A new Keystone home is more affordable than you think

Factors like energy efficiency, low maintenance costs help make monthly payments more comparable to less expensive older homes

Spring is a time for new beginnings, so why not make one of them a new home.
If you’re planning a move, a used home might appear to be the more affordable option, but there are plenty of reasons why a brand-new Keystone Custom Home is a more economical choice.
For one, everything in your new home is new — and designed precisely the way you want it. You don’t have to worry about replacing flooring (at a cost of anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000), upgrading air conditioning or the furnace (at a cost of $5,000 or more), or remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, which could cost tens of thousands depending on the plan. And don’t forget the roof replacement, a real possibility if you buy a home that’s more than 25 years old.
New homes are also twice as energy efficient as homes built before 1980, due to better windows, more efficient heating and cooling equipment, better air infiltration and new insulation technology. Newer air conditioners, for instance, can save as much as 20 to 40 percent on cooling costs over models that are as little as 10 years older.
And average annual utilities costs in newer homes are only $1.04 per square foot, compared to $1.28 to $1.62 per square foot in older homes.
With all these factors combined, a used home purchased at $208,000 could end up costing the same per month as a new home purchased at $300,000.
But because of its desirable features, that new home will have a better resale value down the road.
Once you build your brand-new Keystone Custom Home, however, you likely won’t want to leave it.
Keystone not only offers a multitude of floor plans, but also a variety of communities — whether you want to live in a smart-growth neighborhood that combines residential and retail space or a more traditional single-family-home neighborhood surrounded by scenic farmland.
One option is Bishop Woods in West Donegal Township — the perfect choice for homebuyers who value seclusion and convenience.
Keystone Custom Homes is now building in this quiet sylvan neighborhood, where you can own your own private retreat, some on an acre or more of wooded land, while still being just minutes from the historic charm of downtown Elizabethtown.
Bishop Woods is also conveniently located between Lancaster, Harrisburg and Hershey for an easy commute.
Now in its second phase, Bishop Woods currently has four home sites available.
With 15 one- and two-story floor plans to choose from, ranging in size from 1,809 to 3,505 square feet, buyers have a wealth of options to custom build a home that best suits their lifestyle.
The model home in Bishop Woods, a two-story, four-bedroom Augusta Manor, was part of last year’s Parade of Homes and offers a great way to explore many of the design options available.
Its features include a kitchen with walk-in pantry and oversized island, a gas fireplace, a private Venetian bath, a second-floor loft area and a backyard deck perfect for enjoying the surrounding flora and fauna.
The flexible Augusta also offers the option of a wraparound porch and a fifth bedroom or bonus room on the second floor.
Bishop Woods is located in the Elizabethtown School District.  Starting prices range from $314,915 to $409,335 after applicable incentives.
Model home hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
To explore other Keystone communities, visit www.keystonecustomhome.com or call 877-513-0385.
Directions to Bishop Woods from Lancaster: Take Route 283 West to the Elizabethtown/Rheems exit and merge onto Cloverleaf Road. Turn right on Route 230/South Market Street, then left on Route 241/West High Street. Continue straight onto Turnpike Road, then turn right on Freys Road. Model home is on the right.