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Old or new construction

Choosing Between New and Old Construction

  • November 1, 2014

People often assume new construction lays far outside their reach, quick to believe that home customization comes at too high a price, so they begin to buy into common misconceptions about new construction and subsequently turn to the resale market. However, it’s important to remember that while homeowners can often wait for a market upswing to sell, home builders don’t have the option of halting home sales. Accordingly, home builders are consistently adjusting new home pricing in relation to the current market. Prospective buyers shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss new construction as an unattainable dream; consider the following fallacies when in the market for a home.

  • “New homes are typically built on smaller lots.” This statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. In an attempt to control the real estate boom in the early 2000’s and manage community growth, most suburban townships generally adjusted their zoning to require larger lots than would have previously been permitted. This practice, commonly referred to as “downzoning” reduced the number of homes that could be built on the community’s remaining land by requiring each lot to be larger. As a result, the limited amount of new construction available in these suburban locales typically boasts more acreage per lot than homes built prior to the new millennium.
  • “New homes aren’t as sturdy as old homes.” This fallacy stems largely from the sentimental draw people feel towards older homes. Memories of grandma’s house are sure to instill feelings of safety and comfort, encouraging people to consider the home as a symbol of strength and endurance. What these feelings can sometimes mask, however, are the structural inefficiencies, aging mechanical systems, drafty windows, and other problems that can lurk behind the walls and in the attic and only come to light when a buyer is faced with a huge repair bill or super-sized utility bills. Since new construction is built to all current building codes, they are specifically engineered to last longer and boast stronger, modern, and more efficient and environmentally-friendly materials.
  • “All new homes look exactly the same.” When shopping for new construction, it’s important to choose a builder that offers a number of different elevations, or facades, for each model of home. The availability of stone or brick facades, bay- or box-windows, front porches or porte-cocheres with decorative columns, and hip or gable roofs, each of which can add aesthetic diversity to new home communities, is something to look for when perusing new home communities. At Renaissance Properties, we typically offer four or five different elevations for each of our models both to accommodate buyers’ varying tastes and to create some visual distinction in our communities.
  • “Customizing a home is labor intensive and time-consuming.” Many prospective buyers, anxious to find and move into their new home, see the customization process included in purchasing new construction as an additional delay. However, at Renaissance Properties, since many of the popular structural upgrades and features have been accommodated for in the architectural plans, the time from when a building permit is issued to the time buyers can move into their new home can be as little as five or six months, depending upon the size of the home and the level of customization the buyer desires in their new home. This manageable wait time allows buyers the opportunity to market and sell their existing home, contemplate furniture and decor options, and plan for their move-in day. In addition, buyers can take comfort in knowing that when they turn the key on move-in day, their home will be exactly as they desired. Completely finished, the home will be equipped with the buyers’ chosen flooring, counter tops, tile, cabinets, etc. With resales, buyers often underestimate the time-consuming, resource-draining hassle of obtaining permits, selecting contractors, coordinating scheduling and/or time off from work and the other unavoidable disruptions that accompany renovations to ensure the home reflects their tastes and desires. With new construction, the builder deals with those headaches for you.

As referenced in our previous post, the National Association of Home Builders indicates the average length of home ownership in the Northeast is 22 years, longer than any other region of the United States. People move into their homes with the intent of staying put and raising their families in a place that reflects their tastes and lifestyles. Avoid playing into the above misconceptions about new construction, and look for you and your family to reap the long-term benefits of a customized, quality new home.

Robert Adinolfi is the Chief Operations Officer of Renaissance Properties, a New Jersey centered, multi-faceted luxury residential and commercial real estate development firm. For more information about Renaissance Properties, please visit or find them on Facebook at

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