With the cold weather mostly behind Florida residents, homeowners are preparing for their annual spring cleaning – and prospective buyers are beginning to consider just how much house they can afford as the red-hot spring real estate market heats up.
Often, however, buyers fail to factor home maintenance costs into their house-buying budget, or to consider how those costs could impact their decision on whether to purchase an existing home or a new one.
“Home buyers need to look beyond the initial sales price when considering whether to buy new construction or an existing home,” says Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “They will find that with the higher costs of operating an older home, they can often afford to spend more to buy a new home and still have annual operating costs that first their budget.”
New – and affordable
An NAHB study, in fact, found that when maintenance costs were figured into a home’s purchase, buyers could afford to purchase a more expensive new home and have the same annual operating costs as an older home. By analyzing data from both the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2011 American Housing Survey, NAHB found that homes built before 1960 require an average of $564 in maintenance a year. In comparison, homes built after 2008 require an average of $241 in maintenance.
They also found that while operating costs average nearly 5 percent of a home’s value for pre-1960 houses, homeowners of post-2008 homes spend an average of 3 percent.
Based on this data, NAHB calculated that a buyer can afford to pay 23 percent more for a new house and still maintain the same annual operating costs as with an older home. Those statistics may explain why some homeowners prefer a new home to an existing one. The National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in Florida, for example, found that 28 percent of buyers opted to purchase a new home specifically “to avoid renovations or problems with plumbing or electricity.”
In addition, many new home communities feature competitively priced homes complete with the open floor-plans, extra square footage and modern, resort-style amenities that today’s home buyers desire.
The master-planned community of Nocatee features 25 different neighborhoods with homes starting as low as the low $200s, placing a brand-new home within reach of first-time homebuyers. Tidewater at Nocatee, for example, features a variety of new, 2- and 3-bedroom townhomes offering the benefits of a brand new home without the strain and expense of maintaining an older home.
To learn more about news homes available in Nocatee, visit the Nocatee Welcome Center or call 1-800-NOCATEE.