Things to consider when buying your First New-Construction Home
When building a new home it allows you personalize your home for today’s needs and tomorrow’s dreams. That’s the beauty of buying new construction: You can focus on want-to-dos, rather than to-dos — even if you can’t anticipate all your wants.
Layout of Kitchen and Great Room: In a new-construction home, you could opt to make a kitchen and great room combo or instead separate the rooms. Consider how your family spends their time in the main part of the house. If you have young children you like to keep you eye on or often have large family get togethers then the kitchen and great room combo might be the best choice. One big space is great for watching little ones. But on the other hand you may want to consider separating these spaces a bit more if you find that you have several different activities typically going on at the same time. It could become like Grand Central Station very quickly. So consider that when making that important decision on one of the most used spaces in your home.
Main-floor bedrooms: We downsized our master suite to squeeze in a second bedroom next to us — perfect for soothing a preschooler’s nightmares. Bedroom soundproofing to ensure privacy.
A pass-through Bathroom Entrance or door in Master Bath: I gave up two kitchen cabinets to cut a pass-through from the kitchen to our mud-cum-crafts room so I could keep an eye on Ben’s finger-painting sessions. Ben hasn’t dipped a finger in paint in 12 years, and I could really use that storage now.
Best new-home upgrades for the money:
Luckily, builders know the life of a new home is a journey, and have consultants who help you fast-forward your thinking about features you can install now that will make life easier later.
A main floor den that could be converted into another bedroom as your family grows.
On a related note, see how people are reinventing their living rooms.
Future Proofing: Roughed-in plumbing and electric for an eventual attic or basement bathroom and kitchenette. If you don’t have the resources now, this is a great way to plan ahead. This extra living space not only could accommodate elderly parents or boomerang kids, but will increase the value of your home when it’s time to sell.
A double-deep, tandem garage that can fit three cars now, but can be walled-off later to add indoor space for an extra bedroom or bathroom.
More: Attic conversions | Garage conversions
Upgraded structured wiring throughout that can handle a souped-up Internet connection and other tech revolutions. Handy if you telecommute.
Temporary partition walls that attach to hardwood flooring, rather than subflooring. If you eventually want to combine bedrooms — kids move out — you’ll only have to do a floor repair and refinishing, rather than patch a gaping hole.
Plywood sheathing behind drywall and tile in bathrooms. These sheets of plywood let you attach grab bars anywhere without hunting for studs.
Grab bars aren’t just for our later years. They’re also good for kids and aching weekend warriors who need a little help getting into and out of a tub.
An addition. If you can site your home to accommodate a bigger footprint later, plan to run conduit through exterior walls for future electrical and plumbing needs.
Unless you’re psychic …
You’ll never know today exactly what you’ll need in the future: It’s hard for me to imagine life beyond next Tuesday.
But choosing options for tomorrow is one perk of buying new. These forward-thinking selections can mean years of enjoyment as your family changes, and can make it easier to sell if moving — and buying new again — turns out to be the best alternative.