Thursday, August 19, 2004

New Construction Versus Resale Homes

One of the first decisions you'll have to make once you start a home search is whether you will purchase a newly constructed home or concentrate on finding a suitable existing home. It is a very personal choice, especially since each has both benefits and drawbacks. Here is a closer look at some pros and cons to consider.

New Construction
Pros Building a home from the ground up gives you the opportunity to inject your personality and style into the layout, architecture and d├ęcor. Working with a builder, you will have the opportunity to influence everything from the size of the rooms to the lighting. You will also be able to install all new appliances and take advantage of modern conveniences, something not often available in an older home. Other benefits include the energy efficient products used in new homes and the knowledge that you will not have to renovate anytime soon.

Cons Typically, a custom-built home will be more expensive and require much more involvement from the buyer. You should also be prepared to deal with missed deadlines and unexpected costs. Other drawbacks include the possibility of a cookie-cutter look in the neighborhood and a lack of mature trees and vegetation usually found in a more established community.

Pros As a rule, resale properties often have more character, established schools and community groups, better developed landscaping and a more "neighborhood" feel. The previous owner may have also made upgrades and improvements that combine the charm of an older home with today's advancements.

Cons Purchasing an older home often requires more hands-on work from the buyer, such as taking down wallpaper, repainting and refinishing hard wood floors, to name a few likely projects. In addition, appliances and major home systems like plumbing and heating may be older and can need repairs much sooner.

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