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New Home Build Versus Resale: Which is Right for You?

Posted by Vanessa Freeman on June 14, 2016

new-home-build-versus-resale-comparison.pngIs your ideal home one that's been newly constructed? Do you need a new home fast, now that your lease is drawing to a close? Are you an up-and-coming professional with no use for a yard and no time to handle the upkeep of a family-sized house?

These are all important questions home buyers encounter early on in the home selection process. The answers that are right for you most likely will be based on your lifestyle needs, financial budget, and the importance you place on variables such as high energy performance, a functional layout, and your own abilities in terms of maintenance and home improvements.

Why You Might Be Considering a Resale House

There are some situations where you might opt for a resale home. For example, you might be set on relocating to a particular area where newly-built homes are not possible unless you purchase an existing house, deconstruct it, and create a new house on the empty lot. You might even enjoy do-it-yourself projects and revel at the chance to remodel an old property, no matter how much time and money the project demands.

In any case, have you taken into consideration the possible benefits of buying a new home? Below is a short outline of a few of the major advantages of newly-built houses to consider.

Opportunity for Customization

Any time you buy a resale home a number of factors are pre-determined for you. You may find there are a lot of limitations due to space, ceiling heights, fixtures, and other features that are outdated. With new homes, in contrast, you're able to connect with your homebuilder to discuss your needs and preferences when it comes to the floor plan and layout, rather than worrying about which walls are load bearing as you try to find a way to create an open concept.

Mortgage Financing

Home builders have preferred lenders they will recommend when it comes to obtaining your mortgage, so if you do opt to purchase new there may be the opportunity for customized financing plans or some other incentive for working with them. Preferred lenders are already familiar with the development and the details of the property and can make the process smoother and quicker for you. 

Used home sellers may be open to making contributions to help with closing costs, or to come down a bit on the final price on the home, but apart from that they don’t have the power to offer you much else in the way of finances. The rest comes down to you and the mortgage lender you go with.

new-home-build-versus-resale-renovations.pngRenos and Repairs

With a brand new home, you get a brand new energy efficient water heater, dishwasher, roof, doors, windows, etc. Appliances in a new house are covered by manufacturer warranties, lasting anywhere from one to 25 years. With these warranties comes peace of mind. You know as a buyer that if something goes awry you can contact your builder or manufacturer to get the repair done.

In previously-owned homes, the appliances and architectural components have more mileage on them, and could be in need of replacement. There may or may not be any warranty left on them, but if any are still valid they could have considerable restrictions.

Take into account the following common upgrades which might add to the amount of money you have to spend during the first few years of ownership of a resale home:

  • Furnace: Most furnaces are expected to last for around 20 years. After that, you are looking at a replacement cost of a couple thousand dollars or more, depending on the model.
  • Flooring: With heavy traffic and years of life happening - including the spills and stains that go with it - there is a good chance that you will want to replace some of the flooring or carpets. These expenses can range between a couple thousand dollars, depending on whether or not you install it yourself, to upwards of $15,000.
  • Roof: Typical life expectancy of a roof is 25 years and when it comes time to replace your shingles you can expect to budget for around $5,000.
  • Paint Job: A fresh paint job can make a world of difference in a home, changing the whole atmosphere by making it feel light, open and clean. If you decide to paint yourself you’ll be paying a around $500 for supplies, and significantly more if you hire professional painters. For the exterior, the cost will be closer to $5,000 to have it painted.
  • Kitchen Remodelling: The kitchen is the heart of the home, and for many people buying previously owned, they find that this area does not meet their needs. A kitchen renovation is a huge task, with a large price tag to match. Most kitchen renovations run upwards of $20,000.
  • Bathroom Remodelling: To redo your bathroom, you can expect to pay $10,000-$15,000 or more depending on your tastes.

The important point to remember is that even though you can determine what features need to be upgraded, you're probably going to put money into at least a few of these home improvements within the first few years of owning a used house. These are part of the hidden fees that come with previously owned homes.

There isn't a definitive answer to the new home build versus resale home question; both have their pros and cons. The choice to purchase a newly-constructed or a previously-owned property depends on each home buyer and their situation and needs. It’s important to know what to consider and all of the potential costs as you decide the best route to go with for your future home.

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Topics: new home build