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Lauren Labossiere
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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Newly Built vs. Existing Homes - Local Social Pro

If one of the main reasons you’re hesitant to buy a home is the worry about upkeep, you might find it useful to consider the differences between newly built homes and existing homes (homes previously lived in by another owner).

Newly Built Homes Require Less Upfront Maintenance
If your budget allows, a newly built home might alleviate your maintenance concerns. Since everything in the house is brand new, it won’t have the wear and tear you might see in an existing home, reducing the likelihood of needing repairs. As LendingTree notes:

“Since the systems, appliances, roof, and foundation are new, you’re less likely to pay for major or minor repairs within the first few years of homeownership. That can make a big difference for first-time homebuyers who are adjusting to owning rather than renting.”

Additionally, many builders offer warranties on their homes that cover major expenses. First American explains:

“The new systems in your home, like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, are typically covered for one to two years by your builder’s warranty. When something happens to these systems, you contact the builder or their warranty company.”

Existing Homes Offer Unique Perks
It’s worth noting that warranties aren’t exclusive to newly built homes; they’re an option for existing homes too. Your real estate agent might help you negotiate with the seller to include a home warranty in your contract. If the seller isn’t willing, you can always purchase one yourself. As Forbes explains:

“During a real estate transaction, a home warranty policy can be purchased by the buyer or the seller.”

MarketWatch highlights the benefits of a home warranty for both buyers and sellers:

“A buyer’s home warranty benefits both buyers and sellers, as it helps the seller close the deal while providing the future homeowner with peace of mind that they’ll be covered if a system or appliance breaks down . . . Sometimes, a seller will pay for the first year of the home buyer’s warranty to sweeten the deal, but it depends on the real estate market.”

If you’re interested in a home warranty, your agent can negotiate on your behalf to see if a seller is willing to cover one. Keep in mind that the likelihood of a seller agreeing to this can depend on local market conditions.

Deciding Between New and Existing Homes
While the reduced upfront maintenance of newly built homes is a significant advantage, there are unique aspects that existing homes offer. For instance, existing homes often have character and charm that are hard to replicate in new construction. The quirks and features of an older home can make it feel more homey. Existing homes also typically have more developed landscaping and an established sense of community, making them feel more inviting.

Moreover, with new construction, you might have to wait for the home to be completed, depending on its stage in the building process. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what features and aspects are most important to you.

Bottom Line
Whether you opt for a newly built or an existing home, a home warranty can help alleviate concerns about maintenance. To explore your options and prioritize your needs, consult with real estate professionals.

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