Where To Begin
Checking Credit
Research Before Choosing A Neighborhood
Check the Zoning
New Home Or Resale?
Think You Don't Need Flood Insurance?
Used Homes
Do I Need Title Insurance?
Be Alert For Sellers’ Tricks
Recruiting The Experts
Choosing A Real Estate Agent
The Foreclosure Market
Buying? Think Selling!
ALWAYS—ALWAYS Hire a Home Inspector
Be Your Own Inspector
Partnership Purchases
Condominiums
Financing Tips
Can't Afford A Down Payment?
Negotiating Tips
10 Tips For Winning A Bidding War
Homebuying Checklist
Home Warranty Tips
Can You Afford the Home You Want?
Green Building Tips

BUYERS' CORNER

New Home Or Resale?

The answer to that question depends upon the market, your preferences and needs, and local inventory. Although there's no simple answer, I'll help you determine which may be best for you at any given time. The first consideration is: What's available? Are there a sufficient number of new or used homes in the area where you want to live to provide you with a reasonable choice?

You may have a pre-determined idea of whether you want new or used, but if there aren't enough homes of your preference to consider, then the obvious choice is to consider the alternative.

Although you may be drooling over thoughts of buying a new home, complete with the features you've dreamed of, a resale may offer the best value. Look at your purchase checklist. Are there needs that a used home can't meet? Probably not. Tour a few of the resales and compare value. You may be surprised.

Below I've included a comparison between new and used homes to help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both.

NEW

POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Everything is new, unspoiled Experience a break-in period
Mechanical items are under warranty Hassle of the punch lists
Up to date features Undeveloped landscaping
Usually in planned developments The unknown growth factor of the area
Efficient floor plans Few or no established trees
Energy efficient Less attention to detail
  Smaller lot size
 

USED

POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Established neighborhoods More expensive to maintain
Mature landscaping Fewer items under warranty
"Broken-In" Less storage space
More space for the dollar Less energy efficient
More stable value in the market Smaller less efficient kitchens/baths
Quality of construction  

Regardless of whether you choose new or resale, there are several things you should do to help you choose the right home. Use the Homebuying Checklist and take good notes. Take a tape measure-at least 20'-along each time you visit a home and use it to note room size and to see if your furniture will fit.

It's a good idea to have the dimensions of any furniture you plan to move or to purchase so that you're not surprised once you move in. I've known builders whose decorating staff intentionally purchased smaller than standard furniture in order to make rooms look larger.

 

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