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The Pros and Cons of New Construction Homes vs. Resale Homes 


When shopping for a home, you might have seen the words “new construction homes” during your search. What does this mean, and what are the benefits? How are they different from existing or resale homes?

A new construction home is a brand-new home that has never been lived in before. It can be an “inventory home” or a “to be built” home. Inventory homes are either “quick move-in” (or “move-in ready”) or they may be completed within just a few weeks.

“To be built” homes will begin construction once purchased. In other words, you get to select from available features based on your preferences: including exterior home style, ideal floor plan, special offerings, and upgrades. That means you can create a home that reflects the lifestyle of you and your family. To be built homes can take 5 to 6 months on average to be ready for move-in.

An existing home (also known as a “resale home”), on the other hand, is a home that’s been lived in previously. When deciding between a new construction home and an existing home, there are pros and cons to consider.

Pros of buying an existing home include:

- The chance to live in a home with “history” and mature landscaping

- Having a wider range of locations to choose from, especially closer to cities

- Having a wider range of home styles and architecture to choose from

Cons of buying an existing home include:

- Costly repairs might be needed shortly after move in

- Older, potentially less energy-efficient building design and materials

- lack of opportunities to personalize the design of your new homes

Pros of buying a new construction home include:

- lower maintenance costs because building designs and materials are brand new

- updated, innovative technology, including “smart home” devices for climate, convenience, and security

- the opportunity to live in a community of similar homes and lifestyles, plus enviable amenities

- the ability to work with your builder to personalize the floor plan, interior, exterior, and choose from available features (for example, covered porches and outdoor kitchens) of your home

Cons of buying a new construction home include:

- exurb locations can mean longer distances to cities and more commute time to work

- the “newness” is also sometimes felt in younger trees and less mature landscapes

- interiors and exteriors might appear too similar to one’s neighbors

- the timeline of a “to be built” home means you’ll likely have to wait 5-6 months to move in

For more details about buying new construction vs. resale, check out this New Construction or Existing Homes buying guide from Zillow. And if you’re looking for a new home in Rocklin, CA, you’ll find a rich variety here in Whitney Ranch throughout our impressive neighborhoods by top homebuilders. To explore our designs, visit our Home Search page!