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Buyers obsessed with shiny and new

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 6, 2014 11:53 AM

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Newsflash: Buyers prefer new homes over old ones.

OK, Trulia's latest report is not exactly earthshaking, but it does bring up some interesting points.

Overall, 41 percent of buyers across the country polled by Trulia want something brand new, compared to 21 percent who would rather go with an existing home.

Another big shock: 38 percent, say they don't particularly care either way.

However, while shiny and new can be great, it costs more. You'll pay at least 20 percent more for a new home, compared to an existing home with the same characteristics, Trulia finds.

In Greater Boston, I'd argue the premium for new construction is significantly higher than that, especially in the inner suburbs and along Route 128.

New homes are in such short supply that they automatically get bid up.

So why do buyers like new stuff?

Here's what Trulia found:

For people who strongly prefer a new home, the top reasons are (1) to have modern features (e.g. bigger closets, a kitchen island, open floor plan, walls pre-wired for flat screen TVs, or radiant floor heating); (2) to be able to customize the home before construction is completed; and (3) to spend less on maintenance and repairs.

Yet you do have to wonder about the quality of some of the new homes being built and whether some of these bleak, ugly boxes will stand the test of time.

An old Victorian or even a 50s cape in good shape has already passed that test.

How many slapdash McMansions out there will be around fifty years from now?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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