The Pros and Cons of Buying a Newly Built Home

Just-built homes, made from new construction materials, are usually more energy efficient, which means potentially lower utility bills.


Make sure a new home is what you want before you seal the deal.

According to Trulia’s latest survey, twice as many people prefer new homes to existing homes. “New” means exactly that: brand-new properties that have never been lived in before, or homes purchased in the preconstruction phase. On the flip side, “existing” homes are preowned properties, most of which were built between the 1920s and the 1970s.

While shiny and new sounds nice in theory, what’s actually behind the allure of these properties? Let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages:

The pros

  • With a preconstruction home, you can customize the home as it’s built — a big bonus!
  • The work is done for you in new homes. You don’t have to lift a finger, a paintbrush, or a hammer.
  • New homes have many of the design elements that today’s lifestyle demands: open, eat-in kitchens, walk-in closets, and large master baths, to name a few.
  • You won’t have much maintenance work in a new home — a huge financial benefit. With brand-new appliances, plumbing, heating, and air, you should be repair-free for at least a few years.
  • Just-built homes, made from new construction materials, are usually more energy efficient, which means potentially lower utility bills.
  • New homes and condos are often equipped with the latest technology — think alarm systems, speaker systems, Internet wiring, and cable — saving you lots of time, money, and holes in the walls.
  • You’re moving into a house that should be totally complete and absolutely perfect. That “new house smell” is definitely a luxury!

The cons

  • Brand-new homes come with a big price tag —sometimes up to 20% more than a similar existing home.
  • All those fabulous amenities you saw in the model home can really add up. Upgraded features are marked up heavily for the construction company’s profit and can ultimately cost you far more than you ever intended.
  • Many new developments are built far from destinations like schools, supermarkets, and shopping centers. And if you’re one of the first to move in, you’re essentially going to be living in a construction zone for years to come.
  • If you’re looking for a lovely, quaint, tree-lined older neighborhood that has a well-established community of neighbors, you won’t get it for many years in a new development.
  • Often, new homes have less architectural detail and charm than many older homes.
  • Those who take pleasure in fixing up a home or tailoring it to their preferences might find that brand-new homes aren’t a good fit.
  • New homes are built on smaller lots than most older homes. If you’re looking for that big backyard — and lots of space between your house and the next-door neighbor’s,— you may not find it in a new build.

While it may seem like new construction is the perfect choice, there are many lifestyle factors to consider. After all, you’re not just buying a house —you’re buying a home and a neighborhood!

Are you more into a brand-new home or do you think you’ll buy an existing home? Let us know your views in the comments below.