Buying New Homes vs. Older Homes: Which Is Better?

home buy

Why Buy New Construction?

The main reason people buy new homes is their novelty. No one has lived in the space, which provides a “clean slate” feeling that many buyers prefer. Buying during the build-out also means you’ll have the ability to customize features or finishes to your personal tastes. There is nothing like getting exactly what you want, whether it’s a 200-bottle wine cellar built into the basement or an outdoor kitchen with its own refrigerator and wet bar. Another benefit of new homes is that they often have cutting-edge systems that meet the latest codes and energy-efficiency guidelines. This alone makes new construction worth it for some buyers.

Smart technology is another reason why some people prefer new properties. While certain devices, such as a smart thermostat, can be retrofitted into older residences easily, buying new allows you to design the smart home of your dreams with a fully integrated system. This could include a smart garage door opener, smart lights, smart sprinkler system, smart doorbell, smart home security camera, smart shower head, and of course, a smart home hub where everything is integrated and accessible from any device.

Finally, some neighborhoods only offer new homes. If you’re looking to live in an up-and-coming gated community, your only option may be to purchase something new. Buying into these communities comes with advantages beyond the house. Planned neighborhoods often have their own parks or playgrounds, nature features, swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness facilities, and more. In some ways, you could be buying into a lifestyle, obtaining much more than a house when you close the deal.

However, some people get overwhelmed with all of the options when it comes to buying a brand-new home. If the thought of selecting features, finishes, and home systems doesn’t appeal to you, you might prefer an existing home where someone has already put their time and attention into giving everything a designed feel.

Why Buy an Older Home?

Pre-existing homes have a lot to offer for buyers. There is a wide range of property styles on the market, which means you’ll find everything from centuries-old homes, which have historic charm but may need to be modernized, to residences that are only a few years old and are virtually move-in-ready.

Additionally, real estate deals tend to close much faster with pre-existing homes since there is never a need to wait for a builder to finish the project. The construction industry is often delayed due to weather, back-ordered supplies, and other logistical challenges. So, when you need to move in a timely manner, your best bet is to shop existing home stock rather than take a chance on something that’s still under construction.

In some cases, the only way to purchase a property in a certain location is to buy one that’s already there. If you have your heart set on a beach house, for example, you’ll probably find that the best lots on the shore were bought decades ago. Therefore, your only way to get that ocean view will be to wait for the right house to go on the market.

Pre-existing residences can also be more stylish or unique. Modern builders often cater to the broadest possible tastes, which tends to leave many new properties looking the same. Some common elements you might find in new construction homes are gray walls, open floor plans, and kitchen islands with a bar. If your tastes trend toward the eclectic, the “cookie-cutter” feel of these designs simply may not appeal to you. Rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars customizing a bland home to have the unique look you crave, why not shop for something that already suits your style?

High-end buyers should look into luxury home auctions, which can be a great way to purchase a premium property that comes with all of the amenities found in a new construction, as well as the best elements of older homes. For example, you could have your own pool, spa, tennis court, and outdoor kitchen without having to add them to your residence. It’s truly the best of both worlds: the amenities, features, and luxury ambiance you want without having to wait for a new development to come together.

Our advice? First, evaluate the types of homes you’re drawn to. Then, put together a wish list, so you can start shopping for a property that meets your needs.

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