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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 deciding 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.

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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 sometimes 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!

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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.


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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, builders 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. Shutterstock

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 conditions.  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 cosmetics.  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 the 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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