What are Austinites Looking For In a Home?

Construction supervisor half way up a staircase holding a sheet of paper to compare the wood construction with the work plan.

A recent study shows that the primary thing Austinites are looking for in a new home is high quality construction.

Austin might be known for its incredibly quirky culture and standout voice, but when it comes to housing, Austin’s voice doesn’t always rise above the mainstream murmur.

While some of Austin’s housing preferences align with its values — take, for example, increased energy efficiency — others are the desire of homeowners everywhere, including high-quality construction, low maintenance costs and safer neighborhoods.

So what exactly are Austinites looking for in a home? According to the 2014 Austin Market Intelligence Packet produced by Builders Digital Experience (New Home Source’s parent company), most Austinites’ desires can be accommodated by newly built homes.

1.Quality of Construction

When it comes to the quality of construction, newly built homes have a clear leg up on used homes. Newer technologies, better building materials and construction methods all contribute to a better, more durable home.

For example, new home envelopes are sealed tighter than homes of even those built five years ago to keep out the heat during the winter and keep in cool, air-conditioned air during summer. New homes are better engineered to withstand damaging weather elements and, according to research from Start Fresh Buy New, newly built homes are also backed by a 10-year warranty, guaranteeing their work.

2.More Livable Floor Plans

Today’s homebuyer lives a life very different from buyers just a decade ago and new homes reflect this lifestyle change. With open floor plans that blend the kitchen, living room and eating area seamlessly, new homes are designed for entertaining and even allow hosts to interact with their guests while preparing food.

Other trademarks of new-home floor plans include the phasing out of the formal dining room — a room that gets little use in light of the aforementioned open layout — and the introduction of flex spaces that can be transformed to meet your family’s need and larger spaces where you need it, like the closet.

3.Safer Neighborhood

Who doesn’t want to live in a safe neighborhood? The good news is that most newly built homes are cropping up in master-planned communities near great schools and shopping centers. Some new communities are even gated, adding extra protection. Additionally, new-home technologies can be used to make your home more secure. Think keyless locks and security cameras that enable you to monitor your home from afar.

4.Energy Efficiency

Just by virtue of being new, newly built homes offer increased energy efficiency compared to their older counterparts. However, many builders also go the extra mile to include energy-saving appliances and materials that not only save you money, but also protect the environment.

Popular energy-efficient features in the modern home include double-paned windows, radiant barrier insulation, solar panels and Energy Star appliances. There are many ways to measure energy efficiency in new homes, including obtaining LEED or Energy Star certification and bettering your HERS score.

5.Lower Maintenance Costs

While all homes require regular upkeep to ensure that all parts are working properly, newly built homes have completely new parts, requiring less upkeep in both the short-term and long-term. Much of these new parts are also covered under warranty.

In a used home, appliances and structural features, such as the roof, can wear out soon after moving in, creating costly repairs as well as routine fixes, which add up in terms of both time and money.

Another one of the benefits of a new home is what is known as options selection, or the ability to choose such features as flooring, countertops, cabinets, lighting and more. Moving into a new home that’s already been designed to your personal preferences means you won’t have to spend time (or money) renovating.
Ashley Steel is a former SEO analyst for Builders Digital Experience. You can find her on Google+.

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