Choosing between Newly-built Apartments and Resale Homes

Choosing between Newly-built Apartments and Resale Homes

In today’s hot housing market, buyers are likely to consider every available home for sale. And while each home has its unique charms, newly built homes, and resale homes come with different upsides and downsides. As you weigh whether to choose new construction vs. existing homes, here are some things to consider.

With choosing the perfect place to call home, there are a variety of decisions to make. A major factor to consider is new build vs. old house. But whether you want to invest in an older house or have a fresh start with a newly built home, it’s largely based on your own preference.

Some people are immediately drawn to the charm and stability of an older house whilst others yearn for the blank canvas of a modern home. Then there are also some who have no idea where to start due to the endless amount of choices available to them.

Benefits of new construction

Modern and customizable floor plans

If you opt for a custom-built home, you’ll work with the contractor to create a traditional or modern layout that works for your life. Hankering for a home office for remote work? They can build it. If you’re buying new construction that’s already been completed, chances are good the layout will lean to modern, with wide-open floor plans. Rooms in new construction homes — especially bedrooms and bathrooms — tend to be larger and brighter, with lots of natural light.

Personalised finishes

Even if you’re not getting a custom home, you may be able to upgrade finishes from builder-grade materials if you connect with the builder before construction is completed. It may cost you a bit more, but adding your own personal touches may be worth it to you.

Energy efficiency

New “smart” appliances and home systems are more energy efficient. And more efficient insulation and windows create buttoned up homes that are less expensive to heat and cool than older models. All of that translates into lower utility bills.

Smart and healthy

“Smart” technology options allow you to automate internet, cable, speakers and even an alarm system. And new homes often use low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and building materials, improving indoor air quality.

Lower maintenance

A newly built home typically requires less maintenance since everything from appliances to the HVAC system and roof are brand new. This means you can better predict monthly homeownership costs, since you’ll likely spend less to maintain your home.

Builder warranties

Many newly built homes have warranties that can protect components of your new home for years before you need to undertake any major repairs.

New home communities

Buying new construction often means buying a lifestyle. Master or planned communities often include amenities like parks, pools and community spaces that are close to schools and transit. The key is finding a builder who offers what you care about.

Caters to buyers who value flexibility

The time needed to complete new construction can provide some breathing room if you don’t need to move quickly. You can put an offer on a house that hasn’t yet been built or is in the early stages of construction, and then move in when it’s ready. The timeline doesn’t work for every buyer, so you may have less competition if your moving timetable is flexible

The Disadvantages of New Construction

Potentially higher costs

New construction is usually more expensive than a resale home.

Possibly longer commute

New construction of detached single-family homes tends to happen outside urban areas. Here, bare land is more plentiful, but commutes to jobs, grocery and hardware stores may be longer. Some suburban and rural areas may have fewer nearby options for dining, culture, arts and entertainment than urban areas. However, in urban areas, you may find new construction apartments, townhomes, and even a few single-family homes closer to culture hubs.

Lack of mature landscaping

New landscaping takes years to grow. Landscaping around a home in a new subdivision where earth has been cleared to make way for homes and yards can feel stark and exposed until plants and landscaping features bring life to the property.

More waiting and risk of delays

If you’re looking at new homes that have been completed, this isn’t a factor. But if you’re building a custom home or signing up for a home during the construction phase, it could take several months longer than moving into an existing home. The amount of time will vary by market and builder, so you’ll want to consider budgeting time for potential delays.

Benefits of existing homes

Move in-ready

It’s less likely that you’ll encounter surprises that push back the day you can move in once you close. Unless you’re buying a fixer or plan to do extensive remodelling prior to moving in, you’ll be able to move in when you get the keys.

Established neighbourhood

One of the pleasures of an established neighbourhood is the maturity of the trees and landscaping, not only along the streets and in the parks, but also in your neighbours’ yards.

Lower-priced options

Existing homes tend to be less expensive than new construction. Given material shortages and inflation, those differences are likely to persist into the near future.

More location choices

Most new detached single family homes are built outside urban areas. Buying an existing home typically gives you far more options when it comes to where to live.

Fewer decisions

Building a custom home involves a lot of decision-making. This includes everything from the floor plan to interior and exterior finishes and materials. An existing home allows you to focus on the areas that need sprucing up or that you want to customise to reflect your personal style and preferences.

Architectural details and history

Older homes are more likely to have architectural details that would be hard and expensive to replicate. They also sometimes have great stories behind them that you become part of when you move in.

The Disadvantages of Old Construction

Outdated floor plans

Unless a home has been extensively remodelled, you’re unlikely to find modern floor plans. In older homes, the kitchens and bedrooms, even the front rooms, were built for a different era that may not jibe with the kind of space you’re looking for.

Outdated technology and fixtures

Old homes can be extremely outdated when it comes to technology, some even having knob and tube wiring dating from the first half of the 20th century. While it’s possible to upgrade wiring and install smart technology to replace old thermostats and lighting, it’s more costly to undo something and then redo it than to install it when the home is being built.

Energy inefficient

Older homes can be poorly insulated and rely on polluting resources such as oil for heat.

Potential for more repairs and maintenance

Unexpected repairs to older appliances, roofing and heating systems can have you spending money where you didn’t expect to.

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