New, used or custom: Tips for families in search of a new home

You've got plenty of choices to make when you move to the new home. Will you move your own stuff or hire movers? Will you transfer over your home security and cable bundle or reach out to new Internet, cable and home security providers? Choices like these are huge influences over the overall cost of your move and, more importantly, have a noticeable impact on your living experience in your new abode. That's why it's important to compare and evaluate your numerous options for getting into a new home. The right choice will put your family into a comfortable new living space, while the wrong choice comes with extra expenses and the potential for regret.

"It's important to compare and evaluate your numerous options for getting into a new home."

Accept the trade of cost for customization
It makes sense to try to have your cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, that doesn't always play out quite how you'd like it when it comes to picking a new home. You'll have to accept from the start that price is going to jump dramatically as you move across the spectrum toward high curb appeal, expansive floor space and stylish interior design. This rule applies generally to your choice between a new, used or custom home as well.

Investing in a resale home is typically the cheapest option, but homeowners are limited to redecorating or renovation as means of turning the space into the home of their dreams. Working with a production home builder will provide a long list of ways to customize a basic home model to your preferred specifications – this scenario offers far more customization at the cost of a more expensive sticker price, noted Bankrate. Custom homes can easily exceed pre-built homes in terms of price, but they also afford you the opportunity to design your home from the bottom up. Consider your budget (obviously) and the needs of your entire family as you make your decision.

Spend extra time evaluating agents and builders
Getting into your next home will likely require you, at the very least, to interact with a real estate agent or a builder. Remember that ultimately both serve their company first, and are interested in making a sale – HGTV warned that they are bound to tell you that their services can fit all of your family's needs when it comes to finding an appropriate living space.

You're better off doing your own research, comparing testimonials and online reviews, than just taking the word of a real estate or construction professional. For instance, you may find through your research that there simply aren't any builders in town that can meet your needs and price range, making a used home the ideal choice for your family.

Don't forget to price the intangibles
At the end of the day, doing a straight price comparison between a new, used and custom home usually doesn't tell the whole story. If a custom home is located on the outskirts of town, for instance, the cost-savings earned by living in a new neighborhood are offset by the new gas costs incurred by a longer commute. Pricing and comparing the intangible impacts of your new home is an essential part of any homeowner's decision-making process.

Realtor.com stressed that homeowners focus on location, neighborhood, local schools and retail outlets and local taxes above all else. While aspects of your home can be improved over time, the logistics of the streets surrounding your new neighborhood are for more difficult down the road.

Once you're satisfied with where your new home is going to be, it's time to consider which features best meet the needs of your household. If you have kids, for example, you may find that the cost of having a bigger yard is well worth the added investment. Likewise, homeowners with family members suffering from a disability will be willing to pay a premium for a the right layout even if factors like price or wear and tear are not ideal.

Choosing the perfect home for your family requires a bit of leg work.Choosing the perfect home for your family requires a bit of leg work.

Let long-term goals be your guide
Remember that purchasing in a home is a very long-term investment. You stand to lose a considerable percentage of your the money you put in if you order a new home and then plan to be in and out in only a few years. That's why your family's long-term goals should play a role in determining your budgeting plans. If you need too much space for an apartment and don't want to deal with the process of renting a home, then purchasing a used home makes far more sense than starting from scratch.

An inspection is always a smart idea
Regardless of what type of home you choose to invest in, it's best to have an unbiased third-party come into inspect a property before you sign at the dotted line and move in your family. Catching serious maintenance issues like lack of insulation or mold growth will help save your family a considerable amount of money down the road. Scheduling your own inspections will help to keep builders and realtors accountable as well.

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