more expensive.
    • Labor will be more expensive as a custom home has never been built before and many details and problems will have to be worked out during construction.
  • In most cases you will have to find and purchase your own land to build the home on.
  • Custom homes take significantly longer to build than production homes.
  • You will have the added expense of hiring an architect to design the home, or have purchased plans modified, as well as finding a contractor who builds custom homes.
  • A custom home will depreciate faster than a production home.
  • It is difficult to get the home appraised for the total build cost. Thus, most banks will not lend the entire amount needed to build the home requiring a significant down payment from the homebuyer.

Personalized Production Homes

Advantages:

  • You have the flexibility of choosing from a variety of price points.
  • The land comes with the price of the home.
  • Production home builders offer a variety of floor plans to choose from.
  • There are fewer decisions to make which leads to less stress and less hassle.
  • A personalized production home is much less expensive to build than a custom home.
  • A personalized production home can be built much faster than a custom home.
  • A selections coordinator will help you make the best selections for your new home to personalize it to fit your needs.
  • Production homes are priced to meet comparable appraisal values enabling homebuyers to borrow the entire amount of the cost of the home depending on the type of loan chosen.
  • Many production builders offer comprehensive warranties such as the McKee Homes 2-10 Warranty Program that covers the structure for up to 10 years.
  • In many cases, you will have the added benefit of living in a community with access to amenities such as: golf course, clubhouse, fitness center, pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball, volleyball, a park, playground and walking trails.

Disadvantages:

  • You won’t be able to design every aspect of your new home.
  • You won’t have as much input in how the home is constructed.
  • You won’t have unlimited land options from which to choose.
  • Because production builders build a large number of homes each year, they cannot offer as many touch points with their homebuyers as custom home builders.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

How Long Does It Take To Build A House?

This is part two of our series of articles comparing custom homes vs. personalized production homes. This article will focus on the amount time it takes to build custom homes vs. personalized production homes. The time needed to build a house is an important aspect of a home buying decision especially if the buyer is selling their current home and/or is relocating to another area for work or military reassignment.

new house under construction

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions. Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build a house?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes: Time to Build

The time it takes to build a custom home will depend on the size and complexity of the home, where it’s being built and the time of year. It could take anywhere from 10 to 16 months to build, depending on its size and assuming everything goes according to plan. This time frame is based on the lot (land) being clear and ready to build on and that there are no construction delays due to weather conditions, change orders or any other factors beyond a builders control.

One of the biggest variables in custom home build time is the customer. There are many decisions that have to be made along the way, and if they are not made in time to get selected items when they are needed, the contractor can lose weeks of time during the build process. Change orders will usually extend the build time as well, and can cause substantial delays if they occur later in the build process rather than near the beginning when the structure has not yet been built.

In addition to the time it takes to build the home, you will need to account for time to have the home designed, or purchased plans modified, as well as having the plans approved by the local building department. For an architect-designed custom home, the design process can take three-to-six months or longer plus an additional month for permitting. If you are having purchased plans modified and checked by an architect, the timeline is considerably shorter, but can still take two-to-three months including permitting.

Personalized Production Homes: Time to Build

The building process of a personalized production home usually takes between three and four months to reach completion; however, it can sometimes take up to six months, depending on the weather, construction supply delays and any requested customer design changes that are implemented along the way.

Because the floor plans offered by production builders have been built many times before, there are usually no delays in getting them through the local building department and starting home construction. The contractor knows exactly what materials are needed to build the home as well as the subcontractors that will be used. The subcontractors know what materials they need for the project as well because they have worked on the same or similar floor plan before. This allows all materials to be ordered at the proper time to ensure that the home construction flows smoothly.

The production home builder, or their selections coordinator, will meet with the home buyer to go over new home selections and options before the home construction is started to ensure that all selection items are ordered and will be available when they are needed to avoid delays.

Just as in custom homes, the buyer is the biggest variable in production home building, if they buy the home before it is built. If they are not available to make selections in a timely manner, or make changes along the way requiring change orders to be generated and produced, there can be delays in the build time.

Most production home builders have developed good processes to avoid delays and can get a new home built with final inspection complete before the projected close date so the buyers can move in when needed, especially if they are on a tight schedule because of relocation or the sale of another home.

The Bottom Line

If you are on a tight schedule, or have a specific date that you need to move into your new home, but you still want to have a home built so you can make personalized choices, going with a personalized production home is a safer bet as custom homes can often take longer than expected to build.

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and only then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to make, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

Second Floor Laundry Room

House floor plans have changed significantly over the years.  Everyone has an opinion on where things are best suited.  So one of the questions we get asked is “why is the laundry room on the second floor?”

McKee Homes developed all of its floor plans with living in mind.  We thought about how people use their homes and what makes the most sense for ease of use.  While we offer several ranch floor plans that have the laundry room on the first floor, we also have many two- and three-story floor plans that have the laundry room on the second floor.

Most people have experienced lugging laundry baskets, bundles of bedding and hangers up and down stairs time and time again.  With a laundry room on the second floor your days of lugging up and down the stairs are over.  Since the majority of laundry and bedrooms are on second floor, why not have the laundry room up there as well.  In all of the laundry rooms, folding stations have been added.  A folding station is an open front cabinet with cubbies and a flat top to make folding and sorting laundry easier.Many of our floor plans also offer sinks in the laundry room to assist with those messes that need a little extra attention.

second floor laundry room with folding station and sink

Now some people might worry about the hassle of getting the washer and dryer to the second floor.  While it might be slightly difficult initially, you likely won’t be moving the appliances.  In a McKee home, the stairwells are wider making moving furniture and washers and dryers easier.  Another concern that homebuyers may fear is the washer overflowing.  McKee Homes has created a solution to this problem.  In all second floor laundry rooms, McKee Homes has installed trays that the washer sits in with a drain that connects to the main plumbing drain line.  This way if your washer overflows you won’t have a big mess to clean up.

So here at McKee Homes we like the second floor laundry rooms (in two- and three-story homes) because it helps make our homes a little more livable.  Come by one of our neighborhoods and check out the laundry room for yourself.

What is the Difference Between a Septic System and a Sewer System?

If you are in the market for a new home, you may have noticed that some neighborhoods are on public utility sewer systems and some neighborhoods use septic systems. Generally speaking, cities and towns, and their immediate surrounding areas, will be on sewer systems that are maintained by the local public works department. If a neighborhood is outside the area serviced by the local sewer system, the homes will generally use a septic system to handle waste water.

Large public sewer systems charge a monthly fee for their use, but offer the convenience to the homeowner of not having to maintain anything related to waste water outside of their home. Septic systems are the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain, but have no monthly fee, so are usually less expensive in the long run. However, some septic systems can be more expensive to maintain such as Low-Pressure Dose Systems that uses a pump to move effluent to a drain field or conventional systems that don’t percolate well and have to be pumped frequently.

If you are looking at homes in multiple neighborhoods, you will need to make quite a few decisions and choices in order to make the best decision of where to buy. Having some basic knowledge of the pros and cons of each type of waste water system will help in choosing between neighborhoods that are on public utility sewer systems compared to those on septic systems.

septic system

Where does the waste go?
Septic System: The waste goes into a holding tank.
Sewer System: Sewers lines carry waste to a treatment facility.

How does it work?
Septic System: Bacteria break down the solid waste and the liquid effluent is then released into the drainfield.
Sewer System: The facility removes contaminants and then discharges water back into local water supplies.

What is the cost?
Septic System: If buying a new home from a reputable new home builder, then the cost of the septic system is included in the price of the house.
Sewer System: The cost to use a public sewer system varies depending on location.  Some areas separate the cost of water and sewage, while others combine the two.

What type of maintenance is needed?
Septic System: Depending on the usage, septic tanks need to be pumped out yearly or every few years.
Sewer System: None

Who is responsible for the maintenance?
Septic System: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the septic system.
Sewer System: Your local municipality is responsible for maintaining the public sewer system.

What do you do if it fails to work?
Septic System: Call a professional septic repair company.
Sewer System: Call your local municipality public works department

What are the benefits?
Septic System: If maintained properly a septic system generally has fewer ongoing costs.
Sewer System: Sewer systems are very convenient and the homeowner has no responsibility for repairs.

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10 New Home Selections Tips for Homebuyers

Buying a new home is an exciting, sometimes overwhelming event in anyone’s life, especially if you buy the home before it is built and get to choose options and make selections. One of the most personal aspects of buying a new home from a builder is getting to choose the selections for the home such as paint colors, cabinets, countertops, floor coverings, fixtures and finishes.

Doing your homework and understanding the choices you will be making at the selections appointment will save time and stress. The following new home design center checklist and selection tips can help you come to your appointment prepared so you don’t feel overwhelmed and can make the best selection choices for your new home.

Before:

  1. Walk some of the builder’s houses to see the types of materials used for cabinets, flooring, tile, etc. This will give you a better idea of what to expect at the selections appointment.
  2. Find out what brand appliances the builder uses so you have a chance to review their appliances by going to the stores or Online. Most builders only show one set of appliances in their design center and not the entire line. Most builders are able to give you a better price than you could get yourself, even if you find a sale. However, don’t expect the builder to match a bargain basement or closeout price that you find Online.
  3. Find out what siding company the builder uses so you can look at choices before your meeting. Many siding companies allow you to upload a picture of a house and add siding, trim, shakes, shutters, roof color and door color so you can get an idea of what your house will look like when finished. It’s also a great idea to drive through neighborhoods to see the exteriors of other houses that the builder has built. McKee Homes offers an Interactive Design App that allows you to choose a floor plan and play with the exterior colors for siding, doors/windows, roofing and stone.
  4. Most builders offer at least five interior paint and accent colors. Find out what the builder offers before the appointment so you can pull color swatches and put them against your furniture. This will help you decide on the best color beforehand as you will have a lot on your mind with many decisions to make during the selections meeting.

During:

  1. Remember that carpet padding is more important than the actual carpet. Upgrading your carpet padding is an inexpensive way to have your carpet last longer and feel softer.
  2. Upgrading a kitchen backsplash with tile is often an inexpensive way to dress up your kitchen.
  3. Remember that it’s less expensive to upgrade during the building process than to remodel later. Plus it’s less hassle as remodeling can be disruptive, noisy and messy once you are living in the house. Think about adding hardwoods or laminates to living areas and tile in wet areas.
  4. Don’t forget the little things like cabinet hardware. Adding your own hardware takes a lot of time and precision.; Going through the builder is normally less expensive than buying the hardware at a retail shop and paying someone to install it. Another good reason to have the builder install the hardware is liability. If you install your own cabinet hardware, or hire a handyman to do it, and the cabinets are damaged, it is up to you to have them repaired.
  5. Many times buyers like to upgrade their light fixtures and plumbing fixtures to Oil Rubbed Bronze, but forget to think about the doorknobs and hinges. Make sure to upgrade your cabinet hardware to match any other finish upgrades.

Before Leaving:

  1. Make sure you feel 100% satisfied with your home selections before you leave your selections appointment because many items for your house such as windows and doors are ordered before construction even begins to make sure the home is completed on time. Changing selections while your home is being built can cause delays in construction and result in additional costs.

Coming to the selections meeting prepared and taking the time to make sure you are satisfied with all of your decisions will help make the new home building process more enjoyable, go smoother and be less stressful for everyone involved.

McKee Homes has an expert Design Consultant who works closely with our buyers to make sure they have the most positive experience possible while making selections for their new home. The design center has a variety of selections available to touch, see and experience, including carpet samples, kitchen and bath tile, exterior finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and kitchen cabinet options.

If you are interested in finding out more about the McKee Homes new home selections process please read our Selections Process and Additional Options articles or call us at 910-672-7296.

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Top 5 reasons to buy an energy efficient new home

While older homes sometimes have a quaint nostalgic feeling about them, they just can’t compare to the low maintenance, money-saving features and technology conveniences of an energy efficient new home.

1. Save money every month on utility and water bills
New homes are built to the latest building codes, which means they have more insulation, better insulated windows and doors, more efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures well as new energy efficient appliances. That equates to lower utility and water bills every month.

On average, newly built homes save 3,449 KWH per year* over older homes. That’s a big savings on your electric bill each month. An energy efficient new washer can save as much as 7,000 gallons of water each year.* Combined with low-flow toilets, this can significantly lower your water bill.

In addition to saving money, using less energy is better for the environment by saving precious natural resources and reducing pollution.

2. Safer and more comfortable environment for your family
New homes help keep the outside out and the inside protected. There’s a big difference between new energy efficient windows and doors over older ones in temperature, light and noise transfer between the inside and outside of a home. This applies to everything from air temperature, toxins and particulate matter, which is especially important to sufferers of asthma and bronchial disorders, to outside noise from traffic, lawn mowers or barking dogs.

A new home’s kitchen appliances and bathroom tub, toilet and sinks have never been used by anyone else and are clean and ready for your family to enjoy. New electrical systems are built to modern codes making them safer. Overall your family will have a much more comfortable and safer environment in which to live with a new energy efficient home.

3. New appliances are under warranty, last longer and save money
With a new home, all your appliances are new and under warranty. You won’t risk having to replace your hot water heater or anything else soon after you move in, which is often a hidden cost of buying an older house. Because they are new, the kitchen stove, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher have never been used so they start out clean and are easier to keep that way. With proper maintenance, they should last a very long time while saving you money every month on utility bills.

4. Take advantage of new technologies
Newer technologies now make it possible to connect HVAC, security, lighting systems and entertainment systems together so they can be centrally controlled or even controlled remotely from a mobile phone or tablet. Wireless automation allows many of a home’s systems to be controlled remotely, from thermostats and window blinds to entry doors and HVAC systems. You can adjust the temperature, lighting, security system or even let someone in the house by unlocking the front door using an app on your cell phone or tablet.

5. Better resale value and easier to sell
Sometimes life throws you a curve and you find yourself changing jobs or being transferred to another city, having to move your family in a short period of time. With all of that going on, it’s nice to know that in the event you need to sell your home; a newer energy efficient home will have a higher resale value and be easier to sell.

Everyone is different and while some people enjoy fixing up an older home and don’t mind the additional utility costs; the advancements in technology in the last five years alone makes owning a new home less expensive, better on our environment and generally safer and more comfortable. For those of us that don’t want to spend their weekends maintaining their home and embrace the conveniences and safety factors of newer technologies, a new energy efficient home is the best choice.

*NewHomeSource.com – www.newhomesource.com/startfresh/energy-efficiency/

Buying a Home – New vs. Preowned

Is it better to buy a pre-owned (resale) home or a new home? There are pros and cons to think about with both purchases. Buying a newly built home is like buying a cupcake with frosting on it. With a new home, you know exactly what you are getting under the frosting. On the other hand, a resale home could be that same cupcake with frosting or it could possibly be something much less desirable dressed up to look like a cupcake. It’s up to each homebuyer to decide which to choose, but personally, I want the cupcake with frosting.

If a homebuyer chooses to purchase a new home, they have more options to choose from and a question to ask themselves: “am I ready to embrace my creative side?” If the answer is yes, they can start from the ground up and pick a lot, floorplan, features and options in the neighborhood where they would most like their new home built. Builders have lined up all the contractors, picked out great locations and have the design coordinator on standby. Also, many creative types have already developed a ‘baby book’ to chart the process of building their new home and nobody judges them. Everyone loves a baby, just sayin’.

If a homebuyer is not channeling their ‘creative animal’ at the point of purchase, or needs to move sooner than a new home can be built for them, they can buy a new home that is already built, sometimes referred to as “move-in ready.” There are some move-in ready homes that can still be personalized depending on the builder and buyer’s prerogative.

With a resale home, someone has already made the creative decisions for the buyer. Before a mortgage can be secured for the home, the buyer will need to get a termite inspection and the entire home will need to be inspected by a qualified home inspector. Any problems found by the home inspector will need to be repaired before the buyer closes. If the home has a septic system, the septic system will need to be inspected and tested by a qualified professional and the tank may need to be pumped.

Most buyers want to personalize a home once they buy it and fix or upgrade anything they don’t like about the home. Resale homes often need much more maintenance than a new home, so the homebuyers need to be prepared to spend several fun-filled weekends engaged in DIY projects or spend additional money to hire a contractor, have strangers in their home and be a temporary construction manager in order to get the home the way they want it. Resale home buyers should get cost estimates on any work they want done before purchasing the home to make sure their budget will allow for the improvements and maintenance of the home.

What about the money? Most people assume they will pay less for a resale home over a new home, however in the long run, that is often not the case.

With new construction the homebuyer controls the costs by choosing the plan, the features, the upgrades and the location or subdivision they have their home built in.   The new homebuyer will also have all the latest and greatest energy efficient building materials such as windows, appliances, insulation and heat and cooling systems. In the long run, the new homebuyer will save money every month because of the home’s efficiency. Another money-saving benefit of purchasing a new home is the new home warranty. Some builders even include an additional warranty in the purchase cost of the home that goes beyond a traditional new home warranty. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is an example of such a warranty. McKee Homes includes a full 2-10 warranty with all new homes, which covers the home’s systems for two years and the structure for a full 10 years.

In the end, it is up to each homebuyer to decide what is best for them. With new homes they get more input into having the home built the way they want it, they don’t have to spend every weekend doing projects and maintenance, they can rest easy knowing the home is covered by a new home warranty and they save money on energy costs every month. With a resale home, the initial cost may be lower, but until they purchase the home, they really don’t know for sure what’s under that frosting.