Build or buy? If you’re getting ready to launch into buying a house, you might be trying to decide the benefits of a new home versus an existing home. There are specific advantages and disadvantages to each. In the end, it comes down to what’s best for your family, your budget and your personal preference.
New homes advantages
A popular theme in today’s home design is open layouts. The kitchen is open to a family room or great room. Preparing meals and gathering in the kitchen extends into the next room as family members watch television, do homework and congregate.
When you’re building your house, you’ll get your pick of everything, including flooring, counter tops, paint colors, landscaping, fans and shutters. It’s often easy to get overwhelmed by the array of choices.
New homes will be equipped with the greenest appliances and heating and cooling units. Not only will you conserve natural resources, but your energy bill will be less than it would have been with older appliances.
Because everything is new, maintenance and repair in the early years will be a breeze. If the house is built soundly, you won’t have to worry about the hot water heater going out, pipes leaking and appliances on the fritz.
New homes disadvantages
One of the disadvantages of a new home — and one could that be a major factor in the decision of whether to build or buy — is that it will generally be more expensive than a similar existing home. You’re starting from the ground up, and every expense must be taken into consideration.
Another drawback to a new home is the probability that your neighborhood will be a construction zone for a matter of months or even years. Some homes might not be landscaped right away, trees will be young and the community will be in its infancy.
In addition, new communities are often built in open spaces away from retail and job centers. That means you might have a longer commute and be farther away from shopping and entertainment than you might like.
Existing homes features
When you buy an existing home, you know what kind of neighborhood you’re moving into — something that’s more mature and established.
If you’re eyeing an existing home, you’ll likely have more wiggle room when it comes to price. You’ll have more room to negotiate because every seller’s situation will be different. You’ll have a huge array of choices from which to choose. You’ll see all kinds of styles and layouts, but you’ll have to either find what you want already existing or pay to renovate an existing structure.
You’ll know about any problems with the house through the seller disclosure and a home inspection. You’ll know what you’re up against and what repairs will be required. However, because the house is older, you should expect more repair issues than with a new home.
As you look at houses, the decision is ultimately which house feels like home.
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