New Construction DISADVANTAGES

Dated: 05/12/2018

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Yes, there are many advantages to buying new construction homes in the Charleston SC area. But, as you might expect, there are disadvantages as well.

List of New Construction Homes in the Charleston Area for Sale on the MLS

There are some disadvantages as well when purchasing new construction:

  • The number one concern I hear from Charleston buyers is that new construction homes tend to be on smaller lots making the homes closer together.

  • With high demand for all homes in our area and strain on the labor supply for construction, if you are purchasing a new construction home that is not built yet, it may take you longer than you like to get it finished.  Most builders have reasonably good projections but you will need to be flexible if you're going to build.

  • Unless you're at the tail end of a new construction neighborhood build-out, you will have to deal with ongoing construction inconveniences and noise.

  • New construction homes can be more expensive than existing homes that are the same size. Certainly, other factors come into play in determining the price per square foot, especially location. But with everything else being equal, some new construction homes can be slightly more expensive.

  • Neighborhood amenities for new construction homes are included in costs. Consequently, homeowners association fees may be higher in new construction communities.

  • In the Charleston region, much of the new construction is on the periphery. If you are a buyer interested in living close to downtown Charleston or near the beaches, finding affordable new construction is challenging.

  • Buyers sometimes complain that new construction lacks some of the architectural details and charm that you find in homes in older communities.

  • If you're the sort of buyer who likes to do a lot of customization, you may be disappointed that most builders offer only limited customization options. The reason is customization is expensive for the builder and unless you are doing a true custom build, other than a list of predetermined modifications available from the builder, you will not be able to do much customization. One of the reasons that national builders tend to build for less per square foot is they purchase materials in great bulk, reducing expenses. If they allowed buyers to do a lot of customization, that would force them to raise prices. Architectural changes are particularly problematic because they can require an architectural engineer to redraw plans. Builders of tract homes almost never allow structural modifications to their plans beyond their pre-planned options.

  • Next, you may encounter additional expenses, such as in adding fencing, buying window treatments and irrigation systems. A built-in sprinkler system can make a big difference in how your yard will look in the long run in our warm climate. Many resale homes have these but few new construction homes will offer irrigation systems. In Charleston, most new construction homes do not come with gutters.  

  • New homes typically have very with limited landscaping. If you want to have a beautifully landscaped yard, you may have to do that yourself or pay a professional to do it for you after the close. Additionally, most new construction communities do not do a good job preserving existing trees so most trees are newly planted, leaving the communities looking somewhat barren for a few years. There are new communities that work hard to preserve trees but this effort seems to be directly proportional to the home prices. If you really enjoy a well-developed look, such as with large oaks draped in moss, resale homes will be your better bet.

  • With new construction, it is difficult to tell how the community will turn out as it matures. With home purchases in established Charleston communities, what you see is what you get.

  • Some real estate experts contend that resale homes in Charleston are a better value than new construction homes because most resale homes have had owner added home improvements that are not necessarily reflected fully in the MLS list price, such as closet organizing systems, swimming pools, decks, fences, upgraded lighting, landscaping, ceiling fans, gutter systems, sprinkler systems, and upgraded flooring. While some of these items help raise the value of a home, they usually do not raise it by the amount of the investment. Consequently, for the home buyer,  these added features come at a big discount as compared to what these would cost if added to a new construction home.

NOTE:  Before you meet with any Charleston area home builder or visit Charleston area new home community, you should first meet with a buyer's agent. Builders are very cooperative with real estate agents in the Charleston area. Even so, they want to be sure that you arrive with representation the first time you visit a community. If you wait to bring a buyers agent in, later on, it is possible that the builder will not cooperate (will not pay that agent commission) which will eliminate your opportunity to have free representation provided by buyers agent. 

List of New Construction Homes in the Charleston Area for Sale on the MLS

Are you thinking about buying a home? Call me.

Chris DeLoach     843-270-1272     [email protected]

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Chris DeLoach

Serving Charleston buyers and sellers since 2001 Buying a home – or selling a home – can be one of the most exciting times of your life. My goal to provide you with the best client-centered, po....

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