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Balance pros, cons of old, new construction

By Daphne Zollinger | Published Saturday, June 30, 2018
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You’ve decided that you’re ready to buy a home. While there are many decisions you’ll have to make during the process, one will be whether you should go for an existing home or a newly constructed property.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each. You’ll likely have to make trade-offs no matter which you choose. Here are a couple questions to consider when you are deciding between new and existing properties.

WHAT ARE YOU REALLY LOOKING FOR?

Besides the investment, remember that you have to live in this house. Central air, large pantries, walk-in closets, multi-car garages, more and bigger bathrooms and other amenities are typical options in newer homes. There are not many 50-year-old homes with a master suite with a spa and two walk-in closets.

New homes are also built with infrastructure tailored to modern life – pre-wired for security, surround sound and internet connections. There are stricter building codes and significant advances in construction materials and techniques. These improvements result in safer and more energy-efficient homes.

However, home maintenance comes with homeownership. There is no house, new or old, that is maintenance or defect-free. In fact, it’s common to find at least one construction defect that must be addressed in a new house. If you do opt for a new home, make sure you understand the builder’s warranty and the process for identifying and fixing problems.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD?

Residential builders need large tracts of vacant land to create new subdivisions. It’s more cost effective to lay infrastructure and build if there are no obstacles. That kind of open space isn’t usually available close to downtown or existing business districts. A newly built home may be far from grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants. Also, if you like mature trees lining the streets, an older neighborhood may be more your style.

When you’re deciding between a newly built home and an existing home, decide based on your needs. A Wise County realtor can help you sift through the options.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home in and around Denton and Wise Counties, visit gdwcar.com, to speak with a realtor, a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Daphen Zollinger is president of the Greater Denton/Wise County Association of Realtors.

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