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Buying New Construction Vs Existing Homes

10 Oct 2019 0

If you could only choose one, which would you rather have?   A home with a gorgeous chef’s kitchen with a plain dirt backyard, or a home with a 15 year old kitchen and a resort style backyard with a nice pool, waterfalls, and lush landscaping?  Would you prefer a small easy to maintain yard, or do you like to have a big space to take care of and use? There’s no right or wrong, but how you answer may shed some light onto what type of home you should consider.  These are the main differences, and the pros/cons of buying a new construction home vs buying an existing home.


Benefits of New Construction


Better Floorplans  Todays homes are built with today’s buyers in mind.  Homes of 20 or 30 years ago are drastically different in design. While room segmentation was popular in the past, the open concept is in today. Mud rooms? You didn’t hear about those 15 years ago, but now they are the trend you’ll find in many new home builders. Master bedrooms downstairs is another trend that you’ll find in today’s floorplans. You’ll be hard pressed to find a floorplan that doesn’t have a kitchen island and flow directly into a family room.  That’s what buyers want these days, and buying new construction is a sure way to find it.

Better Efficiency – Todays homes are built with efficiency in mind. Better products and better technology go into each home. Higher rated insulation, better performing air conditioners and thermostats, low flow water systems, and low-e windows. This all translates to lower bills than older homes.

Less Maintenance – There will be maintenance on every house, but a new home will be nominal in comparison with an older home.  The older the home, the more maintenance and surprise fixes that will come up. Not to mention, builders will provide warranties to ensure problem free living.

Amenities – New communities in the Phoenix area are almost all going to be in an HOA.  That means you’ll likely find amenities like pools, parks, bbqs, basketball courts, clubhouses gated entrances, etc in many subdivisions out there. While this style community does exist outside of new construction, they are not as common in older areas.

Personalizing – Just about any home from a builder can be customized to an extent. Flooring, cabinets, paint, appliances, changing a 3rd car garage to an additional bedroom, installing surround sound – There’s a long list of possibilities to craft a home that works just right for you.

Take a look at these two new D.R. Horton communities in North Scottsdale and Phoenix that are sure to be popular! Arabella | Talinn


Benefits of Existing homes
(aka, resale homes, or “previously loved” homes)


Price – A brand new home will be more expensive than an existing home.  Even a fully remodeled comparable home that was built 20 years prior, should be less expensive than a brand new home. If budget is a bigger concern, you can still get a great remodeled house for less than a similar new construction home.

Location – Most new home communities are built on the outer edges of town where land is more prevalent.  Besides the occasional infill home (a knocked down older home that was rebuilt new) in some areas of town, you typically don’t get a lot of opportunity to be right in the middle of town with a new build.

Landscaping – in a resale home, you are likely to have a landscaped backyard, to at least some extent.  New homes do not typically come with any landscaping.  Sometimes a basic yard is put in, but most new homes will just have a dirt lot. Landscaping can get very expensive, so it’s important to remember to add that cost in to a new home.

Lot sizes – Generally speaking, resale homes are going to have larger lots than new construction.  This isn’t 100% true for all comparisons, but if the home is built before the 2000’s there is a good chance the lot will be a lot larger than today’s new construction communities.  Many communities today offer several lot sizes, so you can pay to get onto a larger lot, but the average lot size has shrunk quite a bit in the last 30 years.

Timing – This really goes both ways – if you want a home right now, you may need to buy resale.  Otherwise, you may need to wait 6 or 8 months for a  new construction home to be built.  The exception to this is that many builders will have “spec” homes. These are brand new homes that have been completed by the builder that you can buy and move right in.  You of course lose all the benefits of customizing a home, and picking a lot, but sometimes you can get a good deal.  Many of these homes are from buyers who ended up backing out after the home was completed. The builder is sitting on someone else’s custom home and may be ready to get it off the books. On the flip side, if you don’t want to be rushed, and need time to sell your current home first, the 6-8 month window to build a home can provide you with time to get everything in order.

There are many other nuances that are different when buying a new construction vs a previously loved homes, this is a pretty broad overview.  Differences in loan options, future values, and return on improvements can all be taken into consideration as well.

If you have any additional questions regarding buying new construction vs a resale home, don’t hesitate to ask!  And remember, always talk to me, or your real estate agent before stepping foot into a new home community – Your wallet will thank you!

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Jon Knutson REALTOR

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