If you’re beginning to look into relocating and buying a new home, you may be deciding between buying a new construction home vs. a resale home. Additionally, you may be asking yourself: “What’s the difference? Is one better than the other? Is one better for me?” In this blog, we’ll cover the main difference between the two and the main advantages and disadvantages of both.
New Construction Homes vs. Existing Resale Homes
Overall, the main difference between a new construction home and an existing home for resale is the construction date. As expected, a new construction home is new to the market, and either has completed construction recently or will be completed soon. A resale home is an older home that has most likely been lived in before and is now back on the market for new ownership.
New Construction Homes
- Personalization – One of the perks of buying a new construction home is the ability to personalize it. If you’re purchasing a presale home, you get to customize finishes and non-structural elements. Additionally, if you’re choosing a custom build, you get to customize it all the way down to the floor plan. If you’re curious about more differences between these, we dive into this a little more here.
- Low Maintenance – Arguably one of the best advantages of buying a new construction home is that it’s brand new, and there are no immediate needs—nothing to fix, repair, or upgrade (assuming the builder did not cut corners). During the first couple of years, the only maintenance needed is monthly/quarterly maintenance checks that help extend the life of your home.
- New Technology/Energy – Alongside not needing to upgrade anything, new construction homes tend to come with newer home technology and energy-efficient home appliances. In the case of MN, all of our homes are smart homes that allow you to have more control over the lighting, temperature, locks, etc., of your home.
- Warranty – One of the significant differences between a new construction home and a resale home is the warranty. You are only eligible to receive a warranty (which varies per builder) on a new home. Warranties can protect you against any structural defects or errors made during the build.
- Timeline – If you are interested in an uncompleted home, the timeline is much longer than moving into a move-in ready home, like a resale. Depending on how far along construction is, the timeline could vary between 6-10 months before you’re able to move in.
- Location Limitations – Depending on where a specific builder is, your location options are limited to where they choose to build the homes. There may not be enough options to choose from in a given area.
- Higher Price – Because they are brand new, they tend to come with a higher price point and, depending on the demand in the market, may not have any opportunities for negotiation.
Existing Resale Homes
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- Negotiation Possibilities – More often than not, resale homes tend to be more affordable compared to new construction homes. There can be possibilities for price negotiation to lower it further, given the home isn’t new and may have imperfections.
- Move-In Ready – Resale homes are move-in ready upon closing, which shortens the timeline of actually living in your new house compared to an uncompleted new construction home.
- Fewer Location Limitations – Because you are not restricted to the areas a specific builder is operating in, you have a little more freedom in your options when considering a resale home. Depending on the builder’s practices, resale homes tend to be in more established neighborhoods as well.
- Higher Maintenance – Arguably the major disadvantage to buying a resale home is the possibility of buying a home with known (and unknown) damages/problems requiring some level of repairs and upgrades. Even if the appearance of the home may look good, time (and weather) can take a toll on any home.
- Out-of-Date Design, Technology, Etc. – A direct tradeoff for buying a resale home over a new construction home is not inheriting new design/technology/etc; you are inheriting whatever comes with that house. If the previous homeowner preserved the ’60s-inspired interior design and outdated appliances, that’s what you’re getting.
- No Warranty – Because resale homes are older and have been lived in, these homes do not tend to have warranties. There is, however, an opportunity to get a resale home service contract which varies in coverage.
So Which is Better?
Now that we’ve gone over the main differences between new construction homes and resale homes, which is better? The answer to that is it depends on what you value and what you are specifically looking for. If you want something that’s new and doesn’t require much effort, a new construction home may be perfect for you. Conversely, if you’re looking for something challenging to make into your own, a resale home may be the one.
If you’ve decided a new construction home is the one for you, we would like you to know that we have a variety of homes available, including move-in ready homes, showcase homes, and presales.
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