When it comes to major life decisions, it doesn’t get much bigger, more exciting or nerve-wracking than buying a new home. But what does buying a new home really mean? For many, buying a new home translates to purchasing a previously-owned-and-occupied house on the resale market. From bidding wars to flipping properties, the resale market is the subject matter of countless TV shows, books and articles. Resale is how most homes are bought and sold in North America. For others, buying a new home means having a new house built for you. In this case, you will literally be the first occupant(s) in the home. Unless it’s a one-of-a-kind or custom project, a new home is typically part of a bigger community and is constructed for you by a homebuilder such as Empire Communities.
If budget and timing are not issues (lucky you!), then you may consider a custom home. For the vast majority of us, the decision to buy resale or to buy new from a homebuilder boils down to a handful of considerations.
If you want to buy and move-in within weeks, the resale market is an obvious place to look. When you buy new or from plan your new home’s construction is scheduled and usually takes months to complete. However, homebuilders such as Empire Communities often offer new, move-in ready homes that you can buy and then occupy in a matter of weeks.
If décor matters to you, then buying new is the way to go. With resale, what you see is what you get, so if you don’t like the kitchen or bathroom for example, you’ll have to live with it or renovate. With a new home, you get to choose the fixtures, features and finishes that suit your style and budget.
Interior design makes the most of space and improves your quality of life. So unless you can find a redesigned home up for sale, chances are that a newly designed house will offer floor plans that maximize square footage, offer more natural light and deliver features that better meet the needs and wants of modern residents.
If you’re skilled and you love the idea of renovating your own home, then the resale market is definitely for you. Most homebuilders will not do things like keep bedrooms unfinished or make structural changes like rearranging walls for a number of reasons relating to building code, warranties and pricing.
If peace-of-mind is top-of-mind, then buy new. When you buy a new home from Empire, we will make sure you’re protected by the most comprehensive coverage available through 2-10 HBW – an industry leading, insurance-backed new home warranty. Your home will also be inspected by third party certified building inspection service, Dale Phillips Inspection Service, to provide a high standard or quality assurance.
If reducing your environmental footprint and keeping your energy bills down are important to you, then a new home can make it easier to go green. Every home Empire builds will be certified under the Environments for Living® program, the only national turn-key program designed to assist builders in constructing energy-efficient homes using the principles of building science.
Amenities are shared spaces such as fitness centers, pools, walking trails and parks that all community residents can take advantage of. Often times buying new means you’ll be moving into a new community with brand new amenities waiting to be enjoyed. Whether you decide to go new or resale, a good rule of thumb before you buy is to ask yourself if you’ll actually use the amenities that will be part of your community.
It stands to reason that the newer the house, the less maintenance and repair it requires. But new or resale, protecting your investment with routine maintenance is a must, so make sure you have a clear understanding of the amount of regular and seasonal maintenance you’ll need to commit to keep your home in great shape.
Whether to buy new or resale depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a very mature and established neighbourhood, you may prefer resale. A new home may work better for you if you want to be part of a new community with new facilities and amenities. New homes are available in urban areas too and may be a consideration when looking to harmonize space needs and lifestyle.
Price & Costs
If you are comparing prices of new and resale properties in the same area, property values and taxes will be similar. That being said, there are a few ways that you can save money with new builds that don’t work for resale. If you buy new it is easier to assess quality. In addition, buying a new build in the pre-construction phase allows you to beat the rest of the market to the product and get the best prices.
For more helpful resources, be sure to read up on 3 things to do before putting your home up for sale, 4 reasons to call a master-planned community home, and our Houston referral program.
Curious about Empire’s new homes? Browse our map of communities.