When you decide to buy a home, you have two options – new construction or a previously owned home. There is no right or wrong answer; it’s up to your personal preference.
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Below we help you understand the various pros and cons of each type of home so you can decide for yourself what works for you.
The Benefits of New Construction
There’s something to be said about buying a brand new home. Not only is everything shiny and perfect, but you get things just the way you want them. We like new construction for the following benefits:
- You get a say in the layout – Even if you buy a ‘cookie cutter’ home, you have some say in the layout. This gives you a little more freedom to get a home just the way you want it without having to do major renovations down the road.
- You may pay less for utilities – Chances are that a new construction home will be much more energy efficient than an older home. Whether it’s the new windows and doors or it’s the utilities put in the home, you may save energy (and money!) down the road.
- You won’t have many repairs for a while – When you buy a new home, everything inside it is new, which means fewer immediate repairs. This may give you more leeway to have the money you need to cover the cost of moving and paying your new mortgage payment.
- You can upgrade certain features – If there is a feature you’ve always wanted in your home, you can make it happen by paying for upgrades. Now is the time to make your house look exactly as you want it, so paying a little extra now will be well worth the hard work you’ll save down the road.
The Disadvantages of New Construction
There are a few downsides of buying new construction. Knowing both sides of the equation can help you decide if it’s right for you. The downsides include:
- You may have to wait many months for your home – New construction can take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete. If you have a house to sell now or you are just anxious to move into your home, you are in for quite a wait.
- You may not have much in the way of landscaping – You don’t get the benefit of mature trees and landscaping when you build a new home. It often takes many years for the area to mature enough for the landscaping to add to your yard’s beauty.
- It may be harder to get a loan – If you are building a custom home rather than a cookie cutter home, you may have a hard time finding a willing lender for your financing. You’ll need a temporary construction loan that flips into a permanent mortgage, which many lenders don’t often provide.
- You may end up living far away from the local amenities – Depending on the congestion in your area, you may have to buy a home that is out of the hustle and bustle of the city life. This could leave you with a hefty commute just to get to the grocery store or bank.
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The Benefits of a Resale Home
Some people prefer to buy a resale home, knowing that the home has stood the test of time just makes them feel better. These homes are not without their benefits, including:
- The house has history – You can use that history to your advantage. The sellers can let you know what works and doesn’t work with the home. They can let you know things they’ve done to the home and even things that have happened there. It adds a richness to the story of the home.
- You’ll know what to expect – With an existing home, the owners know the home inside and out. They can give you the lay of the land, including tips on how to make the most of certain situations.
- You’ll live in an established neighborhood – If the neighborhood is more than a few years old, you’ll likely have mature landscaping and a neighborhood of people that already know one another.
- You might buy the home with amenities – A resale home often comes with appliances, window treatments, and sometimes even furniture. This can help lower the cost of moving into a new home quite a bit.
The Disadvantages of a Resale Home
Unfortunately, there are also downsides of buying a resale home, including:
- You can’t change the layout – What you see is what you get unless you perform major renovations, which can be rather costly.
- Things might not be in good working condition – Even if you pay for an inspection and have a proper appraisal conducted, things can still slip through the cracks. A furnace can break the day you move in or there could be mold growth in the attic that a professional didn’t see. This could cost you more money than you anticipated.
- The seller might keep things from you – Sometimes buying from a private seller is more of a headache than any other purchase. You must have proper legal representation to make sure the purchase goes just as it was promised in the purchase contract.
Whether you decide to look at new construction homes or resale homes, make sure you do your homework. Know the advantages and disadvantages of the various homes in your area and then weigh your options. Make sure to include the different types of financing that you can secure depending on the type of home you can buy as well.