New Construction Homes
Energy Efficiency, Builders, Homes, and Floor Plans
New Construction Home Builders
New construction homes are built by 22 national builders and many private contractors in In Las Vegas. We have home builders offering every type of home imaginable. There are currently over 800 floorplans in 220 +/- neighborhoods from local and national builders on our new construction home search.
Whether you are looking for a smaller home or a big home on the hill, Las Vegas sells it brand new. If it’s not available brand new, numerous custom home builders will build your dream home design for the over $1 million price range.
Have you considered buying vacant land and building a fully custom home? We’ve done this. I call it fantasy shopping and can answer any questions you might have.
What makes a new construction home builder stand out is the quality of their home construction. If they build energy efficient homes for their basic houses, we want to know what their HERS home rating is. (Home Energy Rating System)
When a builder designs energy efficient features into their standard house, their homes are built for sustainability. Their houses are good for the planet, and they will cost you less to live in each month.
New Construction Homes Save You Money
As Realtors, we try to save you money. We take you to builders who include energy-efficient features and smart technology as part of their base price first.
Builders without these features may build homes that cost you less, but do they really cost you less? Energy-efficient home upgrades will cost more purchased after-market or as a builder option.
Try to buy a resale home in a neighborhood where every house is built with the energy-saving features you want. When you sell your home in the future you want your comparable neighbors’ houses to have the same energy features.
Often a new buyer doesn’t know anything about energy efficiency and may not pay thousands more for your house with upgrades. When energy efficient features are an upgrade, appraisers don’t know.
They often leave energy features off of appraisals assigning them no value. Single family home communities have the same issues with smart home technology.
Energy-Efficient Home Certifications
When people buy brand new homes in America, they help the planet in many ways. The number one way is that they are energy-efficient, which lowers the carbon footprint we each produce.
Every year home building technology and materials change, so when brand new homes are sold, everyone wins. Especially the homeowner.
Scoring also includes: A brand new home may seem more expensive, but weigh your costs before deciding against one. Brand new homes require very little maintenance for the first 10 years or so, and utility bills will be lower.
Warranties come with brand new homes. You receive a structural warranty, and the builder’s warranty covers most home systems for at least 2 years. Most systems have high energy efficiency ratings. Our planet needs you to consider a new home.
Some builders offer additional energy-saving features that you might want to consider. In Las Vegas, very few builders offer solar as a standard feature at this time. We are in the desert, so a solar system equals savings in the long run.
Solar screens block a lot of the sun’s heat. Extra insulation is put in 2 x 6 construction vs. 2 x 4 construction. Window coverings and upgraded appliances can also save on your utility bills.
Green Home Energy Saving Certification
There are different energy-efficient home certifications in the United States. The basic is an Energy-Star Home. A home with Energy-Star standards can add additional energy-saving features to become a National Green Building Standard home, LEEDS certified, and ultimately a Zero Certified Home. Below we will explain each one.
Certified Energy Star Homes
The standard for home energy efficiency in new construction homes is using the Energy Star criteria. All other certifications are based on an Energy Star Certification standard and issued by the EPA. Energy Star means that your home builder submitted a model and it has passed testing and is certified to have:
- Fewer leaks and drafts
- More consistent room temperatures
- Better durability
- Improved air quality
Peace of mind is the 5th feature the EPA says an Energy Star Home will give you. Is there a warranty for that? Keep in mind that the HVAC systems and appliances in an Energy Star Home are Energy Star rated too. All Energy Star ratings are not equal – there is an acceptable range that they use.
The EPA says to expect up to a 30% energy bill savings when you live in a Certified Energy Star home. You’ll also save an average of 3700 lbs. of greenhouse gases (GHG) which is equivalent to having planted 43 trees a year.
NGBS – National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is a higher building standard than Energy Star. It was specifically designed for residential houses. ASHRAE, ICC, and the National Association of Home Builders created this certification.
It’s important that you- the homebuyer, are confident in the home you are buying. Homes receiving an NGBS Certification mean that they have gone above and beyond Energy Star Certification standards.
When criteria are developed by the building code people, contractors, and National Home Builders Association, it means a lot. However, I may be biased as a former Nevada building engineer turned new construction home Realtor.
The NGBS Scoring System
NGBS testers give points to the builders in each category, and there are 4 levels of certification. Homes are rated from the following categories: lot design, preparation, and development; resource efficiency; and energy efficiency. Also rated are water efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and operation, maintenance, and building owner education. And the NGBS Certification is not the best standard possible.
Expect an energy savings of up to 45% with an NGBS Certification. Keep in mind that the builder went above and beyond during the build process to protect the environment. You’ll receive a healthier home, lower operating costs, and a sustainable lifestyle.
LEEDS Certified Homes
A LEED certification is a worldwide title earned by conscientious developers and building owners. Everything about a building must be good for the environment. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
A LEED certification is applicable for commercial and residential, new construction, and rehabilitation. To be LEED Certified means that the building features both energy-saving materials and design.
LEED homes are designed to maximize health with maximum indoor fresh air and minimal exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants. They will use less energy and water, lowering utility usage. LEED Certified Homes will save 30-60% on utilities compared to non-green homes.
ZERH stands for Zero Homes. A Zero Energy Home Certification is typically not achievable with a production home builder because of the extra cost involved. Some refer to a ZERH Certification an Energy Star Certification on crack.
The Department of Energy initiated this program and set the standard. A ZERH certification requires a HERS Score of 50. Compare that to an Energy Star Certification, which has a minimum standard in the low 80’s. With HERS scoring, low is good- think golf.
The DOE’s criteria is for a home built to this standard to be sustainable energy ready. The goal is for a builder to enable the homeowner to eliminate or minimize all public utility usage. Zero Energy homes must also meet Energy Star criteria, WaterSense requirements, and the Indoor AirPlus standard, plus others.
Despite a higher building cost, the DOE estimates Certified ZERH Homes save $450-$1200 a year on electricity. Those figures are the national average without converting to solar energy.
Energy-Efficient Homes Save Money
Our home is an NGBS National Green Building Standard certified home that is about 2 years old. Two of us live in the house. The power company sends statements monthly saying our bill is 50% less than the rest of the zip code.
Water and gas bills are also the lowest we’ve ever had. Our estimated savings last year was over $1200 compared to our last home that was similar-sized. Saving money and the planet at the same time works for me!
Energy-saving features in our NGBS Certified home include a multi-zoned energy-saving HVAC system. The system was balanced and engineered to create maximum airflow, which minimizes the HVAC unit’s operating time.
New Construction Certified Homes Are Worth It
With 2-year-old appliances, every one of them had a high energy star rating. A smart thermostat with room sensors adds further savings.
As a standard feature, the builder put a small covered patio to block the sun from shining on the sliding glass door. The direction your houses faces makes a big difference in a hot climate like Las Vegas.
There are smaller windows in this house, but more of them. Smaller windows in a house keep the temperatures in a room more uniform. With a Las Vegas summer, we noticed that this helped a lot.
Lower Monthly Utility Bills
The new home builder that we chose builds with 2 X 6 construction, allowing additional insulation in the walls. There is a radiant barrier on the attic ceiling. Stuccoed eaves add more heat protection (and less maintenance), and VOC and elastomeric paint also help.
Lower ceiling heights of 9 and 10 feet still give the house a spacious feel. However, the thing I like best about this house? I can adjust the thermostat and lock all windows and doors on my phone when leaving the house and unlock them coming home.
New Construction Homes In Las Vegas
With so many new construction homes to choose from, it can seem daunting to choose which home is for you. Some people cannot read floorplans, and the first thing you need to do is eliminate some homes by their floorplan. If this is you, call me and let me find you homes with the features you like.
Then you’ll want to decide if you want a one, two, or three-story home. Wait! There are 3 story homes in Las Vegas! Land is expensive and a one-story home requires more land for its footprint than a two or three-story home. A one-story home will always cost more to build.
Another great way to eliminate choices is to decide if you want a formal living room or a great room. Do you want a formal or separate dining room? Do you want your bedroom near the secondary bedrooms? If you choose a two or three-story home, do you want a bedroom with a full bath downstairs?
Will a 2 car garage work for you or do you need a 3? Once you find floorplans that work for your lifestyle choice, we go looking at homes. Never look at model homes without a Realtor- read why below.
Choosing A Brand New Construction Home
You need to know which area of the city you want to live in. If you don’t know areas, let us take you on a “3-hour tour.” That’s where you compare areas and amenities.
Since we have many national builders who build similar floorplans in multiple locations, we look at homes. It’s important to compare apples to apples as far as energy-saving features go. There will be a floor plan you like in the area you choose.
Most brand new construction homes are around the outside of the city. In some areas, schools and fine dining restaurants are not built yet. Hopefully, there is a grocery store within 5 minutes. Give it 2 years and everything will be within 5 minutes.
Choosing a Lot To Build On
Building lots with just a little more depth or on the perimeter have premiums of at least $10,000. A “Move-In Ready” home may not be a good deal because you may not want the upgrades the builder chose for the home.
It’s important to factor that in when deciding which homes to look at. A corner lot or a cul-de-sac lot will cost more. Homes backing to green belts, parks, mountains, or that offer a view will also have lot premiums.
Some builders have larger lots that fit swimming pools as standard, and others charge for them. If you want to put a pool in, we ask if the pool hole can be dug before walls go up.
Brand New Home Buyer Representation
Builders – The first thing you should know is that the sales consultant at every brand new construction home model office works for the builder. Period. They do not represent you and never will represent you.
They are nice and offer you drinks and cookies so you will buy their builder’s home. The builder’s contract will be in the builder’s favor, and in Las Vegas, a sales price is not negotiable.
Some builders offer incentives to use their lender. Shop rates and fees and decide on a lender at a future point in time. Remember, their “deal” may not be a good deal – for you…
In Southern Nevada, brand new construction home builders will pay for you to have buyer representation- because they give you none. This is a great benefit to you.
The price you pay for the home stays the same whether you have a Realtor representing you or not. Of course, they’ve made things a little tricky because if you don’t have an agent on your team, their job gets easier- yours isn’t.
Structural Options In Your New Home
Some builders offer an option for a casita. Maybe the choice is a garage or a casita Casitas give the option for multiple families home-sharing. Having the space for an office or a college student can also be a benefit. Casitas are considered a structural option, meaning a choice before building begins.
Other structural options include sliding door walls and master sitting rooms. A bedroom can become a den, and 1/2 baths can be full baths. The most difficult changes to make after market are plumbing options. Choosing structural changes need a lot of thought.
As you choose upgrades and options, remember that prices are subject to change without notice. You want to leave padding if you are on a budget.
How To Assure That You Have Buyer Representation
- Do not give your name on a builder website. Sometimes they are sticklers. Give your best friend’s name if you can’t resist. Better yet, if you want something a builder offers, ask us to get it for you.
- Go with us when you look at new homes for the first time. Our registration is good for 3-6 months, so go back as many times as you want before contract signing.
- Do not sign a registration form and minimize conversation if you look on your own. Tell the onsite sales agent you work with a Realtor. If you want additional information, let us get it for you.
- Go into a contract with us there protecting you. Once you are in contract, most Realtors stop working for you until signing. This is when WE help you the most.
Do Not Gamble And Assume Your House Is Built Correctly!
In the Las Vegas area and most of Southern Nevada, brand new construction home builders pay for you to have a Realtor represent you. The fine print? We must go with you on your first visit to their community. Whether you have a Realtor or not, it does not affect the price you pay for a home. Take advantage of our free service.
With my team representing you, you also have brand new home experts and a former Nevada Building Engineer (PE, CE). Consequently, we are your FREE new construction home protectors! We are your offensive and defensive coordinators.
A normal Las Vegas Real Estate Buyer’s Agent helps you find the communities that fill your needs and they will go there with you. Agents should be at the contract signing. Most do not read your contract or look at your soils report and understand it. Most will not open themselves up to any liability. Most do not have building knowledge. I do.
Some agents may advise you on options and upgrades. Very few will go to a framing walk-thru with you and fewer have anything to add. Many will go to your final walk-thru and some will go to your signing. We do those things AND so much more. WE PROTECT YOU with our building and real estate knowledge and expertise.
PROTECTION AND REPRESENTATION:
How We Represent And Protect You:
- Our principal Realtor, Kurt Grosse, was a Nevada Building Engineer who told Las Vegas’s Largest Builders how to build their houses for over a decade. He knows what it takes to build a house correctly.
- We’ve sold hundreds of new homes in the last 25+ years and know the system and builders.
- A unique service we provide to our clients is: while your new home is under construction, Kurt goes to your homesite weekly to monitor the progress for you. Link to our New Construction Monitoring Page.
- You receive pictures and videos of the house before the drywall gets installed so you have them for your records.
- Kurt does the framing walk-thru with you or for you. He also verifies that your chosen options are installed.
- We attend your home orientation final walk-thru with you.
- Kurt examines financial worksheets closely before you sign loan and title docs
- If you sign in town we go to your title and escrow signing in case questions arise.
- As a gift, our New Construction Home Inspector spends 2-3 hours testing things that people cannot see. He verifies that your new home functions correctly, which may save you thousands. See our blog on Getting a New Construction Home Inspection.
- All of our knowledge and experience are yours forever.
We Sell Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas
Call or text us today with any questions or for an appointment to see some of these great homes- 702-750-7599
This website and information are made available for you to explore by Kurt Grosse with Realty One Group. Kurt is a Las Vegas Top Producing Realtor since 1996 and a former Nevada Building Engineer (PE, CE).
His goal with both buyers and sellers is to use his skills and knowledge to protect them in this ever-changing Las Vegas Real Estate Market. With how quickly homes are built in Southern Nevada, his skills are invaluable. Email, text, or fill out the form in the footer and we will be in touch shortly.
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