Buying New Construction vs an Existing Home
When searching for a home you may wonder if it makes more sense to purchase an existing (pre-owned) home or to build a brand new one. Both options have their pros and cons. Weigh the following to help you in your decision:
- Choose your floor plan. It can be challenging to find the layout you want in an existing home. Building a new home allows you to decide the architecture style, the size, as well as where each room will be located.
- Personalized details. When you build your home you get to choose everything from paint colors to lighting to the flooring and sinks!
- Energy efficient. New homes often feature energy-efficient materials, which helps to keep your utility costs down.
- Less maintenance issues. New homes are much less likely to have big ticket maintenance issues, such as replacing a heating/cooling unit, repairing or replacing a roof, furnace, etc.
- Under warranty. Most new homes include a limited warranty.
- Better air filtration. New homes typically offer better air filtration, which increases indoor air quality, reducing symptoms of asthma and allergies.
- Time. Most homes take an average of 7 months to build.
- Less room to negotiate on price. There is usually not much leeway on closing costs or purchase price on a new home.
- Unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. A new build’s sticker price is usually just a base price, not including any upgrades. When discussing price with your builder, be sure to ask what is included in the base price as well as how much customers typically spend in upgrades.
- Save yourself some stress. There are so many decisions involved in building a home, which can become very overwhelming and stressful. With an existing home there is none of that additional stress because the house is already built!
- Negotiate the best price. Your real estate agent can help negotiate the best deal possible, and you can potentially get more bang for your buck with an existing home.
- Move right in. No waiting on construction to be completed–move right in after closing.
- Upgrade over time. As you have the time and money, you can make changes/upgrades to the home at your own pace.
- Mature trees and landscaping. With most new construction you will be starting from scratch with landscaping as well. An existing home with mature landscaping and trees saves you money as well as the time and effort of putting it in. You also get to enjoy the beauty and privacy that they provide right away!
- Higher risk of maintenance issues. Appliances, furnaces, roofs, exterior paint, etc. only last for so long. Depending on the age of the home, there will probably be some items that will have to be repaired or replaced in the near future.
- Necessary updates. Your existing home may need some features such as carpet, paint, or wallpaper updated.
- Higher energy costs. If you are purchasing an older home, it is probably much less energy efficient than an new home.
- Have to prioritize your “wants.” You may not get everything you want when purchasing an existing home.
- May need major renovations. Your existing home may be in need of major changes, including moving walls around or putting on an addition to get the floor plan and space you desire.
Your real estate agent can be a great asset in determining the best way to go in your home purchasing decision. Find someone who is knowledgeable, who you trust, and who communicates and listens to you!