Is a newly built, Sublime home right for you? Do you want a home that you’ve helped design and that offers the latest in energy efficiency and design? Or a previously owned home that may need fix-ups, paint jobs, and walls moved around to create the types of open spaces that make sense today?
These are baseline questions that confront many home shoppers early in the process. Your own answers are likely to depend on your lifestyle preferences, financing needs, and the priorities you put on features like high energy efficiency, functional arrangements of interior living spaces, and your desire, budget and aptitude when it comes to repairs and capital improvements.
There are a number of reasons you might prefer a resale house, even if it needs work. For instance, you may have your heart set on moving to a specific neighborhood in the city or a close-in suburb, where newly-constructed houses are rare or not available unless you buy an existing home, tear it down, and build a new home on the lot. Or you may be a do-it-yourself aficionado and relish the opportunity to take an old house and transform it, even if that takes considerable time and money.
So it’s understandable that some buyers prefer an existing house in an older neighborhood. But have you seriously considered the potential advantages of buying a new Sublime home? Here’s a quick overview of some of the important pluses of new Sublime homes to think about:
Energy Consumption/Green Building: If you care about “green” — whether that means the money you spend on energy bills every month or your concern about the environment — a newly constructed, Sublime home is virtually always the better option. Our new homes, meet or exceed far tougher national code standards for energy efficiency than just a few years back. Sublime’s newly-built homes, in fact, come with energy certifications that provide the homes HERS index score (A HERS Index Score can tell you so much about a home you are thinking of buying. Heating, cooling and water heating constitute the largest cost of homeownership outside of the mortgage loan. The HERS Index Score will tell you how well the home performs energy-wise. The HERS Report will outline the energy features of the home and the expected cost of utility bills.). Visit http://www.hersindex.com/understanding for more details on HERS scores, where you can also see how Sublime’s typical score in the 50’s for a 3,000+ sqft home compare with industry averages. Virtually no resale homes offer certifications because they were built to much lower standards — often decades ago, when energy usage was an afterthought.
You can retrofit many elements of an existing house to improve its energy efficiency, but it’s costly. Even then, because of design shortcomings, you may not be able to achieve the level of efficiency that you get in a Sublime home. In addition, Sublime homes typically offer better air filtration which increases indoor air quality, reducing symptoms from those who have asthma or allergies.
Flexibility for Space and Wiring Customization: When you buy a resale house, you get what’s already there. That may include room layouts, ceiling heights and lighting that may have made sense in the1950s or earlier — formal dining rooms, small kitchens, fewer bathrooms and windows, and the like. With a new Sublime home, by comparison, you can participate in the design of interior spaces with our dedicated professional Designer, in advance of actual construction. Plus our new homes come with the sophisticated wiring that’s needed for high-speed electronics and communication equipment, entertainment centers and security systems. With an older home, you may have to spend substantial sums of money to take down walls where that’s possible — some are so-called load-bearing walls that are not easily moved — to enlarge rooms in order to create the flowing, more open living space that is preferred today.
Replacement Costs: By definition, with a new house everything is new, including costly components — such as the furnace, water heater, air conditioning unit, kitchen appliances and roof, — and doors, windows, and more. In Sublime’s homes, these components come with a warranty. With a resale house, the equipment and structural features you buy have been in use for awhile, and may be close to needing replacement. There may or may not be warranties, but if there are they probably have significant limitations.
Consider some of these typical capital improvements, conservatively estimated, that may be part of the true cost to you over the early years of a purchase of an existing house:
Safety Features (Especially from Fires): Sublime’s homes come with modern fire retardants in materials such as carpeting and insulation, unlike most existing houses. We also hard-wire smoke and carbon monoxide detectors into our homes, making it unnecessary for new owners to install less-dependable battery-powered detectors. We also back up the hard-wired detectors with battery power to handle electrical outages.
Resale Value: You may plan to live in your next home many years, but at some point, most people sell a given home for any of a myriad of reasons — moving to a bigger home to accommodate a growing family, moving down to smaller digs when children are gone, moving across town or across the country for another job, etc. While the home you sell will (by definition) no longer be new, a 5-year old home will often be more desirable — given all the features above — than a 25-year old home at resale.
The decision to buy a newly built Sublime home or a used home is ultimately best made by each home buyer. Now you know the questions to ask, and the relative costs involved, in order to make the best decision for you. If you’d like to know more about our Sublime homes, call today at (219) 218-8337.
Author: The Sublime Team