Buy New Or Used?

By
Real Estate Agent with Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com

New ConsructionThat question doesn’t just apply to buying a car.  Part of the American Dream, for some people at least, is to own a new home. New, as in just built.  Certainly there are benefits and disadvantages to either – a new or existing (used) home.  Let’s look at a few of them.

Existing homes.  Depending on the age and location, it could have been built with better materials, exhibit more true craftsmanship, and perhaps have architectural ‘character’ and features that are all but impossible to replicate today.

Down sides might include a lower energy efficiency level, the possibility of needing extensive updates and difficulty finding similar building materials when you do modifications or repairs. The task of modernizing a very old home to today’s standards while retaining its original charm can require a lot of planning and effort. In most cases it is a labor of love.

New Homes.  Certainly a big plus is the ability to make some decisions about options, color schemes and perhaps even features (within certain builder parameters). Hazardous materials like lead-based paint will be moot, and you’ll likely have a robust electrical system for today’s living. Two and three car attached garages and plenty of bathrooms will not be uncommon, either. Many young families like living with similar aged households because both they and their children will develop friendships nearby.

Negatives will include the cost of landscaping, living with construction noise, traffic and debris until the neighborhood is built out, and if you’re an early buyer you will find it difficult to compete against the developer if he’s still selling ‘new builds’ when you decide to move.

There is no global best choice.  It will really depend upon your motivations, goals and desires.  While this is not a comprehensive listing of the benefits and disadvantages of either type of home, I hope it gives you something to think about.  Construction is starting to perk up in the area. 

New South Lyon homes are being built with greater frequency, as are homes in the Brighton and Howell areas. If I can assist you with your home search, feel free to contact me!

 

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Rainer
162,129
Edward Gilmartin
Boston Homes - Boston, MA

You have to be careful when buying a new home. Get it inspected.  Beware of the large national homebuilders too..they cut corners and use very cheap fixtures. I saw one home in North Carolina where every fixture just fell off within a year from the bathrooms to the kitchens...railings too...

Nov 12, 2012 05:12 AM #1
Rainmaker
511,969
Rob D. Shepherd
Coldwell Banker Coast - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

The home i"m in now is the only new home I have ever had. We had it "custom" built 5 years ago and still love it!

Nov 12, 2012 06:02 AM #2
Ambassador
627,752
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties Realty - Pineville, LA
Your Pineville Louisiana Agent

I have purchased one new home. The "new home smell" is far more intoxicating than the new car smell.

Nov 12, 2012 08:51 AM #3
Rainmaker
645,178
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I find that a lot of people really don't care if a home is new or an older home. I do agree that a home inspection of either is most important.

Betty

Nov 12, 2012 08:53 AM #4
Rainmaker
194,165
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
Broker/Owner Veritas Prime, Candlewood Lake Area

Building a new home can be deceptive - you might think you'd be getting the exact home of your dreams. However, for various reasons such as financial, technical or practical considerations, that may not happen. Plus, when you move in, more often than not you still have to install your own towel racks, toilet paper holders and so on, not to mention all the landscaping. The best way, I think, is to buy a home that is about 2-3 years old, that was built well and already had all the finishing touches completed i.e. landscaping done, walls painted in pleasing shades and often you might get the tasteful window treatments as well. If you're lucky, there might be a pool too!

Nov 12, 2012 09:10 AM #5
Rainmaker
148,578
Randy Bocook
Keller Williams - Richmond Hill, GA
Selling Coastal Georgia

With many of the clients being under the age of 30 in my market, It is hard to over come a NEW home

Great Blog post, Keep them coming!!

Randy Bocook

 

Nov 12, 2012 09:17 AM #6
Rainer
124,802
Jon Karlen
Finish Line Realty - Shelbyville & Louisville Ky Real Estate - Shelbyville, KY
Louisville & Shelbyville Kentucky real estate

Definitely a lot of pros and cons to both sides.  One big potential negative for building is your significant other and you may have a different vision, and with the thousands of choices you have to make, it can create a strain on the relationship.

Nov 12, 2012 09:42 AM #7
Rainmaker
540,932
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Robert, I've never owned a new built home, but I think I'd like to some day. From what I've learned over the years, it's going to be a custom built home, not from one of the big builders. At least that's my thinking right now.

Nov 12, 2012 09:55 AM #8
Rainmaker
786,958
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Edward #1 has good advice.  Get new homes inspected just like you would get an older home inspected.  I'm amazed at some of the things I see contractors trying to pass off to the public. 

Nov 12, 2012 10:32 AM #9
Rainmaker
206,092
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com - Brighton, MI
Search for Homes, Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

Edward G - inspections are absolutely needed.  I think it's best to hire the inspector right after the builder. Many will do multiple trips at different consruction phases to really keep you informed.

Rob, I've heard very few people say they 'hated' their new-built home. I'm glad you're still enjoying it.

Doug, is that smell more than paint and carpet? 

Betty, I cringe when buyers say that they don't want an inspection.  Even the experienced investors.

Nov 12, 2012 10:41 AM #10
Rainmaker
206,092
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com - Brighton, MI
Search for Homes, Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

Thank you, Olga, for pointing that out! Buyers are often amazed that the simple accessories are on their own and after the fact. 

Randy, it's a great feeling to be the first owner.  Jon, I've had repeat owner-builders tell me that it can be a strain on the marriage, but I'm guessing that short sales are still worse!!

Eric, I think a lot of us would like that scenario.  It does seem that it takes a bit longer to complete on a single site as opposed to the subdivision builds.  I guess that's not too much to give up for what you really want.

I think if you let the builder know you'll be out there often it may help, Mike.  Of course you do have to know what you're seeing, too.

Nov 12, 2012 10:47 AM #11
Rainmaker
72,432
Wayne Bennett
Remax Executive/Charlotte,NC 704-293-3931 - Charlotte, NC
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource - Charlotte

Robert...I strongly recommend inspections to all clients whether it's new build or resale...they're man made and even with the best intentions there are mistakes that are made.  Glad to hear the market is picking up in Michigan...the same holds true in the Carolinas...it's actually become a sellers market in many places...good to see.  Great subject matter, thx for sharing.

Nov 12, 2012 11:07 AM #12
Ambassador
1,173,888
Paul Henderson
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
I always put my clients first in any transaction!

With interest rates this low and in our area, few listings, we are finally seeing a sellers market again. Make a decision, and make an offer. In most cases you don't have time to sleep on it... I'm seeing some new construction that shows as being built (or started) in 2010...

Nov 12, 2012 05:50 PM #13
Rainmaker
996,038
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Robert:  I think the choice between new and used can go either way depending on where you are in life.  I have had three new homes in my lifetime and loved all of them, but right now, if I would make a purchase... I would choose a re-sale.  No muss, no fuss, it's done, and the trees and the neighborhood actually LOOK like trees and a neighborhood... rather than ten-gallon broomstick trees and a subdivision.  So... best answer... it depends.

Nov 12, 2012 06:41 PM #14
Ambassador
1,555,844
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Robert - You've given some good pros and cons of buying either new or used. Around here, most homes available are used.

Nov 12, 2012 10:47 PM #15
Rainmaker
206,092
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com - Brighton, MI
Search for Homes, Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

Wayne - so true! We're seeing a bit of the sellers' market here, too.

Paul, there was a lot of stalled construction in our area. Most of it was sold off from big production builders to smaller regional companies. We have a 'lot of lots' to sell around here.

Karen, that would have been another great point to make in my orginal post.  Mature trees!  But I try to keep my blog posts short.

Christine, the great thing about AR is the added value from the commenters. We're still largely an area of exisiting homes, too. 

Nov 13, 2012 05:34 AM #16
Rainmaker
99,229
Mary Ann Daniell, Realtor Killeen Fort Hood Texas
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Killeen, TX

Since our market demographics are younger than the national average due to the large number of military clients, new homes are more popular than the older homes.  BUT the right "used" home has a lot to offer.  Buyers should look at new AND pre-owned homes before making a decision to buy!

Nov 13, 2012 08:21 AM #17
Rainmaker
206,092
Robert Smith
Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com - Brighton, MI
Search for Homes, Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan

Mary Ann, that is interesting. I had no idea that military buyers were more likely to buy new builds.

Nov 13, 2012 07:25 PM #18
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Rainmaker
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Robert Smith

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