Before you begin your house hunt, evaluate your needs to determine whether a new home or a pre-owned home is right for you.
Many buyers opt for pre-owned homes because of the location. Perhaps it's in a particular school district, or it's a close commute to work. When someone decides to buy in a specific area, they may not even have the option of finding a new home to purchase.
A benefit to buying a pre-owned, or re-sale home, is that most buyers don't have to worry about costs involving window coverings, landscaping and the like. Many resale homes are considered "move in ready." A buyer just needs to close on the deal and then move right in - with no immediate need to buy appliances, blinds for the windows or plants for the yard.
Working with a flesh and blood person rather than a large company when buying a property may make the process a little easier. Humans tend to be more flexible and understanding than builders, so buyers may find that dealing with a homeowner may work to their advantage, especially if they have special needs concerning the closing of the deal, the move-in date or what items will be left when the seller moves out.
There are two main drawbacks to pre-owned homes. The first involves maintenance issues. Some homeowners are not conscientious about maintaining their home. And the older the home, the more problems there may be. A home inspection during the buying period can bring most of the issues to light and can hopefully resolve any of the buyer's concerns before the ownership is transferred. However, many times problems can come up after the deal is said and done and the new homeowner is stuck with fixing anything that is wrong.
The second drawback is that the buyer has to make do with the previous owner's preferences. Instead of a blank slate from which to start, the buyer will have to deal with the interior color palette, the landscape and other home décor choices made by the previous owner. Sometimes this can translate into a full remodel of the home.
One of the best benefits when buying a new home is the incentives that builders often offer the buyer. These incentives can range from free upgrades to a free pool to thousands of dollars to spend on a down payment or closing costs. Many buyers of new homes are first time buyers and they find these incentives a terrific inducement.
Buyers of new homes also like the chance to pick out their own interior features. Many new homes allow the buyer to pick the color of carpeting, type of cabinetry and more. Instead of going into a used home and "making do" with whatever is in the home, a buyer of a new build gets to put his or her personal touch on the home before taking a step inside the finished product. This means fewer interior decorating projects once the buyer is moved in.
Many buyers like the fact that new homes are under warranty. For the first year, the buyer knows that problems or concerns will be addressed by the builder. Former renters can no longer depend on a landlord to fix any problems, so the warranty presented by the builder provides a certain amount of comfort.
One downside to moving into a new build is the pressure to fill the new home with furniture. First time home buyers and those buying "up" into a larger home typically do not have enough furniture to fill the new home. Many buyers feel the pressure to run out and purchase furniture immediately, but money is typically tight upon moving into a new home.
Depending on your needs and preferences, it may be better for you to go one way or the other when you begin your house hunt. However, the more open you are to looking at any house that may suit your needs, the sooner you will find the right house for you!