The Age-Old Debate – New Construction -vs- Resale Home

Whether you choose to buy an older (resale) home or a new construction home, buying any home is an exciting investment opportunity! Before you make that final home choice, there are some things to consider to make sure you make the right choice for you, so that your new house becomes a great home.

Are you better off purchasing a new construction home versus a resale home is an age-old debate that everyone goes through but that really has no right answer.

If you are stumped by the resale vs new home debate, then you have come to the right place. We will share a comparative analysis of both options to help you to make an informed decision, before you make your purchase.

Before we start, here is a brief description and terms for new construction and resale homes.

Resale Home:
Resale homes are those which have already been built and lived in by someone else. When buying a resale you will likely find yourself purchasing a house “as is” which can be a great option for many people. Sometimes, resales are sold at a lower price than new construction because they have been owned before and often need updating or maintenance.

New construction:
New construction homes are exactly what they sound like! These homes are recently built from the ground up and can often be built to your specifications. You can often customize these homes with the options you have in mind e.g. floor plans, painting, roofing, and many other options. Furthermore, many builders offer incentives for buying a new construction home such as paying closing costs or offering an allowance towards upgrades or financing!

Pros of New construction:
As previously mentioned, building a new home can be a time consuming process. If you have the time and passion to involve yourself in such a major project, then going for a new home can be an appealing option for you. Take a look at the following new construction benefits before making your final decision between resale and new construction.

  1. The selection of unique floor plans
    In the past, most homes were built in the traditional style, such as closed-concept floor plans. But now the interest in open-concept floor plans has increased and today new houses are vastly different from those built even a few years ago. Today’s new floor plans deemphasize closed-off rooms, such as formal living and dining rooms, which have fallen out of favor with the way families live today. New construction typically offers modern features, such as great rooms, pocket offices, bigger closets, double-paned low emission windows, and many more. With so many floor plans available, buyers can choose and customize a new home to be just the way they want it.
  1. Customize your home the way you want it
    The thing I like the most about new construction is that you can add your personal touches to the house you are going to own. Builders offer countless ways for buyers to personalize their new homes, in everything from flooring and countertops, to lighting and plumbing fixtures. Of course, builders also have finalized selections for completed homes, but it’s often possible to find a home that’s still at a stage of construction where you can add your own personal touch.
  2. Energy-efficient
    Today’s homes are much more energy-efficient than those built even a few years ago. Today’s new homes are offering many standard features, such as sprayed-on foam insulation in the attic and other critical areas, the latest energy-efficient air conditioning and heating system and appliances. Furthermore, smart thermostats can save energy while you are away.
  3. Less maintenance cost
    When buying a resale, just maintaining or updating cosmetic items such as flooring, roofing and painting can easily cost thousands of dollars. Sure, you have the chance to inspect a resale home and discover any existing maintenance issues, but that doesn’t offer any protection from future unpleasant surprises. But in the case of new construction, builders offer a structural warranty, mechanical warranty, and functional warranty of a home. New homes are built with the latest materials and advances in building science, so less maintenance is typically required than with resale homes.

Cons of New construction:
New construction

Although the advantages of new construction are numerous, there are also some disadvantages of new construction that may sway you to choose a resale property for your home. Let’s take a look at some those before making your final decision.

  1. More Expensive
    Building your house from scratch can be more expensive. Building a new home can lead you to many unplanned expenses, from flooring to built-ins to having the walls painted. These things often make resale homes appear to be a bargain.
  2. Longer time frame to move in
    Other than completed quick possessions, building a new home takes time. Most building companies construct a home within 6 months but can also take longer due to unforeseen circumstances. If you want an instant home and don’t have the patience for the construction process, resale housing may be your best bet.
  3. Limited style
    As I have been in the real estate business for about two decades, I know all about the new construction process and its features. The thing I have found is that you will always be limited to some extent in customizing and adding designs or features to most neighborhood built homes. Most builders offer a few models to choose from which are all quite similar, with some customizing options of additional bedrooms or a garage. If you want to avoid cookie-cutter designs, you are better opt for a custom builder.

Pros of Resale Homes:
Perhaps you want to buy a home, but you don’t have the patience to be involved in the building process. If this sounds like you, you are better to choose a resale home for your needs. Before making any decision pertaining to new construction, take a look at the following benefits of buying resale.

  1. Saving money
    Although you may have to pay for certain renovations or updates, the initial purchase price of resale can help you to save a decent amount of money in the home buying process. Also, you are not building a home from scratch so your mortgage payments can be quite different from new homes. Furthermore, buying a resale can save you a lot of money on GST. The thing I like about purchasing a resale, there is more room for price negotiations.
  2. Move-in ready
    As stated earlier, if you want an instant home and you can’t wait for the building process, you are better to choose a resale home. Not having to wait for anything other than the closing process lets you pack up your things and start making your new house feel like home right away.
  3. Neighborhoods with more character
    Even though a newer neighborhood is an advantage, so is living in an older neighborhood, but it all depends on your preferences. Older neighborhoods frequently have wider streets that allow for more street parking, more mature trees, and mature landscaping and larger yards, so there is a lot more character. Furthermore, older neighborhoods have all the features that a typical homebuyer envisions for his home. You may find it difficult to find all these features in new builds. Resale offers you great freedom for choosing the right home according to your budget and preferences.

Cons of Resale Homes:
Although most people prefer resales, there are some disadvantages that may sway you to choose a new home for yourself.

  1. More Risk
    Whenever you buy a New Constructionresale home, you are taking an element of risk. Although your home has usually gone through a detailed pre-purchase inspection process, you never know about unexpected surprises. You may always have the thought in your mind that people had lived in this house before. Did the prior owners take care of the house? Did they maintain the things when they needed to? If the roof hasn’t been replaced in several years, or if the furnace has never been replaced, these are all large expenses that you’ll need to resolve in order to make your house feel like your home.
  2. Less Environment Friendly
    The new houses being built today are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. They offer many advanced features, high-efficiency windows, a better lighting system, and efficient air conditioning and heating system which can make the home more comfortable. Some resale homes don’t include these modern features.
  3. Less customization
    There are less customization options in case of resale as compared to new construction. New houses have more opportunities for customization so you can get exactly what you want out of your new home. In Resale, you often purchase the house “as is” so your design choices are more limited. If you desire new granite countertops and hardwood flooring, or a different paint color, you have to do it after the sale with a resale home.
  4. No warranty
    When you buy new construction you will be offered a mechanical, technical, and functional warranty by the builder, this develops a real peace-of-mind about your new home. While there is no builders warranty with a resale home, you likely had a pre-purchase home inspection by an expert but that does not cover the cost of future maintenance surprises?

Whether you choose a resale home or a new construction home, buying a house is an exciting investment! Make sure you consider the options to make the best choice for you so that your new house becomes a great home. To help you consider all of the things that you should examine before buying a home, contact ROCK Properties Realty and we’ll help you make sure that your home buying experience becomes a wonderful experience.

Each and every day ROCK Properties Realty strives to create confident buyers and delighted sellers, and to offer world class service anchored by our experience and our unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Our fresh and responsive approach to real estate enables our clients to enjoy a higher level of customer service through talented agents, team-based systems, and cutting edge technology.