The Benefits of Buying a New Home

No matter what the economic climate, buying a new home always has advantages. Whether it’s added flexibility, efficiency or modern conveniences, there are many reasons that being the first owner of a home makes more sense than ever.

Additionally, home ownership and housing are essential to the strength and vitality of a nation. They are the cornerstones of family security, stability and prosperity and strengthen our nation’s communities, encourage civic responsibility and provide a solid foundation from which Americans can work to support their families, enhance their communities and achieve their personal goals.

Building, Buying and Owning a New Home:

Home ownership and housing are essential to the strength and vitality of a nation. They are the cornerstones of family security, stability and prosperity and strengthen our nation’s communities, encourage civic responsibility and provide a solid foundation from which Americans can work to support their families, enhance their communities and achieve their personal goals.

Housing also is a crucial component in the nation’s economy and in individual financial security. New home construction and remodeling provide millions of jobs and generate billions of dollars in wages and tax revenues each year, in addition to being a key component of building personal wealth and financial security. During the past 50 years the home ownership rate has increased dramatically, reaching a record 67.8 percent. Home buyers can benefit from their new home as a sound investment, providing not only a place to live, but historically a solid rate of return with low risk of loss.

Mortgage interest rates today are hovering at the lowest levels in three decades. With rates this low, home buyers can afford to purchase the home of their dreams, while saving a considerable amount of money over the life of the loan. For example, the monthly principal and interest payment on a 30-year, $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent interest is $734. The monthly payment on the same mortgage loan at 5.6 percent interest rate is $574. That means over the 30-year life of the loan, with the lower interest rate, the home buyer will save $57,492.

Today’s new homes are more comfortable and livable than ever. The typical new home averages more than 2,220 square feet and has 2 or more bathrooms and 3, 4 or more bedrooms. With a wide array of amenities, such as whirlpool bathtubs, gas fireplaces, gourmet kitchen appliances, state-of-the-art home security systems and low-maintenance exterior materials make today’s new homes accommodating to today’s discerning home buyers and their busy lifestyles.

Not only are homes more comfortable and livable than ever before, they are also more energy efficient. In fact new homes built today are about twice as energy efficient as new homes were just 20 years ago.

Home ownership also strengthens the social fabric of our community. By encouraging involvement in schools and neighborhoods and inspiring the upkeep and improvement of the home, home ownership fosters good citizenship. Moreover, a new home is an investment in the future, a durable product that will provide shelter to families for many years.

Pre-Settlement Walk-Through Tips:

Before you go to settlement on a new home, you and your builder will “walk through” the house to conduct a final inspection. The walk-through provides an opportunity for you to learn how your new home works and to spot items that need to be corrected or adjusted. Often, a builder will use the walk-through to inform buyers about:

  • The operation of the house’s components
  • The buyer’s responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep
  • Warranty coverage and procedures
  • The larger community in which the home is located.


When you buy a new appliance or piece of equipment, such as a washing machine, you usually have to read the instructions before you can understand how to use all of the features. With a new house, you will be receiving a stack of instruction booklets all at once. It helps if someone can take the time to show you how to operate all of the kitchen appliances, the heating and cooling systems, the water heater and other features in the home. Such an orientation is particularly useful considering that when moving into a new home; people often are so busy that they have trouble finding time to read instruction booklets.

Learning about maintenance and upkeep responsibilities is very important. Most new homes come with a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials. However, such warranties do not cover problem that develop because of a failure to perform required maintenance. Many builders provide a booklet explaining common upkeep responsibilities and how to perform them.

Should a warranted problem arise after you move in, the builder is likely to have a set of warranty service procedures to follow. Except in emergencies, requests for service should be in writing. This is not because the builder is trying to be bureaucratic. Rather, it is to ensure that everyone clearly understands the service to be performed. The person receiving a service request is not likely to be the person performing the work, and you don’t want to rely on word of mouth for transmission of your service order.

Many builders schedule two visits during the first year – one near the beginning and the other near the end – to make necessary adjustments and to perform work of a non-emergency nature. Some minor problems occur because of the natural settling of the house and are best addressed in one visit near the end of the first year.

If you have moved to a new home from a nearby area, you probably will not spend much time at the walk-though talking about the larger community in which the home located. However, if you are moving to a new community, a builder can often provide a packet of material to help you become acclimated.

With respect to inspecting the house, an effective way to handle this is with a checklist. The list should include everything that needs attention, and you and your builder should agree to a timetable for repairs.

Builders prefer to remedy problems before you move in, because it is easier for them to work in an empty house. Some items may have to be corrected after move-in. For instance, if your walk-through is in the winter, your builder may have to delay landscaping adjustments until spring.

It is important that you be very thorough and observant during the walk-through. Carefully examine all surfaces of counters, fixtures, floors and walls for possible damage.

Sometimes, disputes arise because a buyer may discover a gouge in a counter top after move-in, and there is no way to prove whether it was caused by the builder’s workers or the buyer’s movers.

Many builders ask their buyers to sign a form at the walk-through stating that all surfaces have been inspected and that there was no damage other than what has been noted on the walk-through checklist. Ask a lot of questions during the walk-through and take notes on the answers.

Never be afraid to ask too many questions. That is how you learn. It is important to view the walk-through as a positive learning experience that will enhance your enjoyment of your home.