With Maine’s increasingly low inventory of existing homes, new construction is becoming a more enticing option for buyers. Here’s a look at some benefits.

A Floor Plan to Fit Your Lifestyle. Need a large kitchen with a center island to entertain guests? Or perhaps you would like a first-floor master suite in preparation for the future as you age?

When building, you get to design a floor plan that fits your lifestyle. Today, homes are trending toward more open-concept layouts. Many existing homes have more restricted space inside or a closed layout.

You will also have the ability to customize by selecting everything inside and out: roofing, siding, paint colors, cabinetry, flooring, counter tops; the list goes on.

Energy Savings. New construction uses the latest energy efficient insulation, doors and windows, heating and cooling systems, and appliances. This means you could save hundreds of dollars a year in utility bills.

Fewer Homeowner Headaches. If you purchase an older home, there are bound to be repairs. With a new build, your home will not require major repairs for many years.

Routine maintenance is required to keep any home in good working condition, but you will not find the major home owner headaches, such as a needing to replace a roof or furnace.

Safety, Built Right In. New homes go through rigorous inspections after each phase of the building process: electrical and plumbing rough-ins, insulation, and a final certificate of occupancy from the town to make sure all components are up to code.

You can rest assured that your new home is up to the highest safety standards.

A new-construction home in Westbrook, built by Chase Custom Homes.

You Don’t Need a Big Down Payment. The most common misconception is that buyers need to have 20 percent down for a down payment. This is not always the case.

Some construction companies offer no-construction loan financing, meaning you do not pay interest or make payments throughout the build. The only payment due upfront is the down payment your loan program requires.

For example, if you were using an FHA Loan on a new construction purchase of $275,000, your down payment would be approximately $9,625 or 3.5 percent, which is the typical requirement for an FHA Loan.

You will need to budget for other costs, such as a plan deposit (which is typically applied to the cost of your construction contract), appraisal fees, possible change orders and closing costs. Please note: This is just an example. Consult a lender for more information on financing and down payments.

Molly Shaw is Marketing Director at Chase Custom Homes & Finance in Westbrook. Please visit www.cchfi.com.