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Jen Car, Both Buyer and Seller in Matawan, NJ

Pros and cons of new construction vs previously owned homes

Asked by Jen Car, Matawan, NJ Fri Oct 12, 2007

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With resale homes you will need to budget for maintenance and repairs. Wtih new homes, there will be lots of little items that you will need to pick up.

Resale homes have matrue landscasping, and you can evaluate the condiditon of the property. New homes will require investment in landscaping.

With resale neighborhoods you can see if the neighbors take care of their properties, leave 'stuff' out or not. With new homes you won't necessarily know ahead of time, but you might have a HOA to help monitor activities.

Resale homes may carry higher utility bills for the same size as a new home due to absence of efficiency windows and insulaiton.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
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I am of the feeling that there really is such a thing as "better than new". That is a 2-3 year old house that has had all the bugs worked out and was owned by a meticulous person.

Those houses, I think are better than new. You still need to make sure it was built to code and that there aren't inherent problems like a poor foundation etc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
That really depends on your taste.
New construction has the advantage of not having worn out systems, no personal touches, you can create whatever you want and it usually has longer warranties. They usually have smaller lots and homeowner's associations.
Older homes generally have larger yards, you may not have a homeowner's association, and you can usually get more house for your money (not always). In this market, new home builders are giving huge concessions.
It really is just personal preference.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
Alot depends on where in the country you are, but the basics are:
1) New construction may not be the same quality as older homes
2) New construction ought to be up to date on the latest codes, better insulated, more efficient HVAC systems.
There are many advantages / disadvantages of either option...I would advise you get yourself a Realtor to show you both options for what you are pre-approved to buy, and judge for yourself the physical house, and most importantly the neighbourhood and how it all ties into your lifestyle and personal needs.
Web Reference: http://www.iansellsnola.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
Depending on where you are located there could be specific pros and cons to your area. I can tell you that in NE Ohio for example, new construction gets a City of Cleveland tax abatement that is a real draw to buyers. On the other hand, older homes have the advantage of NE Ohio housing stock with all of the wonderful architectural detail that distinguishess the styles and our area. Where are you? Is the housing stock relatively new anyway? (meaning less than 40 yrs old). Depending on your area builders might be offering amazing give backs if you purchase. It truly depends where you are. Please contact a realtor specializing in your area who can tell you about the various deals that may or not be out there for new construction.
I guess the only other thing I would add is, do you enjoy fixing up homes, doing minor repairs. etc? If so, you might like the older homes. Lots of variables! Good luck with your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 13, 2007
New homes require a lot less maintenance and often come with a warranty so your repair budget is close to zero. The down side is you may need to add blinds, landscaping, deck, etc. With a new home you start with a clean slate you don't have to change someone else’s decorating to fit your taste. The energy efficiency should also be better.

With an existing home you're buying a complete package plus you can see the finished neighborhood.

Some buyers really like new, some won't even consider it. Buyers tend to lean one way or the other early in the home buying process. As other have said, it's just a matter of taste.

Michael
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
You have had many good answers so I will not be redundant. I as a home buyer have lived in both new and old homes. I have enjoyed all of my homes (6) for different reasons. My favorite has been the home that I live in now. It was built in the 1940's, it is stone and hardwoods, deep windows, lovely landscaping and the neighborhood is a real community. My last home was new and lovely, but not the neighborhood that this home is. Good luck with your decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 12, 2007
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