Deciding Whether to Buy New Construction or Older Home?

Buying a home is a major purchase. So when you do it, you have to be really clear on what you want.

Some people always want to look at new for everything. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a car or furniture or a home.

The major reasons people often feel buying a new home is better than an existing home.

1.   New Construction Homes Are Just Better

This is a very subjective reason. It may be right. And then again it may be completely wrong.

Whenever you are considering buying a new construction home, you really need to take a closer look at the construction quality. I bring my clients to look at the construction in process. I want to see what things look like before it’s all prettied up.

Like anything, there are some home builders that do a much better job in building homes. And, one development by a home builder might be better constructed than another.

How is that? Well, everything comes down to people. There are different people on different development projects. And the biggest driver of each development will be the project manager. The head person for that entire development.

Whenever I walk around with clients, it’s fairly easy to see if there are some Corners being cut. Sometimes it’s not even possible to see a project before it’s really finished. But I always look to get in and get a look while they’re still hammering away.

One big example of newer not being better, is the quality of the wood floors. There was a time where pretty much every home was built with real hardwood floors. Between expansion and contraction, there may be some separation and flaws that come from time. But these real wood floors are sandable and stainable to a color that you want.

So a custom color.

Typically when you’re buying a new home oh, there are two or three color palettes from which you get to choose. And that’s only if you get there early enough.

And that’s usually a light color palette, a medium color palette, and a darker color palette.

And this is just one example of where new construction may not be ideal for you. Certainly the price point is going to be much higher. So you want to evaluate an existing home with the improvements that you’d want to make to make it a newer home the first is an actual new construction home.

And an intangible factor that may being played for you is the established neighborhood. Some people like established neighborhoods with big trees and a more old world neighborhood field. That’s not typically what you’re going to get in a new construction development.

2.   New Construction Homes Have More Open Floor Plans

If you’re looking for a more modern style, particularly in the townhome category, then new construction is definitely going to be appealing for you.

Again though, you might consider evaluating whether or not an existing home can be renovated and updated to give you a more modern feel.

Going back to town houses for a moment. One of the challenges some people have is the width of the newer, modern Townhomes. He might call them skinny Townhomes.

And some new developments you’re only given the option for one with in the town home. And others still have two to three different widths that you can choose from. And you can guess which one’s going to cost you more. The Wider one.

So consider all of these factors to make the best decision. Don’t just assume that an older townhome can’t be updated and renovated to give you the look and feel that you want. Sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes the layout and the way it was constructed don’t give you many options.

It sometimes you just like that new house. And that’s okay. I just want you to consider the options. It’s always my goal to make sure you can make the best informed decision in the end.

3.   New Construction Homes Have More Modern Features

There’s no question that the wiring from the electric to the internet as well as some of the more modern Bluetooth functions will already be built into a new home.

And you know whether or not this is a big draw for you. Certainly you can rewire and modernize any home.

But if you’re the kind of person that always wants to get the newest Apple iPhone or whatever brand you like, then you’re already giving yourself a clue about what might make you the happiest.

And sometimes you just might not want to mess with renovating to get new wiring and advanced features. Your lifestyle is busy enough, and you just want to move in and start living.

That’s perfectly fine. Understanding what appeals to you is the most important factor.

4.   New Built Homes Use Better Materials

This may seem like a slam dunk for a newer home. The green features and improved insulation and soundproofing is a clear winner for newly constructed homes.

But not in every aspect of it home. We talked about the real wood floors that are no longer used in constructing homes. It’s all pre engineered hardwood or laminate. Yes, they’ve made these laminate floors look darn are real. But still not real wood floors.

But if they’re being built the way they’re designed, the insulation and the soundproofing is superior.

You will want to check if there are any options for doors. The interior doors are often very light and cheap. And more solid door will certainly provide better soundproofing and we’ll just have a better feel when you open and close it.

5.   Buying A New Home Means Less Repairs And Major Expenses

Certainly a new home should mean fewer repairs for the near term. When you buy a new home, you should also expect to have less major expenses to deal with for the long haul. Major items such as roofs, HVAC systems, and appliances.

The builder will have a one-year warranty to come in and take care of items that pop up after you move in. And items do pop up.

You’ll have the warranties that come with all the new appliances. One thing to understand with new appliances though: they tend to break down more than the appliances built ten plus years ago.

An appliance repairman told me that he knows he’ll have plenty of business for many years to come. “With all the computers and fancy features — combined with the cheaper touch controls — these appliances just have way more problems than the older, less fancy appliances.”

But generally you should expect few short to mid-term major expenses with a new home.

So it really comes down to the amount cash you want to spend on a townhome or any home.

Available cash is important because, if you’re limited in your cash, your ability to make improvements will be limited.

Limited cash doesn’t rule out an older home though.

An older townhome might be in great condition. The current owner may have just replaced the roof, updated appliances, and the HVAC system might be almost new.

This is why I really love to go through the Homebuyer’s Matrix with you to get absolute clarity on what will be best for you.

In the end, buying a new home may be the route chosen. Yet, I’ve also worked with many clients who realized an existing home was the better option.

Not as a general rule of thumb. But after working through the Homebuyer’s Matrix in our initial consultation, we identified the one or two existing homes that matched up best. We looked at new townhomes as well, and they chose the best option for them.

NOTE: When my clients determine that buying a new home is the best for them, we still go through the same process from start to finish. It’s very important to have check  points with a new construction home. I never allow a home to just be built. Yes, the builder has to have inspections. But inspections will be approved without an eye for certain things being off. I’m going to protect you in this entire process.

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