A recent survey conducted by Trulia last month shows that twice as many people prefer a new home over an existing home. The key factor here is, they prefer new homes for the same price. This fact is important because Trulia also reported that on average new homes are 20 percent more expensive than existing homes. Digging further into the numbers, only 17 percent would prefer a new home and pay more than they would for an existing home.
It’s never really an apples-to-apples comparison, but there are some factors to consider when deciding on new versus resale.
1. The community: New homes tend to be built on smaller lots and builders often clear all the trees allowable. Existing communities will have mature landscaping and will often have larger lots, giving you more space between homes.
2. Features: While existing homes can be updated, there are usually some original features where everything on a new home will be brand new. New homes can offer you the ability to customize as well, but keep in mind that most customization will cost you more money.
3. Maintenance: There will be more potential maintenance issues with an older home but you can buy, or ask a seller to provide, a home warranty that will help mitigate the cost of those maintenance issues. That said, a new home will, by default, present fewer maintenance issues initially.
4. Size: Square footage will vary between builders’ plans and the many existing homes you look at, but you may want to focus on the areas that you’ll find the greatest differences. Secondary bedrooms tend to be smaller in newer homes. The size and layout of family rooms and kitchens will vary and decks are almost always smaller on newer homes.