When buyers search for that perfect new home, one of the decisions they’ll face is whether to choose a brand new home or an existing one in an established neighborhood. Should they look for a new home with the most modern amenities or a previously owned home that may provide more bang for their buck?

New construction remains a popular choice for buyers, with one poll showing that 41 percent of Americans surveyed would prefer a newly built home over one that had previous owners. That number dips, however, when asked whether they would be willing to pay more for that new construction.

Each side has its supporters, and each side has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether new or existing is the right one for you:

Modern amenities

Been dreaming of a spacious master bathroom, large walk-in closets, or walls already wired for your newest technology? New construction offers your best chance at buying a home with the features that today’s homeowner are looking for. Builders keep an eye on trends and what buyers most desire, and new homes often have those special modern touches. If a new house isn’t completed yet, a buyer can have the chance to choose finishing touches, such as countertops, paint colors and carpet.

On the other hand, with a little searching, you may find an existing home that has previous owners who completed renovations before selling their home. And if the décor or finishes are a little dated, you can plan on changing finishes exactly to your specifications after you’ve moved in. Also, some homeowners aren’t necessarily interested in new details but instead long for traditional features, such as original woodwork or charming details in a historic home.


You may get more house for your dollar when purchasing a existing home over a new house. In fact, it’s the number one reason that survey respondents gave when asked for the benefits of buying an existing home. You do have to factor in, however, the costs of any changes that you’d plan to make after you moved in.


In the survey, respondents who said they preferred existing homes often cited they did so because they wanted to live in an established neighborhood. Choosing a pre-owned home on a leafy street means you can move right in to a home with mature trees, landscaping and a neighborhood that has character that has evolved over time. With new construction, you may have to wait a little longer for those tree-lined streets to develop. In addition, new neighborhoods are often a little further from the center of town, so factoring in a slightly longer commute may be necessary.


One of the major advantages to buying new is the decreased chance of maintenance costs early in home ownership. When buyers purchase a new home, they likely won’t have to worry about a faulty air conditioner or leaking roof for years to come. The numbers back it up: one survey showed that the median expenses for maintenance and repair on a home built in the last four years is about $8 a month, while that number climbs t0 $33 a month for all homes.

As an active realtor in your area, I would be more than happy to help you find your home, whether you’re dreaming of a new or pre-existing home. Don’t hesitate to contact me at (630) 715-1887.