Remodel, New Construction or Traditional?

Running out of space? Tired of leaky faucets and old carpet? Whatever your inspiration is, deciding between buying a new home, buying an old home or remodeling your current property isn’t easy. Each option offers an exciting opportunity to enjoy a fresh, new space, but which one is right for you? 

Pros and Cons of Buying an Existing Home

  • Older homes offer unmatched charm and character. 
  • Older houses offer a great way to get into a desirable, established neighborhood.
  • However, older homes often require costly replacements/upgrades that eat away at equity. 

For most people who find they’re running out of room or wanting a change of scenery, buying an existing home is the most common way forward. Existing homes can bring all sorts of character, especially if you manage to find an older build dating back to the 1940s or before. However, you might also find homes built in the last 10 or 20 years that are just new enough to not be considered “outdated,” but just lived in enough to have you thinking about replacing things like flooring, appliances and the roof. Ultimately, buying an older home can be a great investment, especially since it’s the only way into a lot of desirable, established neighborhoods. But, if you’re going to buy an existing home just to end up doing a major remodel, it might be worth looking at one of these other options. 

Pros and Cons of New Construction

  • Buying into a new development allows you to choose finishing touches, but you’ll pay slightly more compared to a similarly sized existing home. 
  • Purchasing land and getting a completely custom home is more expensive, but they’re perfectly suited to your needs. 
  • You need to be aware of the builder’s reputation as well as potential shortcuts and construction delays that could throw off your timeline. 

While most people will buy a home at some point, only some will buy a brand-new, never-lived-in home. However, if you’re relocating to a growing area or you’re interested in a custom-built home, this might be the best way forward. While you’ll typically pay a little more when buying a home directly from the builder or developer, you may also get say in some of the finishing touches.   If you’re looking at a new development, you’ll likely find that they are selling vacant or half-constructed lots and giving the buyer the option to finish things out. That means you get to choose things like flooring, countertops, cabinets, doors, paint colors and so on. Sometimes, they’ll even throw in an appliance suite, and since it’s brand new, you won’t need to do any big remodeling anytime soon.   With that said, the biggest con of buying a new construction home is that construction can be delayed. Worse yet, some builders just don’t put in the time and effort you want them to. That’s why it’s so important that you don’t forego a home inspection even though the home is brand-new and that you read reviews for a builder before buying in. Same goes if you’re purchasing property to have a home custom built. 

Pros and Cons of a Big Remodel

  • Remodeling allows you to quickly build equity in an existing property. 
  • You can save money by doing the work yourself, perhaps allowing you to get into a larger home or better neighborhood than you otherwise could. 
  • You need to prepare for downtime and for problems you didn’t budget for. 
  • You need to find a great contractor that you can trust. 

If you already own a home or you’ve found a fantastic deal on an existing home that needs work, putting money into a big remodel could be a smart move. Remodeling an existing home allows you to build equity fast. If you can do some of the work yourself to save money, a remodel can even help you afford to buy into a larger home or better neighborhood that would otherwise be out-of-reach.    So long as your budget allows it, a remodel can enable you to make rooms larger, brighter and more updated. The biggest cons of a remodel include the cost and downtime and the fact that you really need to shop around to find a good contractor that you can trust. 

What’s Best for Your Family?

Ultimately, choosing between an existing home, new construction or remodel is an exciting decision, but it’s not one to take lightly. As you think about all of your options, remember that it really comes down to what’s best for your family.   Remodeling might sound fun, but is the time and money better spent waiting on new construction? Or, maybe instead of trying to make your current home work, you’re better off investing in an old charmer with the space you’re after. At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer—think about what’s best for your family and you’re sure to get a home you love. 

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