The More You Know:
New Build Retirement Homes and Communities
What Are New Build Retirement Home Communities?
In new build retirement home communities, the homes are usually bought and moved into as brand new units. This is a trend that many baby boomers and current retirees are using to leverage their retirement capital, especially those looking to retire early.
Active adults with financial flexibility will find themselves with plenty of options in retirement 55-plus communities. In fact, many people are even buying a new build home sooner rather than later as they inch closer to retirement. Buying a retirement home before you retire is a great way to secure lower interest rates while you’re still working. Then, you can even rent out your home before you move in.
Pros of New Build Construction
There are several benefits of building a new home in a retirement community. For starters, you don’t have to worry about some of the eventual upgrades that come with an older home like replacing the electrical panel or replacing the roof. Additionally, the design style will be more contemporary and modern than in older homes.
One of the other benefits of these new build retirement bungalows is that the community they’re located in is often as upgraded as the house itself. Brand new pools, tennis courts, and walking trails make retirement a literal walk in the park.
All of the pros of new builds means that these properties are also very attractive to renters. If you’re looking to buy a home before you officially retire to rent out, these recently developed communities may be the perfect spot for you.
Downsides of Buying a New Build Retirement Home
Unfortunately, there can also be downsides to buying a new build home in retirement. Between hidden costs, long timelines, and unforeseen issues during construction, new builds can be expensive and take a toll on your retirement plans
One of the most common issues that can come up with new builds is the financial planning aspect. A lack of accounting for back-end costs such as appliances, repairs, and fees can leave you with a short-term hardship if you don’t focus on the details. The costs of landscape, which are not usually included in the purchase price and are therefore not included in a purchase loan can leave the buyer with an enormous out of pocket expense. Additional expenses could include; window coverings, security systems, pools, and non standard fixtures.
To create an ideal retirement environment, most new build retirement homes are in communities which needs regular maintenance. This means you might spend monthly fees on common area landscaping, and upkeep costs. Additionally, there are recreational fees, impact fees, and other one time expenses that you’ll need to account for.
A new-build retirement property implies that it is built from scratch and to your specifications, so it’s easy to assume that a home inspection would be a waste of money. However, having a third-party contractor evaluate your structures and systems is often a roadmap to success in saving money long-term. While the up-front cost is going to be added on to an already expensive initial investment, inspecting your new home can save you down the road.
For example, a home inspection can help alert you of structural insecurities related to grading, framing, or foundational cracks. Similarly, HVAC units and electrical problems are standard regardless of when a home is built. It’s better to assume that there are deficiencies than just cross your fingers and hope there are none.
Ultimately, if the goal is to build a home, lifestyle, and financial plan in one purchase, then protecting it with an inspection seems wise. Plus, outside of the cost, home inspection has never been easier and more reliable. Protecting your investment is rarely a strategy that backfires, so if you can, you should.
New Build Construction Timeline
When building a new retirement home, there are certain variables that can affect the timing. Depending on the type of community, their standards, and the type of home setup you are looking for, the average time to build a new construction is a little over 7.5 months, though that number is slightly lower in the west.
This timeline can be accelerated or pushed back by the terms of the community that you build in, so make sure that you learn the specific terms before committing to anything. There are authorization processes, and sometimes if you are looking to build your dream home in an up-and-coming 55+ community, there could even be a waitlist.
Things like weather, construction hiccups, or financial stress can also interrupt or prolong the build of your new house. For this reason, you should plan for a home build to take a full year; then you can be pleasantly surprised if it is quicker!
Should I Work With an Agent?
When getting ready for a big real estate purchase, especially one that determines how you’ll spend your retirement, a real estate agent can be a huge help. If you’re not experienced in the market or need more insight about how retirement buying can be different than standard home purchasing, here are some questions an agent can help you with:
- How long will it take to build a new house?
- Am I paying a fair price?
- What upgrades are most important in resale?
- What kind of home warranty will I get?
- What are my options for different senior living projects?
- How do I set up my retirement home?
- Which particular properties are good retirement investments?
- Can I buy a new-build retirement home to rent out?
- Who will advocate for me if the construction quality is lacking?
- What are the best active adult communities and where are new retirement homes near me?
Overall, we recommend spending some time in contact with an agent regardless of your level of expertise in home buying and building. The amount of stress and money that an agent can save you far outweighs any small fees.
Find Your Dream Retirement Home
When planning for your retirement, your dream home is a huge part of that vision for happily ever after. Buying a new build property can help you maximize your success, but you should work with an experienced real estate agent to help minimize any risks. Their knowledge of the market and your location can help with cost-management and make life easier down the road.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your retirement journey, start by browsing some beautiful homes in Arizona retirement communities.
Find out which retirement or active adult community is right for you.