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Should I Buy an Existing Home or Build a New Home?

By Amy Wood in Building a New Home in New Jersey
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7 hours ago

Are you ready to move but are having trouble deciding if an existing home or a new house is the best choice for your family? If you’re torn between buying an existing New Jersey home or building a brand new home, you’ll want to think about these factors before making a decision.

Older Home Advantages and Disadvantages

If you’re looking for a home with character, an older home may be a good option for you, particularly if you want a Victorian or another classic home. Intricate woodworking, turrets and towers, stained glass windows and other features set these homes apart from newer models.

Older homes are often located close to amenities and services and may even be in walking distance of quaint downtown areas. Although lot sizes are often larger in suburban areas, your suburban friends probably can’t walk to a corner store to buy a gallon of milk.

Prices for older homes are generally less than what you’ll pay for a new house. If cost is the key factor in your decision, an older home may be a good choice. Of course, home prices fluctuate depending on demand. If you’re lucky enough to begin your house hunt in a buyer’s market, you just may find an amazing deal.

Old homes also have a few disadvantages. When you’re touring older houses, consider:

  • Age and Condition: Years of wear and tear take a toll on a home. Although you may get a great price on the home, repair costs might offset any savings. Older homes may need plumbing repairs or upgraded wiring. You may need to replace the roof, repair siding, or add new electrical outlets and light fixtures soon after you move in.
  • Décor: Older homes often sell for less if they haven’t been updated recently. While it’s inexpensive to repaint rooms, renovating the kitchen and bathrooms can be very expensive. In fact, Remodeling’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report estimates that you’ll spend $133,740 for an upscale kitchen remodel and $66,488 for a bathroom remodel in the Middle Atlantic area.
  • Trees: Trees definitely enhance the appearance of your lot, but as any owner of an old home knows, they can also cause a lot of headaches. Roots can crack the foundation or destroy antiquated sewer pipes, while disease and old age can lead to expensive tree removal bills.

New Home Advantages and Disadvantages

Buying an older home involves a lot of compromises. The house may not have the number of rooms you want or might not offer a convenient floor plan. You may decide to settle for a tiny kitchen if the home has the large family room you need. Or, you might decide that you'll need to overlook the ugly flooring in the dining room because the home offers a convenient location.

When you purchase a new home, you choose the features that are important to you. Is the family room or kitchen a little smaller than you want? Your builder may offer upgrades that extend the size of the rooms. Depending on the available options, you may even be able to add a sunroom to the back of the house, add on an extra garage, or turn the first-floor office into the perfect guest bedroom or master bedroom suite.

There are no options when you buy an existing home. You either live with the ugly countertops and flooring or plan a massive renovation after you move in. Conversely, new home owners have the ability to select flooring, cabinets, countertops, wall colors, light fixtures and other options before construction begins.

Your builder offers standard options that are included in the price of the house, or you can choose from a variety of upgrades that reflect your tastes and preferences. Replace the carpeting in the bedrooms with hardwood flooring if you want, or outfit your kitchen with a beautiful backsplash.

Some new home disadvantages can include:

  • Higher Prices: You may expect to spend more for a new construction home versus an older home in the same neighborhood. Although prices may be higher, you won’t have to worry about repairs or renovations for many years. If you experience any problems after you move in, your builder’s warranty will cover repairs for one year.
  • The Charm Factor: Lack of character can be a concern for some new home buyers. Fortunately, you can add character by upgrading moldings, trim, light fixtures, staircases, paint colors and other features.
  • Landscaping: New home lots tend to look a little bare at first. Your builder may provide sod and a couple trees, but you’ll need to plant additional shrubs and flowers.

Do you want a home that you can tailor to meet your needs? The spacious, executive homes at Country Classics offer plenty of upgrades that will help you create the home of your dreams. Contact us for information about our current availability.



Forbes: The Pros and Cons of Buying a Newly Built Home


Remodeling: 2019 Cost vs. Value


Amy Wood

Vice President of Operations at Country Classics

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