Nest Notes

A Home Buyers Dilemma: Should I Build New or Buy Resale?

Living room with stone fireplace and couch

August 15, 2020

For some buyers the decision to build or buy a resale home is an easy one: they want a level of customization that comes from building from the ground up. Or conversely, a buyer is set on an older home in a long-established neighborhood or downtown, and is willing to undertake the additional upkeep and major or minor renovations it may need. But if you’re on the fence about whether to build a new home or buy resale, there are some less obvious considerations to weigh. 

Energy efficiency is rightfully a big factor when considering a home purchase. Quality-built new homes have efficient windows that keep temperatures steady in the home, and block more noise and UV rays than their older counterparts. Other energy-saving features that come standard in new Garman homes are high efficiency appliances, innovative insulation that further cuts down on heating and air conditioning costs, built in humidifiers for additional climate comfort, high efficiency water heaters and HVAC systems … and the list goes on. While some of these features – such as appliances – are reasonably easy to add to an older home, others – such as windows, are quite costly, or downright nearly impossible in the case of the latest advances in insulation technology.

The overall cost of even one major remodeling project is another factor to consider. The National Kitchen and Bath Association suggest homeowners budget 15%-20% of the cost of their home for a major kitchen remodel. So for a $300,000 home, a budget of $45,000-$60,000 is realistic for new cabinets, counters, refinishing or replacing floors, reconfiguring a layout, adding a new backsplash, lighting, replacing appliances, etc. Owners also place high value on having a beautiful, highly functioning primary bathroom, another big-ticket item when it comes to remodeling. Factoring in the cost of any desired remodeling projects up front helps to give buyers a clearer picture of the real cost of buying an older home. 

Other considerations are a home’s safety features: such as integrated smoke and carbon monoxide detection, GFI safety outlets in wet areas, and smart-home features such as programmable thermostats that come standard in new Garman-built homes. In addition, advances in building science are leveraged in new homes to repel mold and moisture – which directly impacts air quality.  The continuous insulated sheathing used by Garman Builders keeps the dew point out of the wall cavity verses normal batt insulation.

Buying a home can be an emotional process, but there are many factors to weigh that will help define a clearer choice for each buyer. Creating a complete picture of the pros and cons of any home – from the cost-saving considerations such as a home’s energy efficiency, to safety, comfort, and a home’s need for additional major investment are all considerations that will help inform a buyer’s decision.  Visit our new homes here. 

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