Cost of Home Ownership: New vs. Resale Part 1

Posted on 10th October, 2014

Almost inevitably, when families are in the market for a new home, the discussion first falls to the “buy/build new or buy a resale” area. As with, well, most anything really, valid points can be made for both sides. Perhaps, the best strategy would be to look at the pros and cons for each, decide which factors are most relevant to you, and follow your instinct. To that end, I am going to help get you started with the succeeding points.

For no particular reason, I will begin with resales. I only note “no particular reason” because I don’t want to give the impression that I chose resales first because they are better or saved new homes for last because they are best. In any case, onward we go!


Pros of resales:

~ They usually come with window treatments and/or coverings, which are surprisingly expensive… especially since each window needs them.

~ Often, the washer and dryer are included because they are already fitted and installed to the allotted space.

~ Similarly, major kitchen appliances will likely stay. They are difficult to move and already fitted and installed. This is a substantial expense, both monetarily and in effort.

~ Many resale homes have landscaping already in place and a fenced yard, again, saving money and loads of time.

~ It’s a commonly held belief that a long-established neighborhood is more likely to protect property values than first-phase or newer developing communities.

~ Resales are often more structurally sound, as most homes do their settling within the first ten years.

~ Finally, (and this is a biggie!), you may have a bigger bargaining chip on the price of a resale.


Cons of resales:

~ The bulk of resales will need repaint jobs. Usually the interior needs touch-ups, but sometimes the exterior will, as well. While this isn’t expensive, relatively speaking, it definitely takes time and patience, and it’s important to do it properly.

~ Over time, flooring wears down, warranting replacement, and previous owners sometimes leave that task to the buyers.

~ Older homes usually experience more plumbing issues, as the systems are less advanced. This can mean regular maintenance and repairs, or a costly full replacement.

~ As energy efficient solutions evolve, resale homes are left lagging – historical homes often being especially inefficient.

While this list is far from comprehensive, it is a good starting point in your comparison. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will cover the pros and cons of building or buying new.






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