Homebuyers Peeved About Delays in Construction

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – While new construction housing starts have upped in response to crushing demand, first time buyers who’ve snagged one of the completed homes appear to have mixed feelings about having done so, a new survey says.

A recent Real Estate Witch survey looked into after-the-sale sentiments and found many buyers were not happy with construction delays. And some buyers have a little regret, a lot of unexpected, early maintenance issues and some lingering angst about their buildout experience.

Home builders face shortages of building materials, labor and lots while trying to meet strong consumer demand for homes.   (Homebuyers Peeved About Delays) . Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report copyright 2022.

Delays topped the list of peeves, with 85 percent of new home buyers experiencing some type of delay. Half of respondents suffered through delays of three months or longer waiting for their homes to be ready and a third faced more than six months.

Supply chain issues – with builders unable to receive building materials on a timely basis – has been a consistent problem with new construction in the Covid era. Shortages of windows, garage doors, and appliances have tacked on weeks of waiting for builders and home buyers alike.

Home builders have reported problems in finding enough labor to keep up with the brisk sales pace and rapidly escalating prices for building materials delivered even more headwinds for home construction.

Yet, consumers say that despite these challenges, 64 percent of new-home buyers would do it again, in part because they like having design input, an eco-friendly home loaded with the latest in smart technology, builder financing incentives and fewer bidding wars, Real Estate Witch said.

In contrast, about 25 percent wish they had just gone with an existing home instead since the premium for a new home has dropped. The median home price between a new and used home has narrowed about 30 percent during Covid, with the former now clocking in at $377,000 vs. $364,000.

Digging into the poll of new construction home buyers, the results found:

  • Higher than anticipated costs (92 percent), which 40 percent of respondents attributed to Covid-era cost increases in basic materials.
  • Stress, anxiety or frustration during the construction process (59 percent)
  • Dissatisfaction with builders or contractors (32 percent would not recommend theirs to others and 11 percent who would turn down a financial incentive for referrals.
  • Mixed attitudes whether their new construction purchase was a good investment (48 percent thought yes).

About a third of home buyers’ top regrets about the home-building process include conflict over decision-making, early maintenance or repair issues and overstretched budgets.

Now that they’ve settled into their new digs, 88 percent of new home buyers wish they had made different decisions about construction upgrades and finishes. The 39 percent who wish they spent more on luxury upgrades slightly outnumbers the 30 percent who wish they spent less on finishes. Topping the list of shoulda-woulda-couldas: more electrical outlets, a different floor plan — and a bigger house.

“Buyer beware” still applies to newly built homes, the survey found, with 65 percent of buyers uncovering issues during their home inspections.

With fewer skilled laborers, quality issues appear to be a new construction reality, the survey found. About 89 percent of buyers are dealing with premature repairs or maintenance after moving into their brand-new homes in nearly every category, electrical systems (41 percent) and HVAC.

The poll of 1,000 new home owners (and buyers awaiting their completed home) in January 2022 looked at whether new construction homes are “a welcome solution to a hyper-competitive housing market — or a risky endeavor buyers later regret.”

April 13, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with Mike Spears of Lee & Associates – Houston.

File: Homebuyers Peeved About Delays in Construction

Photo credit: CALpix

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