December 16, 2022
Minute Read

New Construction vs Resale Homes


Purchasing a home is an exhilarating and rewarding experience. It can also be very intimidating. Many considerations go into the process, including size, number of bedrooms, schools, neighborhood, commute time, etc. Given the tight housing market, we can add another consideration: new construction vs resale homes. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so we wanted to share some of the questions we receive about buying new construction home vs existing.

What is the Difference Between New Construction vs Resale Homes?

New home construction refers to newly constructed homes that use state-of-the-art materials built per the International Building Code, meaning they adhere to the highest levels of safety and health for occupants.

Resale homes were built using materials and techniques that were acceptable at the time of construction. In Virginia, the median home age is 38 years, while in North Carolina, it is 32 years. In other words, the wood, insulation, wiring, plumbing, etc., in those homes were manufactured in the 1980s on average.

What are the Energy Efficiency Differences Between New Construction vs Older Homes?

New home construction is more energy efficient because homes are built using materials and techniques designed to improve airflow, keep the temperature inside the home consistent, and reduce energy consumption. For example, we use windows, doors, water heaters, and other appliances in our homes that are Energy Star Certified, meaning they meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the U.S. EPA.

Over the years, many homebuyers have updated resale homes to include Energy Star Certified appliances and building products, which have increased their energy efficiency. However, some things take more work to update, including insulation and heating/cooling systems, which make resale homes far less energy efficient than new home construction.

What are the Maintenance Differences Between Buying New Construction Home vs Existing?

Since everything is new in new home construction, new homes require significantly less maintenance. If maintenance issues do arise with new home construction, they may be covered under the home warranty that comes with new homes. Every HHHunt home is delivered with a Limited 10-Year Insured Warranty by Professional Warranty Service Corporation, the leading provider of new home warranty products. This is the best best warranty program available today!

Resale homes are older, so the likelihood of something going wrong is higher than with new construction homes. While a warranty may be purchased or included in a resale transaction, these are less comprehensive or long-term. Almost every component of a home has a lifespan that begins as soon as the home is constructed, so the older the home, the more features will start reaching the lifespan and will need to be replaced. According to Bankrate, many home repairs become necessary during the home’s middle years when a house is no longer brand-new. For example, a wood deck is estimated to last 10 to 30 years, depending on climate, while the exterior and interior paint last closer to 10 years. These factors are important to consider when budgeting for a resale home. The average homeowner of a resale home spends between $5,000-$10,000 annually on maintenance repairs. In fact, over 77 percent of homebuyers in a recent survey said they had to pay for unexpected repairs within the first year of owning a house. Two-thirds of respondents said those fixes cost more than $1,000.

What are the Design Differences Between New Construction vs Older Homes?

Have you looked at homes and thought, “if only the owner’s suite was on the first floor,” or “I wish this layout were more modern?” One of the most significant advantages to purchasing a new construction home is that it will be designed to your exact specifications. You’ll be able to choose from countless modern, open floor plans perfect for your lifestyle. Homebuyers that purchase a new home from HHHunt Homes also have the chance to select all the designer features and finishes at our Design Gallery or the onsite Design Center when purchasing from the Smart Living Collection.

Resale homes are strictly as they come. Homebuyers can add an addition to their home to make it fit their lifestyle, but there is a significant expense to doing that, and it may require you to move out for some time.

What is the Value Proposition Between Buying New Construction vs Resale?

Simply put, new home construction offers greater value and increased equity from the moment you close. There are numerous factors that lenders, insurers, local governments, and the market use when deciding the value of a home. These include location, home size, features, age, and sales timelines of comparable homes. With new home construction, the location, features, and age factors immediately work in homebuyers’ favor, so the price you are paying is lower than the market value of your home.  

The value of resale homes fluctuates dramatically based on location, age and comparable homes. That fluctuation can cause a great deal of uncertainty when and if it comes time to sell your home.

How is the Purchasing Process Different Between New Construction vs Resale Homes?

Purchasing a new construction home means you will never end up in a bidding war with other homebuyers or endlessly wait until the right opportunity comes along. Our New Home Advisors can help you find the perfect lot, floor plan, and community so you can focus on the things that matter most. HHHunt also offers move-in ready homes that you can enjoy within 90 days or less in Richmond, Williamsburg, Hampton Roads and North Carolina.  

The purchasing process for resale homes can be incredibly competitive. Homebuyers are often stuck making multiple offers on different houses in the hopes of finally getting a bid accepted. The past two years have shown just how stressful it can be to purchase a resale home.

On behalf of everyone at HHHunt, we wish you all the best on your homebuying journey. We have been helping homebuyers build their dream home for over 30 years. If you are looking for a new single-family home, townhome or condo, we invite you to explore our new home communities in Richmond, Williamsburg, and Hampton Roads in Virginia or Raleigh, North Carolina and its surrounding areas.

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We are sharing some of the questions we have received about new home construction versus resale homes so you have the information you need when buying a home.

Because it's how you live that matters®

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