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Is It Better to Buy a New or Existing Home?

Nants Foley

Nants Foley is an exceptional agent with 20 years of experience helping happy clients buy and sell residential and commercial properties in San Benito.

Nants Foley is an exceptional agent with 20 years of experience helping happy clients buy and sell residential and commercial properties in San Benito.

Oct 7 4 minutes read


Maybe your dream home is older, with charming wainscoting, crown molding, and a front porch with a comfy swing. Or maybe it’s modern, with a great room plan, “smart” appliances, and minimalist lines. Whether you buy new construction or an existing home depends on what you like for your lifestyle.

Build your dream home with new construction

Most builders let you add design elements: granite countertops and custom wood cabinets for a kitchen; or a luxurious steam shower and deep soak tub for a master bath. If the walls aren’t complete, you could add extra outlets or custom wiring for surround sound in the media room. Check with the builder to determine which features are included, and which  are optional.

While new builds might be a large investment up front, they will likely save you money of the course of ownership. For example, new homes often contain high-efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, heaters, or air conditioning units. Along with good insulation and energy-efficient windows, these features will help you save more on monthly utility bills than in an older construction.

New homes have lower maintenance costs. Since they are made with new materials, you shouldn't need to replace anything immediately as you might in an existing home. The materials builders use nowadays need less regular maintenance in general. For instance, composite siding doesn’t need repainting as often as wood.  Any repairs needed on a new home in the first year should be covered by a builder’s warranty.

What you need to do to make a smart new home purchase

Research the builder. What is their reputation? Do their construction projects finished on time? Because there are so many construction tasks dependent on the completion of prior activities, schedules tend to slide out, so you have to be flexible with your real move-in date.

Brand spankng new communities  attract similar types of buyers—maybe young urban professionals, or retired couples, or young families. These will be your neighbors.  Make sure  you want to be part of this homogeneous community.

Get more variety with an existing home

There are many more resale homes available than there are new homes — according to the National Association of Homebuilders, about 10 times as many. Since the market for resales is more competitive, there is more price negotiation. Another benefit is that, since there are so many existing homes, there is more variety in home styles. Within one neighborhood, there could be a mix of different styles like Victorian, bungalow, tract style, ranch and contemporary homes. More variety means more flexibility to find a home matching your unique aesthetic.

Existing homes are in established neighborhoods, which may have more amenities like restaurants, cafes, and boutiques within walking distance. They also may have more greenery and features such as parks, running paths, or playgrounds for the kids to enjoy.

What you need to do to make a good resale purchase

Protect your purchase by first having the home inspected. It costs several hundred dollars, but is well worth it.   If the inspector finds problems like cracked foundation or leaks in the roof, your agent may be able to negotiate a repair or reduction in the selling price.

Even without major issues, you should stillexpect the unexpected. Older homes need tender loving care.

With such a home, eventually you will remodel parts of it. How will all of you tolerate major work on the living room or the kitchen? Not everybody has the stomach to endure ongoing construction projects.

Contact Four Corners Real Estate Group when you or a friend or family member are considering buying a home.  We can help you make the right choice.   We have access to all the properties in neighborhoods to find your dream home..

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