Owning a house is one of the major milestones in most people’s lives. However, so much time is spent looking for the best house or deciding which house meets the buyer’s preferences. The reality is, while the house-hunting process is fun, it’s also so long and tedious—it’s never a few days affair. 

Homebuyers spend a lot of time and resources searching for the ideal house or coming up with house designs for their perfect dream home. As such, many factors come into play during the process. 

For instance, one must consider aspects of the location, prices, property taxes, current market trends, and homeowners’ association fees, among others. Not to mention, the buyers’ wants, needs, and preferences also play a significant role in getting the right house. However, perhaps the most pressing concern is “buying new construction vs. existing home, which one is better?” Well, this guide offers answers to this and more questions, allowing you to make an informed decision.

New Construction vs. Existing Home

So, which option is better and why? Let’s take a closer look.

Buying an Existing Home

This option of acquiring your dream home comes with several advantages. These include convenience cost, price negotiation, etc.

Convenience

Once you get the pre-approval from your lender, you are free to shop around for a home. You can even pick one that seems right for you and make that offer. 

With the help of a real estate agent, the process can be relatively easy as the agent guides you every step of the way. They will help you find properties, offer assistance in negotiations, and even guide you in completing the paperwork. If your offer is accepted, you can close the deal and start moving in as little as a month. Now, that’s convenient! 

While the process comprises several steps, including financing, home visits, inspections, making offers, and closing, it’s pretty convenient in terms of quick move-in waiting time.  This is especially appealing for people who want to relocate as soon as possible, maybe because of work or school obligations.

Cost

Cost is another reason why some people may prefer an existing house to a new construction one. According to data collated by the National Association of Home Builders, existing houses are, in most cases and not always, cheaper to acquire than new houses. 

Once you locate a prospective house to buy, a mortgage calculator will come in handy in calculating the best estimate cost of the house based on the current interest rates.  

The cost of an existing home will depend on several factors, including location, size, features, taxes, etc. So, based on where you want to buy the house, the size and other preferences you might have will affect the total cost. 

If the house doesn’t require significant renovations or modernizations, the cost will, in most cases, be lower than in buying or building a new house. However, always take note of the necessary renovations and upgrades to ensure you don’t pay more for the house. Some renovations can be pretty costly.

Price Negotiation

The listed price of an existing home is actually just the starting point. This means that the house might cost higher or lower than the price indicated, depending on several factors. For the buyer, this gives them a chance to negotiate for better prices.

As for the new construction homes, what you see listed is the price you’ll have to pay. There are zero chances of negotiating for a lower price.

However, since you have the opportunity to choose things like design and components to include in the new home, you might be able to save something at the end and get the price reduction.

Mature Landscaping

Another appealing feature with existing homes is the presence of mature landscaping for the same indicated price. For instance, the house might come with mature lawns, gardens, or trees, elements that are pretty sought after, especially on large pieces of land. 

This will, however, be appealing for those who want such. Some people might even see it as a burden due to the cost of upkeep resulting from fallen leaves, clogging gutters, broken septic lines, plumbing, etc.  Also, if the landscaping is not to your liking, it might require considerable effort and cost to reshape it. 

With a new house, you can decide what you want right from the beginning.

Buying a New Home

Numerous benefits come with buying a new construction house. These include:

Customized Floor plan

With a new construction home, especially the custom-built ones, you have a chance to work with the builder or contractor. This allows you to offer suggestions—help customize a layout that’s most appealing to you. 

For instance, if you’ve been longing for a large dining room to fit family occasions, you have the chance to get that. And, if you are buying a new pre-built home, there’s a higher chance that it includes a modern layout with wide and open floor plans

Also, these new construction homes will include larger rooms, especially bedrooms, living room, and bathrooms, with ample lighting.

Personalization

Whether you are doing a custom home or not, you have a chance to upgrade the finishes to your liking by connecting with the builder before the project is over.

The total cost of the new home might go up slightly, but this allows you to add some personal touch to your dream home. This is something you won’t be able to do with an existing home.

Efficiency, Smart, and Healthy

With new construction homes, you have the best chance to make yours a smart home. Right from automating the HVAC systems, the internet, alarm systems, and the stereos, your house can adopt all the latest technology.

In addition, you can make it even more sustainable by using eco-friendly materials such as low or zero VOC paints and other building materials. Installation of new energy-efficient systems, appliances, and insulation will also help lower your cost of heating and cooling. This is a big plus for new homes, making the decision of “buying new construction vs existing home” much easier.

Ample Time to Prepare

In a new construction home, you have enough time to prepare and plan for moving. With an average completion time of five to six months, you have all the time you need to make any plans. This way, you won’t have to rush or feel the pressure of scrambling for a home with numerous other buyers.

Bottom Line

The decision of buying a new construction home vs. an existing one rests solely on the mentioned factors. With each option presenting several benefits and drawbacks compared to the other, it’s now up to you to decide which option works best for you. 

In some cases, someone might have been longing to buy an existing home, but after comprehensive research, ends up buying a new construction home, and vice versa. However, one thing that should remain constant in all this is ensuring that you use the services of professionals (both for the builders and the real estate agents). 

This way, whichever path you choose, you get exactly what you want and nothing less.