Richmond Homebuying 101

When you’re in the market to buy a house, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to buy new or used. There are pros and cons to both options. In addition, the housing industry has undergone massive changes over the last few decades. The arguments on both sides of the issue are different today than they were a generation ago.

This article will help you to decide which route is best for you and your family. We’ll cover both sides of the equation. That way, you’ll have the information you need to make an informed decision. It’s important to underscore that there is no right or wrong choice. The only thing that matters is which option best accommodates your family’s preferences and priorities.

Reasons To Purchase A New Home

Newer properties are designed with features that make them more energy efficient than their older counterparts. Double-pane windows, a thermal enclosure system, and energy-efficient appliances reduce the homeowner’s monthly energy costs.

Another advantage of newer properties is that they’re easier to maintain and seldom need repairs. If anything goes wrong during the first several years, the house is covered by a warranty. Repair costs are covered, so the homeowner doesn’t have to pay them out of pocket.

Also, new houses are often less expensive than older ones. Many newer developments contain small properties with tiny yards. Their limited size keeps their prices comparatively low.

For many families, the most compelling reason to buy a new home is that no one has lived in it. There’s a sense of gratification that comes with knowing you’re the first owner.

Disadvantages Of A New Construction

There are a number of potential drawbacks that come with purchasing a new property. First, houses that are found in the same development tend to look similar these days. Many of them have the same floor plan.

Second, new developments often impose high association fees. Such fees can reach hundreds of dollars per month.

Third, when you buy new, you rarely have flexibility to negotiate a lower price. The price of the property is essentially fixed by the builder.

Reasons To Buy A Resale Property

Previously-owned homes offer a wide range of benefits. For example, such homes tend to have more personality. The floor plans are unique since many older residences were designed before large housing developments became popular.

Also, older properties often come with large yards. Families with young children will find that having the extra space is a major boon.

Another benefit of resale properties is that they’re found in established communities. Some of the residents will have lived in the area for many years. Such communities often have a cohesive, close-knit structure in which residents have formed longstanding friendships.

Disadvantages Of Resale Homes

Owning an older home comes with its share of downsides. For example, such homes require more maintenance and repairs. You may have to replace the roof, gutters, and electrical system. The water heater may break down and need to be replaced. The plumbing may need attention.

In addition, older properties tend to consume a considerable amount of energy. Unlike newer homes, they’re rarely outfitted with energy-efficient features.

Although many resale homes come with large yards, their rooms and garages are often small. Many such properties were built before homebuyers began to place a premium on the extra space offered by McMansions.

Also, older residences are often located in downtown areas, near malls, restaurants, movie theaters, and other conveniences. For that reason, they tend to command higher prices.

As you can see from the above discussion, both new and older properties come with a range of advantages and drawbacks. The option you choose should reflect your budget, needs, and preferences. If it’s important that your house have character and personality, you’re better off buying a resale property. On the other hand, if you want to minimize the time and money you’ll spend on maintenance and repairs, opt for a new one.

The best way to decide between new vs. old is to be objective. Determine the features you must have in a home, and those you’d like to have but are willing to forgo. When you’re ready to start looking at suitable properties, contact an experienced realtor.

Want to see what we can do for you? Call Carter Snipes at 804.358.3888 or email to

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