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Save on Utility Bills by Buying a New Construction Home

When purchasing a home, home buyers often focus on the cost of a home. This makes sense, since a home will be the most expensive thing many people ever purchase. However, if you’re in the market for a house don’t just focus on the listed prices and insurance rates. In addition to mortgage payments, taxes and insurance, you’ll also have to pay for utilities. Purchasing a newly constructed home, rather than an existing home, could save you a lot of money on your utilities.

Utilities for a Single-Family Home Aren’t Cheap

Water and electric (and gas, if you have it) for a single-family home aren’t cheap. If you’ve previously only lived in apartments, prepare to spend a lot more on heating your home in winter and cooling during the hot Arizona summer. Then there is cooking, powering lights and running appliances. In some cases, you may end up paying several hundred dollars a month — perhaps even over $500 a month — just for utilities.

When looking at a specific home, you should be able to get an estimate on how much to budget for utilities from either the current homeowner (for existing homes) or the builder (for new construction homes). Homeowners will have records of how much they’ve paid for electric and water over the past year, and it’s standard practice to provide prospective home buyers with the information. Builders of new construction homes won’t have a year’s history of utility bills, but they should be able to provide you an estimate based on their calculations and other homes they’ve sold.

New Construction Homes Are More Efficient Than Existing Homes

If you have utility cost estimates for a new construction home and an existing home, the new construction home’s estimate will likely be lower than the existing homes — possibly much lower. When all other factors (such as size and style) are the same, new construction homes have lower electric and water bills, because they’re more energy efficient than existing homes.

There are several reasons why new construction homes are more energy-efficient than existing homes. New construction homes:

  • have more advanced insulation than existing homes
  • use the latest building materials and building standards
  • are equipped with high efficiency HVAC systems
  • use high quality windows
  • seal all vents and duct work
  • are equipped with the latest energy-efficient appliances
  • are equipped with high-efficiency heat pump and water heater

Because utilities can cost so much, even a slight improvement in energy efficiency could save you a lot of money each month. Depending on the homes you’re comparing, the difference between a new construction home’s and a pre-existing home’s utility bills could turn out be in the hundreds of dollars.

Save Money Each Month with a New Construction Home

Even if a new construction home costs slightly more than a pre-existing home, the utility savings may more than make up for the difference in sale price. As the months go by, the money you save will add up. For example, if the difference in electric and water for two homes is $100, after five years you would save $6,000 by purchasing the more energy-efficient home. After 10 years, your savings would be $12,000.

As you shop for homes, ask your real estate agent to show you the monthly utility costs of each home you consider. You may just be surprised by how much you could save if you bought a new construction home instead of a pre-existing one.

At Garrett Walker Homes, we take great pride in our new homes and our community. We are an Arizona based home builder with strong roots in the state and understand the challenges that our harsh Arizona weather can present to new homes. We are committed to building beautiful, functional homes that use the very latest in energy efficient standards. We believe in sustainability and creating a better Arizona for everyone.

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New Home vs Existing Home in Energy Efficiency Battle

One of the many factors that home buyers are going to have to decide during the home buying process is whether they want to purchase an existing home or a new home build. Often times this is a very personal choice and many factors are considered before a final decision is made. One the factors driving buyers to new homes is the improvements and advances in energy efficiency over the past 5 years. Improvements in building materials, build process and home appliances are making new homes extremely energy efficient. Some of the primary factors driving energy efficiency in new homes are listed below.

Better Windows and Doors

A new home is going to use better windows and doors than previously built houses. Because of the emphasis on energy efficiency and green building techniques. Typically windows and doors will be a much higher quality and keep the colder air from escaping from the home. Newer windows and doors use advanced manufacturing techniques to ensure a tighter fit, thereby keeping the the cool air inside and not trying to cool the Arizona desert. Older windows typically use single-pane glass whereas newer windows use double-pane glass, which is more effective at keeping heat and cold air from penetrating the home.

Advanced Insulation

Depending on the age of the existing home, there’s a chance that the insulation used in its construction is in need of replacement. In some cases, it could even be non-existent. Insulation is essential to helping to keep cold air from escaping through the walls, floors and ceilings – especially when the home has an attic space. New homes are built using insulation with high R-values in the walls and ceilings to help ensure a better thermal envelope. New insulation methods are much more advanced these days with either blown in batts or blankets that help cover all the air pockets where previous methods could not reach.

Affordable Energy Efficient Appliances

Newly built homes are going to be fit with new appliances, which have become more and more energy efficient over the years. Existing homes are much more likely to have older appliances, from the oven to the washing machine, which eat up energy without performing at the standards set by newer models.

More Efficient HVAC

For Arizona homes the HVAC (air conditioning) system is usually the largest consumer of energy in the home. Keeping our homes cool on 110 degree days is a difficult task. The good news is that most HVAC manufactures have been able to create more powerful systems that actually use less energy.  Many of the new systems use a variable speed fan that helps circulate air in the home and extend the cooling period. In new homes the HVAC systems are more likely to be sized properly and to operate more efficiently. With a new HVAC unit at your house, and a brand new warranty to cover it, you will never have to worry about the air breaking in the middle of the summer. The HVAC systems in older homes are also more likely to need work – especially when it comes to the duct system. Older ducts often have air leaks and insulation problems that could require costly repairs or replacing the whole system. Buyers looking to purchase an energy efficient home need to consider buying a new home build. While these energy efficient features can be implemented into an existing home, the extra costs of doing so will make it more expensive than buying a new energy efficient house.\

Garrett Walker is dedicated to building homes that meet the demands of the new buyer. Our homes are functional, beautiful and use all the latest in energy efficient technologies to help home owners save on electricity bills.

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Saving on Energy Cost with a New Home

A survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders indicates that energy efficiency and sustainability are among the most wanted features of new home buyers. New home builders are trying to meet this demand buy implementing building standards and using technologically advanced building materials. In then stands to reason that newer homers are typically much more energy efficient than existing homes. New home builders in Arizona are in many ways leading the rest of the country in implementing these new building technologies. The best part is that these new energy efficient homes are also of higher quality and comfort.

What to Look for in an Energy Efficient Home

When a home buyer sets out to look for a new home, it’s critical they find a home builder that utilizes energy efficient building technologies. Home buyers should ask the home builder about how the home was constructed and the utilization of energy efficient technologies. With continually rising energy costs energy efficient homes will save you money over the long run.

Additional ways to reduce home energy consumption:

  • Appliances that are optimized for energy efficiency.
  • Doors that are high-performance.
  • HVAC units that are optimized for energy efficiency.
  • Insulation that’s energy efficient.
  • Tight or air-sealed construction.
  • Windows featuring multiple panes or that are energy efficient.

Home Builders Helping Home Buyers

New home builders like Garrett-Walker homes will assist home buyers is finding additional ways to control or reduce energy costs. For example new Garrett-Walker homes come with programmable thermostats and insulation in crawl spaces to aid in the reduction of utility bills. Creating sustainable building methods and helping home buyers reduce overall energy consumption is a prime objective of Garrett-Walker homers. As a new home owner you should feel like you have made an investment in a home that will last a lifetime.