Do I Buy Existing or Build?

Often home-buyers approach Realtors with the question do I buy a new home or do I buy a resale home? Of course a great deal depends on your personality in regard to rather you desire character and charm or all the bells and whistles that come with new homes?

Some of the decision making lies in what price range you are searching. If you are looking under 150-175K, you may not be able to find a brand new home in this price range. Even though new town homes are available closer to the 130K price range. New homes built by a Class A contractor carry a one-year warranty on workmanship. While foundations carry a mandated five-year warranty. Appliances, HVAC systems, etc. carry a manufacturer’s warranty. Of course you also get the Granite counter tops, stainless finished appliances, fresh paint and new flooring which many buyers choose.

On the flip side there is no trading the character of “real hardwood flooring”, moldings, quaint older fireplaces, radiator heating and the warmth received from a loved-older home. These homes tend to offer more space for the money and are priced far less than a new home. If cared for by previous owners, this can be a much better investment. Offering more space that allows you to grow into your new home, vs. buying a smaller-new home. There is always the option of a home warranty covering most components for one year, (and can be renewed each year), giving you a lower risk factor of future monies out of your pocket for costly repairs.

When buying the older home, make sure you ask the right questions. How old is the roof, heating and cooling systems, what is the R-factor of the insulation, has the electrical been updated, have windows been replaced, (if you really want this change), what are utility costs. Most older homes were not built to have “dry basements” so the question may be how much water gets in and where does it come from / go to vs. does the basement “leak”? Older homes have basements for laundry purposes and storage, not in most cases to finish for living space, so this is a deciding factor.

No matter what sways you to an older home vs. a new home remember to check out the other items that are important to your investment when you explore selling in the future to “move up”. Such as school systems, care of the surrounding homes and overall care of homes in the area. Changes in the surrounding area in regard to roads, industrial or commercial construction nearby. A new shopping center nearby is normally great and can add value, but not if traffic increases passing directly in front of your home?

As always obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable Realtor who can guide you in the right direction for you! Exploring with you both new and older homes, taking time to visit both if you have not made your mind up. At the end of the day however, you will know “your home” typically as soon as you enter the front door. No matter how long you search, the home for you will come to you, giving you the feeling that a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. You will know when you are “home”!

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