That means that if you wanted to build in the 77077 zip code, you would likely be trying to find either a vacant lot in the area (very rare) or would need to buy a home to tear down, and then build a new home on that site. In order to do something like that, you would likely want to make sure that the combined cost of purchase/destruction/rebuild would be such that if you were to ever sell that the market value would be at least close to the total outlay of funds. Due to the cost of obtaining the land and then the likely cost to build a home, this will be difficult to accomplish in the 77077 zip code for several years, but other zip codes closer in can easily support this type of endeavor today.
As Al mentioned before, the definition of "good" is highly subjective, and can vary depending on the criteria you impose. For recommendations of neighborhoods which fit the criteria that you desire, discuss it in more detail with your Realtor. They cannot answer questions which violate Fair Housing laws (such as race, creed, religion, etc) but can provide some general guidance depending on what you desire, or at least provide other portals of information where you can find the information you are looking for (such as crime statistics).
In terms of the investment value of a house, the old axiom remains true; the better investment relies on three criteria: location, location, and location. Ultimately, a house is just a house and whether it is new or old has less to do with its value than where it is. Now, new construction in established neighborhoods will generally command more than the original construction that you find in those neighborhoods, but that is usually because they are the only new construction in that location. Many times new constuction will have amenities that older homes cannot offer without major renovation, and size of construction has an impact on the value as well. So in conclusion there's not really a "better" investment whether you are choosing to live in new construction or a resale home - ultimately, it depends on what you have to spend, where you want to live, and the amenities that you are willing to live without (or the ones you can't).
As mentioned before, I have lived in and around the area in question for most of my life, and in addition I have relationships with builders who work in and around the area. My experience in working with them could be invaluable for you - If you would like more information, feel free to contact me via the information on web site below, and we can discuss your goals in greater detail.
New construction prices vary, as do resales ... generally, the larger the home, the less per sq. ft. As of this moment, the HAR site is down, so I can't get the current figures. As soon as it's back up, I'll forward the numbers to you. Please provide me with your e-mail address.
Any Realtor subscribed to MLS can show you any listed home, as well as new construction. It is to your distinct advantage to have representation, even when dealing with builders ... they're looking out for their interests; you need someone on your side. As a rule, figure six months for completion of a new home.
Generally, you select your model, add any upgrades or modifications, then choose from available lots ... some are designated as "premium," usually due to factors such as size, location in the subdivision, corner or interior, etc., and can add substantially to the cost.
We can't comment on whether an area is "good" or not ... it violates our Code of Ethics, and can also be construed as "steering," an illegal practice. Your best bet is to use a site such as http://www.zipskinny.com, which will break down the elements of a particular Zip Code.
So much is dependent on market conditions, with respect to purchasing a home as an "investment." What features are important to you? How long to you plan to stay there? It also depends upon how anxious a seller or builder is to move the property. In short, there is no cut-and-dried answer to this question ... and no guarantee that any home will appreciate in value over a given period of time.
Your first step is to find a home you love, whether it be new or a resale ... a place you'd be happy to come home to every day. I'll be more than happy to assist you in the process. Please feel free to contact me ... (713) 213-6350 ... email@example.com ... I look forward to hearing from you.
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon