Contrary to HGTV, you cannot remodel a home in 30 minutes.

The popularity of do-it-yourself programming – there is an actual channel devoted to weekend warriors and their renovation projects – has many people strapping on a toolbelt. But there is a certain allure to walking into a brand-new house and envisioning it as a home.

D.R. Horton has been the number one home builder in America by volume since 2002. The company, which operates in 29 states, has made it their corporate culture to not just build houses but build communities – neighborhoods with walking trails, clubhouses and pools can be found in select D.R. Horton communities throughout the country. For founder Donald Horton, home should be a destination regardless of price point. D.R. Horton’s Huntsville division sales and marketing team sat down to talk about what home buyers should consider when deciding between a new construction home and an existing home.

What draws people to new homes? The open-concept floor plan is still going strong, according to Lisa McNeal, new home specialist for D.R. Horton Huntsville. Smart homes, clean lines with neutral colors, a comprehensive warranty and brand-new HVAC and roofing are also desirable. When purchasing a new home, buyers do not have to make some of the concessions that they would with an existing home, such as dated finishes and old appliances.

“You know what you are after and you get what you want,” McNeal said.

While a new construction home sounds pretty ideal, some buyers still go for the existing home, because while it might not be their dream house it might be their dream location. Schools also play a big part in the home buying decision, said David Wilks, marketing coordinator for D.R. Horton Huntsville.

But for even the handiest of persons, remodeling an existing home can be a stressful undertaking. And costly. The average local price of an existing 2,000 to 2,500 square foot home is $238,486 – less than the average cost of a new home at $252,148, per the Huntsville-area Association of Realtors. However, Home Advisor reports that the average home remodeling cost is $46,000. Renovation can also be full of surprises. Many a homeowner has been unpleasantly surprised by what they found after opening a wall or pulling up a floor.

Another consideration when deciding between an older home and a new home is storage space. Many older homes do not have the storage of new houses today or their layout might not make use of the space it has. People are using their homes differently today than in generations past and a newer home can eliminate the dreaded “wasted space.”

“One of the common features people ask about are closets,” McNeal said.

With the popularity of smart devices today, D.R. Horton offers a variety of smart home features in their new construction homes that reflects the modern life. Energy efficiency is another request that McNeal hears from buyers. Part of building homes in 2019 means “preparing for the future now, as a builder,” said Brenda North, sales manager for D.R. Horton Huntsville.

“It’s not old-style cable and phone line, it’s ethernet,” Wilks added.

Whether a buyer is looking for a fixer upper or a home that is turnkey ready, home buying can be stressful. It is the largest purchase that most people will make in their lifetime. That is why Wilks said that it is their team’s responsibility to not just sell a house, but rather find their customers the right home. Helping to make a client’s goal of home ownership realized, “you know you have changed the trajectory of someone’s life for the better,” North said.

“I love helping people achieve the American dream,” McNeal said.

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