The Pros and Cons of Buying a New vs. Pre-owned Home

The Pros and Cons of Buying a New vs. Pre-owned Home

Buying a home is a decision that can be exhilarating and scary at the same time. When researching the advantages of disadvantages of buying new versus a pre-owned home, make sure you weigh your personal experience first.  Some buyers have had several homes before settling on “THE ONE” home that makes them happy for years to come.  For those buying their first home, the decision factors will be very different and rightfully should be.  Here are a few of the pros and cons of buying new versus pre-owned homes.

HOME WARRANTIES: PROS (NEW): In a new home the warranties all begin from the closing date of the home.  Items such as appliances usually have a 1 year builder’s warranty and appliance manufacturers offer extended warranties on their individual appliances in addition to it. The thought of getting a home where “everything” is covered for 1, 5, even 20 years for items such as structural or roofing systems is definitely the appeal for many home buyers. CONS (NEW): In a new home the warranties don’t usually cover wear and tear and improper use of home components.  This can sometime get to be a sticky topic if your carpet starts pulling up at the seams, but the builder can prove you have 5 dogs, and 4 kids!

PROS (USED) In pre-owned homes the seller and the buyer can negotiate getting an extended home warranty on some or all components of the home. From appliances, to swimming pools, to the air conditioning and heating systems, extended home warranties give the buyer a piece of mind when purchasing a previously owned home. CONS (USED): The number one reason why people don’t like to buy previously owned homes is because there is always the “What if” factor of the unknown. The possibility that the previous owner had a mold condition, and covered it up cosmetically, can be a possibility. Home sellers are required to sign a pre-existing conditions disclosure stating that they don’t knowingly know of any problems with the home they are selling.

OUT OF POCKET COSTS: PROS (NEW) If buying a home from a building developer they often will have good incentives to get you to sign on the dotted line.   In the slow market height, builder’s were throwing in major appliances, upgrades, and ‘bonus’ cash that could be used for closing costs or applied to additional upgrades. CONS (NEW) Now that the housing market is starting to recuperate the incentives for out of pocket expenses may not be as favorable. Often times major appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washer/dryers still have to be purchased by the home buyer. When moving into a new home, some other out of pocket monies to consider could be: window coverings, major appliances, lawn irrigation system, and ceiling fans.

PROS (USED) this is the main benefit of buying a pre-owned home, most everything that the previous owner put into the home, comes with the home. The home seller can decide if they want to throw in furniture and other amenities. This is a major advantage for home buyer’s that want to have a “move-in ready” home. CONS (USED) The disadvantage of  buying a pre-owned home when it comes to out of pocket costs is that some items that come with the home are not in good condition.  You could inherit appliances, and home systems that may cost you money in updating or keeping in working condition.  Make sure and hire a home inspector after your offer has been accepted by the buyer.  A home inspection will unveil issues that are beyond cosmetic.  It will also give the home seller the opportunity to address any outstanding concerns/repairs with the home.

Take your time and weigh the pros and cons of buying a new versus pre-owned home.  Your decision may change when you find your ‘dream’ home! Remember, at the end of the day, new or pre-owned, your home should make you feel comfortable for years to follow.

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11 comments

  • ElizabethL August 6, 2010 at 19:13 PM Login to Reply →

    Here’s some tips I wanted to share too about getting your finances in order before buying a home: http://www.paynefamilyhomes.com/blog/7-things-you-must-know-before-buying-your-first-home/

  • Gilraen August 7, 2010 at 11:59 AM Login to Reply →

    We bought pre-owned 5 years old. The previous owner had all the start up issues, including growing the hedge warranty issues, faults and all other issues that can come with a new house and usually do.
    We put in a new kitchen, or rather had that done and filled some holes in the wall, changed painted a few walls but is it. It does help if the previous owner and you have a very similar taste.

    Seeing friends struggle with new houses (off the plans or specially designed) I don’t think I ever would want to go there. My co-worker moved into a newly built house and found that the bathroom had a leaking problem. Kitchen had issues, street was not laid corectly the list goes on and on. He was not happy

  • carole August 8, 2010 at 23:49 PM Login to Reply →

    We’ve owned three home so far in our married lives. The first was a pre-owned, the second, brand new construction, the third (which are still in ten years later), another pre-owned.

    From our experience with the brand new house, and based on our experiences with the two pre-owned (both build in the early 70s), we would never buy brand new again unless we were building it ourselves from the ground up. There were more issues with the new home than both of our pre-owned combined. And we’ve become remodeling experts, so buying pre-owned doesn’t bother us in the least.

    In our experience, older homes are better built, and have more potential to be what an owner wants them to be.

  • wendy-liondance August 9, 2010 at 02:58 AM Login to Reply →

    The kitchen design always become the most important in the whole house design.

  • Tom August 10, 2010 at 20:22 PM Login to Reply →

    Having live through several remodeling projects I fondly remember buying my first home, which was a brand new townhouse. All i had to do was select the finishings and colors. Those were the days!

    My advice is to determine how much time you have for a remodeling project along with 7 other reasons for not remodeling that one should consider. See http://www.millennialliving.com/content/eight-reasons-not-remodel-your-home

  • RoniqueGibson August 12, 2010 at 02:10 AM Login to Reply →

    That’s a good point Wendy. The kitchen is the most profitable room of the house. If you can see the potential in the kitchen, you most likely will like the house!

  • RoniqueGibson August 12, 2010 at 02:12 AM Login to Reply →

    Thank you Carole. I think it depends on where you are in your life. Younger people often want new, but those who have owned before prefer to buy pre-owned. Thanks for your comment. We just moved into a 1987 house, coming from a 2007 house and I can say it’s definitely better built! :)

  • RoniqueGibson August 12, 2010 at 02:13 AM Login to Reply →

    Yep! Those are the cons of a new home. :( Thanks for your comments.

  • ElizabethL August 12, 2010 at 18:13 PM Login to Reply →

    Great post! I wanted to share some tips too all about getting your finances in order before buying a home: http://www.paynefamilyhomes.com/blog/7-things-you-must-know-before-buying-your-first-home/

  • Property for Sale June 10, 2011 at 08:51 AM Login to Reply →

    Great information! Especially for those considering purchasing a home with the low home prices.

  • naymin June 27, 2011 at 15:57 PM Login to Reply →

    remodeling always need idea and budget. Depend on the amount of work. I like kitchen design here.