Buying A Brand New House

Sleepless Nights

Just the thought of it may well keep you up at night. What do I want? How big and how many rooms? What kind of rooms? What about a yard? How about a pool? While all of these thoughts accompany purchasing a home that has been built and lived in somewhere out there, they are even more intense when they are the decisions you will make about the house of your dreams-the one you are having built. The days ahead will be filled with fun and frustration, but it will be exciting nevertheless.

There are definitely advantages to buying a brand new home over remodeling your existing home or buying a new, already constructed, home. When you build, you get to pick the floor plan and where it will be built. You get to choose the finishes and the neighborhood-whether on the side of a lake or golf course, or deep in the woods; the location is your choice and you get to make the decisions.

Obvious Advantages

The obvious advantage to building your own home is that you will get exactly what you want. If you are a boomer, then you are part of what could be considered the most affluent group overall. Builders are waiting with baited breath for you to call them and ask for plans and estimates. Not only do boomers have lots of money in general, but they are less likely to do what their parents did before them in terms or moving into something smaller like a condo or apartment. Instead, builders are betting the trend towards boomers buying bigger will continue to grow as this age group bucks the status quo and does it differently.

Doing It Differently

This group will spend a lot of money to get what they want in a new house. The master suite takes on a whole new meaning with walk-in closets for both partners, double sinks in the bathrooms, jacuzzi tubs and double showers. Once the kids have left the nest, rather than having large guest rooms (not that Mom and Dad don't want the kids to visit), the trend is to use the space for living. Great rooms that can be used for all types of entertaining take the place of the family room. Exercise rooms and offices are on the rise as healthy boomers know the value of working out to stay fit and they prefer to conduct business from the comfort of their home rather than make the commute into town.

The Flip Side

While getting the home you want is an incredible experience, don't forget the flip-side of the equation. You may be leaving a neighborhood that holds many fond memories and lots of good friends. Don't underestimate the emotional impact leaving all of this may have on you. On the stress-level chart, moving ranks right up there with having a baby and losing your job, so be prepared for some additional psychological impact when it comes time to say goodbye to the house the kids grew up in and the neighbors you love like family.

Finding The Right Builder

Finding the right builder can be likened to finding the right doctor. Just because he's busy doesn't necessarily mean he's the best for you. Sometimes, when the building market is really busy, finding workers is a challenge and the builder may settle for less-than-great workers if he's under pressure. Some guidelines to keep in mind when having your new home built include such things as being very clear on exactly what it is you want. Choose the features you truly want in your home, like a gourmet's kitchen if you love to cook. Check the real estate papers to find out who's building and what they're building in the area you want to live in, then drive around. Check in with the NHBA or other builders' associations to find the names of reputable builders. Visit their projects and have someone with you who knows construction. Get references from the builders and then check them out. Make sure you choose someone you can communicate with and who has a good warranty and service-after-the-sale provision in the contract.

Then go for it.