Making the decision to build a home from scratch is a brave one, and can be a sensible one, especially if you’re somewhat picky as to the architecture you like, or have very specific requirements for what you want. However, once you’ve made that decision to build, you then have another important decision to make: where to actually build it! Usually it will come down to two options: an established community or a new community, and although you may have your preference, there are advantages and disadvantages to both that you may not have already considered.
Building in an Established Community
The biggest advantage with building in an established community is that everything is there already, it’s ‘established’ with all the community services you would expect in any town or suburb. Schools, shopping, medical services, parks, roads, transport, recreation and more, are all in place already, so you can start making use of all those services immediately and become a part of the community. Life goes on in these communities without an awful lot changing, so you can quickly get used to routines and enjoy life!
The way I see it there is really only one disadvantage to building in an established community; and that’s the fact that there will be minimal choice when it comes to a lot. If all the streets are full of houses already where is yours going to fit in? Vacant lots can be few and far between, so you may have to settle for a lot that’s not perfect, and you’re likely to have to pay more for that lot too.
Building in a New Community
So if finding a lot is difficult in an established community, this is the biggest advantage in a new one, especially if you get in right at the early stages of development. There will be many lots for you to choose from, including desirable corner lots, view lots, and lots backing onto crown or federal land, and the earlier you decide to buy, the better deal you can usually get. Lots typically would be cheaper than in an established community, though of course there are always factors that can affect this, such as the overall desirability of the new community, and the type and size of lot you’re purchasing.
Building in a new community can actually make financial sense in more ways than one. Again, the earlier you buy the lot the more room there is to make money, because as the community grows the price of land and homes will rise. This makes the new community a good investment, and could enable you to afford a better lot and larger home than you might otherwise be able to afford in an established community.
This all sounds great, but have you thought about the disadvantages? There’s a certain amount of sacrifice you need to make in order to build in a new community, and you’ll need to decide whether those inconveniences outweigh the advantages. So just how bad is it?...
Well, this is going to vary from state to state and province to province, but in some places the builders are allowed to start construction as early as 7am, and will often work on the weekends too. So that lie-in you wanted won’t be so appealing when they start hammering and digging at 7am. And forget about peaceful summer evenings as well, because they’re likely to be at it until the sun sets and sometimes even later.
In addition to the noise there’s the constant dust and dirt blowing your way, not only from the construction itself but from the roads, which, by the way, are unlikely to be surfaced for some time yet. So every time a vehicle drives past they’re going to create dust and you’re going to have to live with a dirty car for months as you drive in and out of the neighborhood.
That’s the big problem as well… timing… a new community can’t be built in just a few weeks. At the least it will be a couple of months, but larger communities can take years to build, and just when you think it’s over, another phase begins!
And then there are the community amenities… Homes will be the first thing to be built, but how long will it be before you have a local store, a large grocery store, medical center, school, community center, recreation and all those other things you probably take for granted right now?
Making the Decision
So how do you make the ultimate decision? Well, deciding on building a house in a new community versus an established one will come down to personal preference, and availability will play a large part in your decision making process too. If there’s a great lot in an established community, at the right price, then maybe this is the one, but if you’ve been searching for years with no luck, maybe it’s time to buy in that new community they’re just starting to build, provided of course that you can put up with all those disadvantages. Just think though, at the end of it you get the home of your dreams so maybe the dust, dirt and noise are a small price to pay!