Buying a new home or existing home

Consider factors such as cost, convenience, extras, neighborhood and resale value before you decide on a new or existing home.

Existing home
- You may get more quality workmanship for your dollar in a house that was built when labor and materials were less expensive.
- Appliances and window treatments are often included.
- If it has been renovated, updated kitchens and bathrooms may feature valuable extras.
- Most likely has mature trees and landscaping.
- Often has unique architectural elements.
- Usually in established neighborhoods.
- Direct relationship between the price of homes for sale and the overall care and attitude of the neighborhood in general.

- Generally less energy-efficient, so more costly to heat and cool.
- Past renovations may not meet today’s building codes.
- Building materials may be harder to match or replace.
- May need expensive repairs and renovations.

Newly constructed home
- Less maintenance than an older home.
- Customized options and upgrades.
- Built to updated building and safety codes.
- More efficient and innovative use of space inside and out -- often more storage space.
- Modern amenities.
- More energy-efficient design and materials, better lumber, improved insulation.
- May be wired for today’s technology and security.
- You can have input into decorating decisions.
- New subdivisions may have more recreational facilities.
- New building materials are often safer, as they don’t include things such as lead or asbestos.
- Construction and appliance warranties often still apply, but read the fine print as these usually aren’t as all-inclusive as you might think.

- Construction delays are common and may necessitate an interim move.
- New homes can cost more than existing homes due to escalating land values, material and labor costs.
- Resale may be difficult before construction is completed in the entire subdivision -- most buyers in new developments prefer to choose a new home and all the options.
- Dirt, mud and construction noise may be a problem until the entire neighborhood is completed.
- You may be charged higher taxes to expand services to a new area with few inhabitants.
- Landscaping can be costly.
- Unwanted developments or businesses may continue to be built on neighboring land.
- New homes are often on the outskirts of a town or city, which may mean a longer and more expensive commute to work.
- Additional costs. Some subdivisions have mandatory fees for homeowners’ associations and other assessments.

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