New versus Resale: How do you choose?

This seems like the first questions new home buyers ask themselves. Do you buy a new construction home? Or a resale home? There are a lot of factors to consider, but the true answer is, that depends on what is important to you.

Both new home and resale homes have their pros and cons and no outside person can really make this decision for you. Here are some factors to consider before you make a final decision.

One of the most important factors to consider will be location. New home construction sites are usually on the edge of urban areas and do not have a lot of restaurants and shops located nearby. These conveniences may be planned or in development, but if you are a person who is looking for walk ability and easy access to stores, schools, and parks a resale home may be in a better location.

New constructions homes have less initial maintenance and often come with warranties. New is exactly that, everything new, from the foundation to the roof. And while all homes need regular maintenance, big ticket items such as anew roof, plumbing, or other major repairs should not be expected for several years. New homes “should” be in perfect condition, but a home inspection should always be utilized.

Both new and resale homes have character, but the type of character and style can vary dramatically. Many new homes are now being built by large developers and there will often be a more cohesive style to the area architecture that can be take it or leave it. Similarly, resale homes can be chock full of character,but it may or may not suit your taste. With both homes you will need to be honest with yourself about the type of home that appeals to you and prioritize those character features.

This is another factor that can go either way depending on your tastes and priorities. New homes have newer materials and are often more energy efficient,new electrical wiring and plumbing, while resale homes may have been built with more durable materials that are not as widely available today. These so called“Bones of the House” might include hard wood timbers in the foundations or flooring, or lathe or plaster walls which provide better sound proofing. Although new construction is typically more efficient, newer air conditioners may not have the shelf life of older units and amounts of insulation in the attic and walls should be considered.

Floor plans, Size, and Landscaping
There is something to be said for the expression “More for the money” when buying a resale home. Older homes tend to be larger and on larger lots with more developed trees and landscaping details. However, a new construction home has more opportunities to customize your home with paint colors, fixtures and architectural details. Depending on your desire to renovate this could be a key factor in your decision.

Ultimately there is no simple answer to which option is better for you, but an experienced Realtor® can help.

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