Generally speaking, there are three routes to pursue if you want to go new construction:
- New communities
- A private developer owns all of the land and has a handful of home plans to pick from. You can’t really deviate from the plans they offer
- Private land from builder
- The builder owns the land, but you bring the plans for the house. and can customize however you want
- Private land
- You purchase land and find your own builder. This is the most cumbersome option because you’re responsible for bringing in all the utilities
We toyed with the idea of going the private route but in cities like Nashua, there’s not much land available and we knew we wouldn’t want the responsibility of securing the utilities. We narrowed our searches just to new communities. All in all we saw around 8 communities, but I’ll highlight the contenders.
We first toured two communities in Pelham. One was the craftsman style we were looking for, but utilities were septic and well and we preferred city sewer. The second community had a mix of craftsman and traditional – but the builder owned the land and although there was no HOA, you had to go through him for approvals on any land modifications (like a fence). We didn’t really like that, but on top of it their model home looked awful. Trim was literally falling off the walls, tiles were lifted from the floor, and for the price this place was charging the quality was non existent. We left there quick.
Second was a small five home community in Milford. Our realtor knew the family and could vouch for the builder, the quality of the build was exceptional, and the size of the neighborhood was really appealing. But it was off a narrow, busy road and the price per square foot was higher than better locations like Pelham and Merrimack, which didn’t seem worth it given the distance from a major highway.
Third was in Londonderry, NH, in a community that was about halfway through its first phase of three. The builder had around two dozen communities through the seacoast with great reviews, energy star standards, and the quality of the construction was better than any we’d seen. Each house had well water but was city sewer and the neighborhood had a great feel to it. But, the remaining lots were small and anything but ideal and we’d have to settle on more features than we thought we originally would.
But option 3 kept pulling us back. We visited two of the model homes and drove through the neighborhood half a dozen times. This was it, this was where we felt we were meant to be.