There are a variety of opinions on whether to purchase a new construction home or a resale home, with advantages to both. It really comes down to your individual and financing needs, lifestyle preferences and priorities. The following highlights some advantages to both.
Why buy a resale home?
If you’re looking to live in a specific neighborhood, newly constructed homes are rare to find or at least unavailable, unless you buy an existing home, tear it down, and build a new home on the lot. Older homes and neighborhoods tend to have more character and charm. The landscaping is more mature with trees and vegetation that shade the home in the summer, protect against wind and the elements, and block traffic noises in the evening.
Resale homes tend to have larger yards but this also requires more attention and additional maintenance. Home designs in resale are older and more traditional with smaller closets, less storage, smaller garages and less of an open floor plan design.
Why buy a new home?
New homes are designed to fit today’s lifestyle demands with new technologies and materials, open design innovations and state-of-the-art appliances and finishes.
With huge advances in technology in the past few years, entire home systems can be activated with a simple touch and controlled remotely. Some technology allows homeowners to control everything from door locks to lights to security systems from any location on a variety of devices. With these smart devices, you can activate sprinklers, set lights, security systems and control surveillance cameras and entertainment systems.
Energy-efficiency and green building
Because new homes have to meet new tough codes for energy efficiency, they come with energy certifications covering walls, roofs, windows, doors and even appliances. Old homes, on the other hand, didn’t have many standards and energy usage was just an afterthought. This concern for better efficiency not only means better value to the environment but also to your wallet.
Recent advances in construction techniques give new homes energy saving strategies at every corner. From wrapping the building to sealing ducts to barrier roof sheathing, builders are using these innovations throughout the building process. High performance, low-E windows also help control energy costs while allowing plenty of natural light. High efficiency air conditioners and heaters, Energy Star appliances and LED lighting also help energy efficiency in new construction. A 2016 survey by the National Association of Homebuilders (BIA) found that 90 percent of respondents preferred Energy Star appliances as an essential or desirable feature in most wanted features.
New homes also have significant advances in water conservation. Dual flush, low flow toilets, water saving faucets and tankless water heaters as well as advances in landscaping water conservation (drought resistant, native plants and ground covers) all help new homes reduce the consumption and waste of water.
Better Design and flexibility
When you buy resale, you get what already exists in the home design. New homes by contrast allow personalization and flexibility of your new home design. You can design a new home with the innovative trends and requirements of today. Interior spaces can flow into outdoor spaces. Advances in glass technology give new home designs opportunities for large expanses of windows—without sacrificing design or energy efficiency. More windows and large glass doors create lighter, brighter spaces in new home designs while not affecting the overall efficiency of the home. Kitchens can be designed with different intentions and technologies than older homes. There’s a transition to wide open spaces and simpler, cleaner lines and finishes. Cabinet and counter styles have changed as well. Quartz is more popular and sought after than granite these days. Floor trends are also leaning toward wider, darker wood floors. Colors for walls, cabinets and backsplashes are trending toward soft shades of grey, copper or bronze.
Bathroom designs are also simpler today. Elaborate tubs and baths are a thing of the past. Oversized showers with invisible frameless glass surrounds, simple vanities and serene fixtures are helping to transform the new bath retreat. New home construction lets you participate in the design of your new home—every room, every detail.
New homes come with the latest fire retardants in materials such as carpeting and insulation. They are also hardwired with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and normally backed up with battery power to handle electrical outages. Because new homes have to meet today’s building codes, they have more safety features and fewer health hazards than resale.
In a new home, everything is new—appliances, water heater, air conditioning, heater, roof, doors, windows—and comes with a warranty. In resale, everything is old and probably close to replacement. Replacement costs can get very expensive, really fast.
Resale or New. It’s Up To You.
Lastly, it’s a rewarding process to help design and build your own home where everything is thought through with your specific wants, needs and lifestyle. You can help to design the layout, determine the number of rooms, put the lighting where you want, the light switches at the height you want, the views through the placement of windows you desire. From color palettes to finish material choices, the new home is an entire reflection of you and your family.
The decision to purchase a resale home or a new home is complicated. Both offer very different advantages and disadvantages. The decision is a very personal one and, ultimately, comes down to what meets your own family’s needs and preferences. If you’re interested in building your new custom home in the Bay Area, start here.