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Is it Best To Buy a New Home Or An Older Home?


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Buying a new home will have advantages in terms of being more energy efficient and you may even find a builder who is offering special incentives. Older homes may be located in areas with larger yards. They may be closer to the central part of town. There are pros and cons to both to consider.

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Is it Best To Buy a New Home Or An Older Home?

  1. 1. New Homes are built with more energy efficient features than older homes. This can save money on heating and cooling. Is it Best to Buy a New Home or an Older Home? Is it best to buy a new home or an older home is a question most buyers consider. Do you pref er the contemporary style of today’s new homes? Or the more traditional style of homes built more than ten years ago? The majority of buyers in Las Vegas pref er newer construction if they can f ind it at the right price. Which option is best f or you will depend on your pref erences, budget and time f rame. Here are a few considerations in the New Home vs Older Home debate: Energy efficiency – Hands down, this is one of the best reasons f or purchasing a newer home. New homes have more energy ef f icient heating/cooling systems. They may f eature energy star windows and upgraded insulation. Builders who use the Energy Star trade mark may even provide an estimate of monthly utility bills. The Leed Certif ication is less common in Las Vegas. Pulte’s Villa Trieste in Summerlin is the f irst Platinum LEED Certif ied community in town. It has sold out with only resale homes available. With f ew exceptions, you will spend less to heat and cool a new home than an older home. The Neighborhood – If you want a shady, tree-lined street, you may want to buy in an older neighborhood. Most new home communities haven’t had time f or trees & shrubs to mature. If you don’t mind having less shade until the trees have a chance to grow, newer communities may be just f ine. Building your dream home – most of us dream of designing the perf ect home that’s exactly what we want. If you can af f ord to build a true custom home, this is possible. If you’re purchasing a “production” home, you’ll have to choose f rom the f loor plans the builder of f ers. You will then be able to pick paint colors, f looring, cabinets, and other f inishes the builder has available. It’s still nice to know that you picked that paint color and that carpet, not some previous owner. Location – There isn’t a lot of undeveloped land in the central part of town. Most new construction is f urther out where builders f ind tracts of vacant land. If you want a new home that’s within a couple of minutes of the Strip or Airport, you’ll have more resale homes to choose f rom. If a 10-20 minute drive to the Strip or Airport is acceptable, there are new home options. Timeframe – Some of the best deals on a new
  2. 2. Building a new home is exciting but requires patience! Timeframe – Some of the best deals on a new home can be “standing inventory”. This is when a builder has had a home f all out of contract or they built it on spec. These homes can usually close within 30-60 days. Building a new home requires at least 3-4 months. Higher end, semi- custom homes will take six months to a year. For a true custom home, allow 1-2 years. If you’re set on building a new home f rom the ground up, you will need to allow enough time to build. Appraisal Issues – Over recent years, appraisals have not kept up with appreciating home values. If you’re buying with an FHA or VA mortgage in a lower price range, you may f ind you’re competing against investors. Many sellers will not accept an appraisal contingency. This f avors cash buyers. Buyers in the most competitive prices ranges, have f ound it easier to buy a new construction home f rom builders who accept VA and FHA f inancing. More for the Money – Sellers have added ceiling f ans, water sof teners and other options to a resale home. The window treatments are already in place. It already has a pool. If you buy a new home, you have to pay f or those upgrades. The cost of land, cost of labor and materials add to the cost of a new home. This can mean that an older home will have a lower price per square f oot than a new home. A home inspection can let you know if expensive repairs are imminent. Is it best to buy a new home or an older home? You’re the only one who can answer that question. Hiring an experienced Realtor who is f amiliar with the resale market and what new home builders are of f ering. The Realtor can help you compare the cost and others benef its of both options. Remember, the “on-site” sales agents work solely f or the builder. They may have a quota to f ill or an incentive to convince you to buy. Your Realtor, will help you compare one builder to the next and all your options. Debbie Drummond has been a f ull time Realtor in Las Vegas f or over ten years. She and her partner, Michael Petit, work with buyers and sellers throughout the valley. If you’re looking to buy or sell, call (702)354-6900 or email