To Buy A New Home Or A Resale Home, THAT Is The Question!

Real Estate Agent with Realty Austin

This is an important question, and some first time home buyers may have a hard time answering it. Both new homes and resales have their pros and cons. Let's look at each.

New homes, they are new. Plain and simple, new home smell. But don't forget the tremendous new home warranty. Fix, replace everything, in most cases, for up to 10 years. New, energy efficient appliances are always nice, especially if they throw in the laundry room. Closing is very quick and easy. No inspections, surveys, or appraisals to deal with. Usually, you have some room to work with in financing a new home also. They can drop the price some, or lower interest rates. The community in a new home subdivision is also new. Everyone is a new neighbor. The new neighborhood usually has some great perks; pools, parks, dog walking, etc. What could be wrong?

a Lennar Built home

The home is new, that means very little equity. Yes, you only own as much of the home as you have paid into it. So forget about selling for at least 6 years, and that's only if you work your mortgage payments correctly. It's a new community, that means we don't know how it will turn out, no previous history. Buy a house = you buy the neighbors. New homes have small trees, and big trees add to home value. It will take some time before those Charlie Brown Christmas trees are 40 feet high. And don't forget, new homes will settle a bit on their foundations. Nothing to be alarmed about, but it will happen, those vertical cracks in the paint. What else? Construction all around, possibly, there are new homes being built there after all. And lastly, no established market value. The entire community could be worth less in a few years due to market prices.

Ok then, maybe a resale home is better for me. We already have an established community, a known market price history, and bigger trees! More than that, if there are any problems with the house such as the roof, foundation, etc., we probably know about them. Someone has already lived in this house, worked out the bugs so to speak. Also, it is worth more today than it was worth last year or several years ago. After you purchase a resale, you could have a decent amount of equity built up. Don't forget the architecture of the older home; the charm of decades past.

Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright

On the other hand, this resale home might be OLD! Older homes have wear and tear, and we need to have them inspected thoroughly to find those problems the sellers may have under the rug (or rugs!). Also, they are not as energy efficient as the newly built homes. Structural problems with the house could be just on the horizon, unknown until after your first year in the home. Warranties are not usually as comprehensive with a resale, unless you purchase a better warranty. Appliances may not be updated, or may not exist. But hey, some people like fixer-uppers. Let's not forget to mention that closing on a resale home is much, much more complicated.

Be aware of these differences, and work with your Realtor to decide what is best for you. Your Real Estate agent can help you compare homes and research neighborhoods. Have all the information in front of you before you decide!

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May 14, 2012 04:56 PM