Many of the new communities going in are closer to the Crabapple activities, have more "walkability" both in an out of the community and are more visually appealing.
There are variables that will come up as you explore other ones.
I gave quite an extensive answer earlier, however, one of the most important aspects about buying any home are the decisions only you can make - "Does it suit my needs better than property or neighborhood X, and does it feel more like home".
Think about it - I can go in and verify the structure is sound and the construction is or isn't sloppy, and let you know the value trends, and help you submit an offer so the numbers are right for a great investment at a great price, but if you don't like the property none of that matters.
I can go on all day about the pros and cons of new construction technology, materials, and systems, over existing homes, and the pros and cons of existing homes with value added amenities like established landscaping, finished basement's, larger lots, and sometimes nicer upgrades than some new homes, but in the end it comes down to what feels like home to you.
As someone who not only knows the ins and outs of buying new construction, but how to determine if that new construction is well built, or they are cutting corners and the home will have problems down the road, and, as someone who can walk into any home and tell you if there problems you should know about, which the home owner and listing agent have not disclosed (because they have no clue about these things), my answer will be tempered with a more comprehensive answer.
To a degree, this is a personal preference, but, the more you know BEFORE you act, the better position you will be in to make the best decision for YOU.
There are pros and cons for each type home as identified by either + or - :
+More energy efficient
+Newer roof and main systems HVAC etc - this will give you time before any major repairs are needed - HOWEVER, many existing homes have taken care of this, so it can be moot
+Attractive floor plans and you may be able to select colors and options
-New construction is almost always more expensive than a comparable existing home - and usually smaller sq ft
-Depending on price range less durable finish materials - lots of MDF as opposed to wood
-Lots are often but not always poorer - good buildable land is harder to find
-New home lots are getting smaller and smaller
-A cluster home will often be harder to sell in the future
-New home builder contracts can be extremely one sided in the builders favor - leaving you little latitude to address quality issues - the standard regarding workmanship is very vague and you agree to go by this definition! **There are many more clause than can greatly inconvenience you - like construction delays can be increased from 5 months to 1 year - and you agree to this!
Existing Home (10-15yrs)
+ Often come with extras that add value - such as nice homeowner upgrades superior to the original builders product: Granite Counters, Upgraded Lights, Better Appliances, Finished Basements -(a big value and sq ft bonus), covered or screened decks, etc
+ Established landscaping and upgraded landscaping installations
- Unless replaced, has older roof, HVAC etc - you can be hit with multiple $3 - $6K type repairs, depending on condition at purchase, in as little as 1-2 years to 5+ years. Unless you have an expert look at the house you won't know - most inspectors are either not qualified to provide this type analysis, or are reluctant to.
There are many more pros and cons, but the point is, you need an expert who is not opposed to telling you like it is, and of course who has the ability to tell it like it is, in order for you to make to make a fully informed and sound decision. Then you need someone who can help you move forward in the right way to make your decision come to fruition and turn out like you hoped it would.
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Obviously, at some point in time, new construction won't even be an option (already you can see this because you have to go to a cluster community), so you want to get the most for your money.
As others have mentioned previously, there are a lot of other factors to consider, and a great Realtor should be able to guide you through the decision process to find what's best for you.
Katherine L. Morrison, CRS
Team Realty Group
If better means from a data standpoint, that can be answered by a thorough review of the last several years, trends in the area, buyer demographics, etc etc etc
If better means for you, well only you can answer that.
Just remember, buying a home is like getting married - easy in but can be very difficult getting out http://hankmillerteam.com/2012/02/21/why-getting-married-and
Tear up the data, think about when it's time to sell before you buy, think about what you need over the years and above all - understand the process, the data and the carefully consider the positives AND negatives of any purchase.
You might find the data on our site helpful - it's just the start of what we do:
Keep in mind with the older home you may have to replace a few major conponents.
But definitely something to think about.
Isabel Elsesser, Realtor
First United Realty
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Full Time from 1993-2013
Solid Source Realty
That's your personal choice. However, if you're asking about an investment point of view then you need to do your own due diligence with an agent.
Have a Good Day,
Keller Williams Realty