Are today’s cars better than the ones you grew up with? Most of us would say an unequivocal yes. It’s the same with houses. Improved products, stricter standards and new technology have made homes built today better than those we grew up in.

Today’s new homes often cost more than used, so why do more buyers than ever decide to buy new? Here’s a dozen-plus-one reasons:

1. Contemporary spaces. The way we live in our homes has changed. New homes, with their wide-open floor plans, reflect that change. We spend more time in the great room and less in the formal living room. Because family life has become “kitchencentric,” kitchens have grown larger and are as much gathering places as cooking spaces. We now want the kitchen attached to the great room so that the chef and her (or his) creations are at the center of a home’s activity, not isolated in a back corner.

2. Designed your way. When you build a new home, you can select the style of your cabinets, your countertops, the colors on your walls, the type of hardware, the tile and flooring, your appliances, your faucets, the list is endless. At Newport Cove we also work with you to, perhaps, move a wall, open a room, add a niche, personalize the home so that it becomes a true reflection of you and your lifestyle.

3. Lower operating costs.  Because everything in a new home is brand spanking new, you will face fewer major repairs for items like roofs, furnaces and appliances. Moreover, because of new energy-saving construction standards, your energy bills will be significantly less in a home built today than for one built even a few years ago.

4. Builder warranty. Typically a new home comes with a warranty. This means that certain items in your home will be maintenance-cost-free for the length of that warranty (one or five years for most items, 30 years or more for things like roofs and siding).

5. Current code compliant. Building codes continue to be upgraded, particularly those dealing with health and safety. Current codes require such improvements as a) more fire-retardant products, from wall sheathing to electrical wiring to heating ducts, b) larger electrical services to accommodate today’s greater usage – compare what we plugged in 30 years ago to the appliances and communication equipment we need today, c) wider and less steep stairways, d) construction that withstands higher winds and greater trauma – better reinforcing in foundations, better structural engineering and so on. Moreover, local governments are much more conscientious about doing construction oversight; today’s new homes must pass stringent government inspections at each step of construction – excavation, footings, foundation, carpentry, mechanicals, insulation, grading.

6. Less “excess” space. With a new home, particularly a custom-built home designed for your specific lifestyle, you are able to build only the spaces you need. Think about that beautiful 14-by-11-foot formal dining room you use once a year. If you look at its cost per square foot ($150 per foot is a good benchmark), is that dining room really worth $23,100 plus the increased property taxes and utility costs? Can you more efficiently accommodate that once-a-year banquet in some other fashion?

7. Tech friendly. New homes are built to accommodate today’s (and tomorrow’s) ever-more-connected world. You now can use your smart phone to turn on your lights and your HVAC, open your garage door or monitor a security system. Tomorrow you will be able to have your doctor check your heartbeat or your blood pressure through an in-home monitoring system.

8. Energy efficient. Energy-saving building codes and technology have greatly improved the efficiency of homes. Those built under the new federal 2012 energy code require significant more ceiling and wall insulation, as well as low-e windows.

9. Safer and healthier. New homes – unlike their older counterparts – no longer include asbestos or lead paint. Today’s plywood and particle board emit almost no formaldehyde, while new carpets and paints use fewer volatile organic compounds, ensuring cleaner air. State-of-the-art circuit breakers, garage door openers with infrared beams that keep the door from closing accidentally, automatic “pathway” lighting in hallways and stairs – innovations like these make your home safer for your family.

10. Improved products. The quality of many building products has significantly increased. For example, the mechanical equipment available today – furnaces, air conditioners, plumbing fixtures – is much superior to that in older homes. Engineered lumber products are much stronger than standard sawn wood. Roofing shingles are made to last a lifetime.

11. Better infrastructure. A new home in Newport Cove is hooked up to a new community sewer system. All storm and sanitary sewers are new. The wells are new, and so are the roads The new communication and electrical cabling is buried under ground. And, of course, right in the heart of the property there is the beautiful eight-acre waterfront park with its new 105-slip marina.

12. Better investment. Historical statistics tell us that the value of new homes tends to grow more than the value of used homes. Finally, last, but not least, there is. . .

13. That new home feel. Remember your first new car? Remember that new car smell? That’s not unlike the new home feel. Everything is sparkling. Everything is shiny and fresh. You aren’t cleaning someone else’s scum out of the bathroom tile grout. You aren’t fixing someone else’s mistakes. You’re not living in a house that was designed for someone else’s dreams. You’re living in the home that YOU built, a home that is a reflection of your family and you.

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