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Which is Best for You, Buying a New Build or a Pre-Owned?

Last updated on April 10, 2024

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As a REALTOR® I love helping clients find and buy the perfect new build. But it is not for everyone. How about you? Would you prefer to buy a new home that no one has ever lived in, or does a pre-owned home better suit your lifestyle?

This week we will look at new builds, followed by pre-owned homes next week.

Advantages of Buying a New Home


New homes, depending on the builder and price point often offer more customization options. Buyers can often choose finishes, appliances, and floor plans, allowing them to tailor the home to their preferences and needs.

Modern Features and Amenities

New homes typically come equipped with modern features and amenities. This may include energy-efficient appliances, smart home technology, better insulation, and advanced security systems, providing convenience and potential cost savings in the long run.

Warranty Protection

Most New homes come with warranties from the builder. Industry-standard is for year one to offer a front-door-to-back door warranty, but except for emergencies, they ask that you hold minor issues and submit them on a quarterly or semi-annually. The second year must still cover inside-the-wall issues like electrical & plumbing. Structural elements such as the roof and foundation are normally covered for 10 years (excluding weather-related issues like hail). This gives buyers peace of mind and protection against unexpected repair costs in the initial years of homeownership. This is the main reason I try to encourage first-time home buyers to look at new homes. It allows them to gradually move into the mode of home ownership.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Since everything in a new home is brand new, maintenance costs are generally lower in the first few years compared to preowned homes. Buyers won’t have to worry about replacing aging appliances or fixing worn-out systems immediately.

Energy Efficiency

New homes are built with energy-efficient materials and design features, such as double-pane windows, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and better insulation. This will result in lower utility bills and a reduced environmental footprint. This feature can save you $50 to $100 a month, which can allow you to buy a more expensive home or go toward your mortgage payoff.

Compliance with Building Codes and Safety Standards

New homes are built to comply with current building codes and safety standards, ensuring that they meet the latest regulations for structural integrity, fire safety, and accessibility.

Financial Incentives

In some cases, there may be financial incentives available for purchasing a new home, such as builder discounts, special financing options, closing costs, or government incentives for energy-efficient construction. Most builders tie financial incentives to those who use their preferred lender.

No Renovation Hassles

Buying a new home means there’s no need for immediate renovations or repairs to update outdated features or address wear and tear, saving buyers time, effort, and money.

Buying a Spec Home versus Custom Building

Most builders build homes before anyone buys them. These are considered SPEC Home (building on the speculation that someone will buy it). I have found that these are the most cost-effective home if you can find one that meets your needs and budget. If it is sitting there, it is costing the builder and they are more negotiable on price and incentives.

While new homes offer these advantages, it’s important for buyers to carefully consider their preferences, budget, and individual circumstances before making a decision. Preowned homes may offer unique charm, established neighborhoods, and potentially lower purchase prices, among other benefits. So let’s look at the advantages of buying a pre-owned home.

Rockwall’s New Builds

Currently, in Rockwall County, there are 250 new builds listed in the MLS, by 36 different builders, ranging from track homes to custom builders. The prices range from $256,900 for a track home in Royse City to $3,485,000 for a custom home in Heath.

Many buyers do not think they need representation when buying a home from a builder, but nothing could be farther from the truth. A Full-time, Professional REALTOR® knows most builder representatives and can negotiate a better price and additional incentives that a buyer may be leaving on the table. They understand the process and are there with you through it from start to finish. And most builders pay REALTOR® from their Marketing Budget, so it has no impact on the final negotiated sales price.

Jerry Welch, Realtor

Jerry Welch is a full-time, professional REALTOR® with over 17 years in real estate and specializes in helping seniors transition. He holds an SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation, which reflects his extensive education on topics such as tax laws, probate, estate planning, and equity conversion strategies. He offers relevant information on current market trends as well as being a valuable resource regarding real estate transactions. He was one of the founding members and is a past chair of the Rockwall Chamber SSA (Senior Services Alliance) Program. (972) 800 3915

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