When buying a home, many home shoppers ask the question, “Should I look at new construction or an existing home? Which is better?” Well, that depends on several different factors. Some people are charmed by the gently used pre-existing homes that have a history. Others have a preference for all things shiny and new. But the decision to buy a new construction or existing home doesn’t stop there. Chances are you already have a preference in mind. You are either searching for the “perfect home” that already exists out there somewhere, or you are dreaming of a brand new home. Either way, knowing what to expect upfront will help guide you to make the best decision for you.
The Pros And Cons Of Purchasing An Existing Home
Many First-time buyers on a budget sometimes opt for buying an existing home that needs work but has a lower price. The “fixer-upper” has its benefits and can sometimes be more affordable at the time of purchase when a buyer’s market exists. You can always upgrade to newer appliances and modernized home improvements over time. If you plan to purchase an existing home, your real estate agent will most likely request to have it inspected by an experienced home inspector who can advise you on all of the big-cost items like the condition of the roof, electrical and plumbing systems. It also helps if you are handy at home repairs because you will be making them or hiring someone to do them for you.
Not all existing homes will be in such need of fixing up, though. Many existing homes were lovingly cared for by their owners, and you would never know it wasn’t a just-built home. Some pros of buying an existing home are:
- Buyers have more room to negotiate on the price.
- More choices of resale homes available for purchase means more options and styles for you to choose from.
- Existing homes have character and history as part of their appeal.
- Any known issues found during the home inspection can be factored into the negotiation or repaired before closing.
There are also the cons to consider for purchasing an existing home:
- Outdated design and older appliances may not be ideal for some buyers.
- Customizing to your preference can be costly for remodels.
- There could be more maintenance as things break down and need replacing or repaired.
- They can sometimes be less energy-efficient.
The Pros And Cons Of New Construction
Going through the process of building your own home can be both exciting and challenging. New construction typically costs more than existing homes; however, your home will be less in need of remodeling and repairs within the first few years. You will need to be patient as the home building process can take time when you have to find the land, choose the development and/or builder, and choose many of the elements and upgrades in the building process.
The pros of purchasing a new construction home are pretty obvious:
- Move-in ready with no repairs needed!
- Buyers can customize finishes and upgrades.
- Energy-efficient construction means your home will be less expensive to operate.
- You will have extended warranties on your HVAC system and other systems.
- You can customize the whole floor plan and personalize everything according to your wish list.
The cons are something to consider as well:
- It is very easy to overspend on upgrades.
- You may get a cookie-cutter design with less character unless you hire your own architect to help you design a custom build that is truly the home of your dreams.
- There is little negotiation of pricing.
- You may have to pay to add landscaping.
- You may have a homeowner association, which may limit what you can do with your property.
Home Developments In Master-Planned Communities
There is a new trend in custom home developments in master-planned communities. Most planned communities come with pre-designed homes with similar floor plans. They often include amenities such as a community pool, tennis courts, gym, and walking paths. They may also feature a community building with a kitchen and meeting room. Some master-planned communities will still allow you to customize the home, so you will be able to choose the design and finishes of your new home.
Talk to a realtor with experience about your needs, and they can help guide you to make this important decision.