Buying a New Home Versus an Existing Home

Not everyone will own a home, but the reality is that more Americans have the opportunity to own their own part of the American Dream (homeownership). During 2000, the US homeownership rate reached 67.7%, the highest rate ever. There are other benefits of homeownership like your mortgage interest and real estate taxes will be deductible.

Should you buy a new home versus an existing home? It depends. There isn’t a definitive answer to this question. Here are some advantages of buying a new home:

  • Building standards are probably higher (especially the requirement of hurricane ties for homes built in Florida). This results in lower building insurance.
  • Energy Efficiency is generally higher. Energy Star appliances, more efficient heating and cooling equipment and energy efficient windows can save you money in the long run). This results in lower utility bills.
  • Maintenance costs are lower. Most new homes come with the peace of mind of a home warranty that will cover almost everything in the first year of home ownership. Additionally, there are long term items like the roof and air condition that will not need to be replace in the immediate future.
  • FHA financing looks at an examination of the property for any visible, obvious and/or apparent deficiencies that may affect the livability of that property in terms of basic needs, health and safety of the property’s occupants.  Most importantly, these items include life of the roof as well as air condition. Since the property is new, the property is easier to get FHA financing.
  • Newer homes offer a third garage in most instances.
  • Vaulted ceilings are common in new construction.
  • If you are the first homes built in a desirable new subdivision, there is a chance for some fast equity build up. Most developers/builders increase the sales price as the homes are being built out.
  • Typically, builders offer incentives including closing cost assistance, upgrades, options, etc.
  • You are able to customize many features, such as the paint colors and the appliances, to suit your personal tastes.

Existing homes have their advantages too. Here are some advantages of buying an existing home (or resale):

  • Located in more established areas with mature landscaping.
  • Buyers can look at how well the homes have held their value historically.
  • Larger lots in most instances. There has been in trend in new subdivisions to build homes on smaller lots (especially narrow lots).
  • Typically, a new home is priced slightly higher than an older home. This is based on several factors like potential maintain issues involved in an older home.
  • Unlike new construction, a homebuyer does not need to be prepared for delays in move-in dates due to construction delays.

If you are interested in buying a new home or an existing home, please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty at 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511) and I can help you find a new home in the Tampa Bay Area.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for homes on my website at this link.


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