Home scoop: The differences between buying a new home vs. a resale

The home buying process is very different depending on whether you build a new home or buy a resale. There are pros and cons to both, and while the specific details vary, consider the following home buying advice.

Building a new home

Pros

  • Contemporary customizability: New homes come with modern appliances and the latest amenities, which you can often customize during the building process. Why settle for someone else’s choices when you can pick the countertops, carpet and bathroom fixtures you really want? You may even have control over the floor plan.
  • Cost-effective features: New homes are built tightly and come with energy-efficient appliances, which means they are often less expensive to heat, cool and live in than resale homes. New everything also means you can expect to put off paying for repairs and replacements for several years to come.
  • Warranties: If you do end up with a faulty appliance or improperly installed toilet, these new products should have extended warranties to cover repair or replacement costs.
  • Safety features: State-of-the-art homes come with features to keep you safer, such as security systems, advanced circuit breakers, whole-house ventilation for better air quality and even home automation.
  • Stronger resale value: Given all the features you enjoy from your brand new house, you can expect the resale price to be better if you decide to sell in the future, even without making any expensive upgrades before putting the house on the market. It makes sense that a 5-year-old house would sell for more than a 25-year-old house without any of the latest trappings.

Cons

  • Limited negotiations: The price you see is typically what you get with new construction. The builders know what the house cost to build and what it is worth. This can result in them having less negotiating power than a realtor selling a resale home.
  • Less character: New homes are built with function in mind. That’s great, but they often have less “character” than older homes with silly quirks and obsolete features. Also, if you opt for a new home that has already been built, your choice may allow for little to no design customization.

Buying a resale home

Pros

  • Greater availability: Unless you’re very picky about the location, you’ll find many choices and home styles to choose from when you peruse the listings.
  • Less expensive: As with a used car, you can expect a resale home to cost less than a new home of a similar size and with comparable features.
  • Known issues: You get full disclosure regarding what’s wrong with the house so you can make an informed decision when entering the home buying process.
  • Established neighborhood: There’s something about a neighborhood built decades ago that gives it a charming, established feel, such as having larger trees line the roads.

Cons

  • More maintenance: Big repair bills could land in your lap just months after buying a resale home. You might be replacing the air conditioner and fixing the roof sooner than you hoped, which eats into the savings of buying a resale home.
  • Less energy-efficient: Older homes tend to have leaky windows and doors, outdated appliances and insufficient insulation, all of which increase monthly utility bills compared to a new home.
  • Required renovations: Outdated flooring, wallpaper, cabinets and fixtures may inspire you to renovate the home. You’ll transform it into something you like better, but at what financial cost?

Clark Wilson Builder offers 13 beautiful new home floor plans in the Austin real estate market. Varying sizes, layouts and popular amenities mean we have something for everyone relocating to Austin. For more new home buying tips, please contact Clark Wilson Builder today.

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