Friday, February 23, 2024

Should You Buy a New Construction Home or an Existing Home?

By Carrie Colby

Here are the Pros and Cons of buying a new construction home:

The Pros

Lower maintenance costs: Newer construction means a brand-new roof, appliances, plumbing, finishes, and more. You can expect major and minor repairs to be at a minimum (if any appear at all) in the first few years of ownership in a new construction home.

More customization options: As new construction homes are being built, buyers can customize everything from fixtures to appliances to paint colors to finishes and sometimes even floor plans. If you have a very specific vision of the home you want and/or you want the ability to make it fully your own, this may be one of your biggest decision factors.

Smart home features: New construction homes are being built with smart features such as security systems, lighting, thermostats, appliances that can all be controlled from a smartphone or other remote device. These features are more difficult (or sometimes impossible) to build into older homes.

Modern floor plan: They’ve been trending for a while now, but open floor plans are still a top preference for homebuyers. They offer more flexible spaces and common areas to gather and entertain in your home. Creating open floor plans in traditionally-built existing homes often requires knocking down walls and doing heavy renovations, which can get pricey.

Energy efficiency: Smart features, better insulation and windows, metal roofs, solar paneling — these are just a few of the energy-efficient features you’ll find in new construction homes. Not only are these features environmentally friendly, it lowers monthly utility costs and makes the overall cost of home ownership more affordable.

The Cons

Move-in wait times: As with any building project, you may experience move-in wait times when you buy a new construction home. Supply chain delays or unexpected construction challenges are just two of the reasons you may not be able to get into your home when you initially expected.

The Pros and Cons of buying an existing home are as follows.

The Pros

Established community: Existing homes are typically located in more established neighborhoods with schools, business corridors, parks, and more. If you’re looking to be immediately part of an active community, this might be the better choice for you.

Character and charm older homes often have architectural detail and historical charm that you just can’t replicate in new construction homes. For some buyers, this type of character is more preferable than modern features and amenities.

More location choices: Buying an existing home gives you a much wider range of location options — you won’t be limited to new construction communities. You can search anywhere you want to live.

Fixer-upper value: While some buyers prefer customization in the form of brand new features in a brand new home, others enjoy the project of bringing their home to life.

Lower prices: Again, this isn’t always the case, but existing homes often come with a lower price tag than new construction homes.

The Cons

Repair and renovation costs: Older homes naturally come with repair and renovation costs associated with maintaining a home. You can get a good sense of how expensive these costs may be when you walk through a home and read the home inspection report, so in many cases this isn’t a huge issue. Still, it’s something to be aware of and budget for when you purchase an existing home.

Outdated floor plan: Traditionally, homes were built with separate, closed-off rooms that all served a different purpose. If an open floor plan is your preference, you may have a harder time finding it in an existing home.

No personalization options: With an existing home, what you see is what you get. If you’re looking to personalize features and finishes in your home, you’ll have to do it yourself (or hire someone to do it) after you move in. Unlike with new construction homes, these costs won’t be included in your initial purchase price.

Higher utility bills: Older homes are generally less energy efficient than new homes. This may translate to higher monthly utility costs unless you choose to make updates like adding solar panels or getting new windows installed.

How to Decide Between a New Construction vs. Existing Home

The best way to decide between buying a new construction vs. existing home is to be as thorough as possible in your assessment of each choice. First, determine if you have a strong preference for one or the other.

Next, list your must-haves vs. your wish list for your new home. This will help you decide which option best fits your preferences.

Finally, go with your gut and choose the home that feels best for you. Give yourself time to look at many types of houses and get a good sense of what you’re looking for in your future home.

Carrie Colby is a Broker with Allied Real Estate, 909 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. She can be reached at 207-232-5497. <


No comments:

Post a Comment