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What is the difference between a house and home?

A house is a building. It's a structure. No emotion. No feeling. It's physical.

A home is much more than that. It's emotional. But it's more than just a feeling. It's where your heart is. So, how do you find the house that will also be your dream home? Should you be looking at a new build? Or, should you be looking at an existing home with a history? Let me guide you through some of the highlights of new builds vs. re-sale homes. Depending on their lifestyle and what's important to them, at the end of the day, everyone wants their house to be their "home".

To help you get started on your house hunting journey, it is always recommended to get a Licensed REALTOR like myself to represent you and look out for your best interests. Would you buy a car alone and with having done no research, or would you research different makes and models, and visit the dealership with friends or family members for support and additional feedback? The answer is obvious. You buy fully prepared! So why would you treat a home purchase any different?

REALTORS are typically paid from the seller's proceeds at closing. They are not paid by the buyer. The services to the buyers are typically FREE. So, why not use this FREE service to gain insight and knowledge about the areas you love. Having a professional to help you research, prepare legal contracts, handle delicate negotiations, and provide valuable referrals to reputable industry professionals like a mortgage lender, home inspectors, contractors, etc... is essential to help guide you on the right path

Without further ado, let's check out the new build and resale highlights.

New Build Homes:

  • Many new build homes are within communities that provide access to great amenities, including pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, playgrounds, restaurants, etc... which are offset by your HOA fee. A Licensed REALTOR will help you determine the best value for the HOA fee that you are paying.

  • Typically, new homes offer 1 year warranties for everything under the roof, 2 years warranties for everything behind the walls, and 10 year warranties for the structure.

  • New builds usually feature the latest modern trends and home style designs throughout the home, from interior to exterior. The latest NextGen homes offer a "home within a home", where 2 generations of families can live under one roof, have their own personal space, and live comfortably together.

  • Constantly changing building codes force builders to construct homes with new higher standards to remain in compliance with state and local guidelines, from the roof down to the electrical and plumbing.

  • New homes are being constructed with newer and ever-changing energy efficient green features, such as Low-E windows, radiant barriers, foam insulations, etc... to save you money on monthly electric bills.

  • A new home is a blank canvas. Most homes come with a neutral colors so you can make it your own rather than inherit someone else's crazy, leftover "masterpiece".

  • Most builders offer incentives, such as cash-back for custom designs and add-ons or closing cost assistance. These benefits typically apply if you are using the builder's preferred financial mortgage lender.

  • Some builders let you participate in the designing of the interior space of the home, provided the home is built from scratch. This will normally not apply to spec homes (homes that are already built - quick move-ins). If you purchase a home early enough in the building process, you may have creative control of certain finishes, such as colors of the interior and exterior of the home, cabinets, floor color, etc.

  • First come, first served - With new builds, if the home is available when you view it, put down the deposit and start the process!

  • New build home construction includes all new materials and appliances, which are all under warranty. Make sure you register all your appliances and A/C upon closing to take the advantage of full warranty coverage.

Re-Sale Homes:

  • Re-sale homes are still coming in a little lower priced than new build construction. However, this is quickly changing, as the prices of re-sales are rising to meet the prices of the new builds. With a re-sale, keep in mind that you may have to invest money after closing the home for any maintenance and repairs or renovations.

  • Home foundations typicallysettle within the first 10 years, so there should be a significant reduction in the number of structural cracks that appear in the older homes.

  • Previous homeowners may have invested money in upgrading the home, such as adding a pool, fence, tile throughout, S/S appliances, etc... Installing these items in a new build home creates a vacuum of negative equity. However, purchasing a home with these features already in place is typically to a buyer's benefit.

  • Generally, older homes will have a more traditional layout when compared to the more open concept designs utilized in new build homes. Since re-sales have been someone else's "nest", it may feel "perfect" or "lived in". This will depend on if their "nest" has been kept up nice, or if they've left it as "one hot mess".

  • You may have room for negotiations on the re-sale homes with the seller, such as asking for closing cost assistance. We are in a strong seller's market however, so this isn't always possible to negotiate. It never hurts to ask though. Get what you can to lower your out-of-pocket costs!

  • Some older homes may not be well insulated or have the most up-to-date green features, so during the hot or cold months, you may see spikes on your utility bills.

  • CDD's - Community Development District Fees, may exist in older communities, but they are more common in new build home communities in the Davenport/Kissimmee area that cater to short-term investors. These fees are added onto your annual property taxes. Partner with your REALTOR and lender to see if the home you love has a CDD and how these fees would affect you.

  • Less room for decision making - make sure your pre-approval is in place before you view re-sale homes. They are selling FAST! If you don't offer the same day, you may lose out - and you cannot make an offer without a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender.

  • Multiple Offer Situations - unlike new builds, sellers of re-sale properties are getting multiple offers. You will need to go in strong from the initial offer - and even then, you may still be outbid. If you are a serious about a particular home - put your "best foot forward!"

Hopefully, these highlights help you decide which way to go. The decision is never easy, as there are pros and cons to each. Don't take the entire burden on your shoulders. Partner with me and let me help you through the process! Give me a call or send me an email set up an appointment to discuss the best options for you!!!

Khoa Le Headshot
Phone: 407-793-9972
Dated: September 1st 2018
Views: 1,027
About Khoa: I'm a Licensed Realtor servicing Davenport, Kissimmee, and the surrounding Central Florida areas. I'...

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