New Build or Existing Home: Which One Is Right for You? | Naples Real Estate Guide
As a homebuyer in today's market, the limited number of available properties can make it feel like comparing apples to oranges when considering new construction versus resale homes. This guide explores the factors you should consider when choosing between a new build or an existing home, especially in the context of Naples Florida's current real estate market.
Your timeframe can be a determining factor when it comes to choosing between a new build or a resale.
Currently, many home builders are dealing with unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including rising costs, labor and material shortages, and shipping delays. As a result, new construction timelines can be between 18 and 24 months in SW Florida. This issue can significantly delay your timeline, so it's crucial to have a real estate agent represent you in a new home purchase to negotiate better contract terms and advise you about potential risks involved.
Resale homes can typically be occupied as soon as you've closed the deal. The average time it takes to close a home purchase is around 51 days, but it can vary based on loan type and market activity. Cash transactions can close in as little as 1 week. In a competitive market, a quick closing date can be advantageous, especially for cash buyers.
You all know the real estate slogan: Location, Location, Location and that runs especially true in SW Florida!
Brand-new homes are more likely to be located on the edge of town and are still undergoing development, which could mean a longer commute to work, and recreation (the beaches!), or ongoing construction. However, they offer many modern amenities like hike-and-bike trails, tot lots, and dog parks. In SW Florida, there are several master-planned communities like Ave Maria and Babcock Ranch that feature new schools and urban-like centers with restaurants, retail, and office space.
Existing homes are more likely to be located close to town, in a neighborhood with mature trees, established schools, and a deeply rooted community. As a result, you may find the neighborhood's trajectory to be more predictable than an up-and-coming area. However, the amenities may be lacking, and the infrastructure and amenities in gated communities may be dated when compared to newer communities.
Consider how much time, effort, and money you want to devote to maintaining your next home.
A newly constructed home demands less required maintenance and repairs in the first few years. However, some builders have reputations for shoddy construction and subpar materials, so it's important to choose one with a solid reputation. We are well-versed in matching a qualified builder with your needs, desires, and budget. Who you work with matters!
No matter how good a deal you got when you purchased it, you could come to regret buying an older home if it costs you heavily in unexpected maintenance and repairs. We recommend hiring a certified home inspector (we'd be delighted to provide you with a few of our top choices!), whether you buy a new or existing home. Once we have the inspector’s report, we can negotiate with the seller on your behalf for reasonable repairs or concessions. One thing to be sure to pay close attention to is the roof. Its age will play a major factor in your homeowner's insurance and the home's insurability.
Consider your must-have design features when choosing your next home.
With a new home, you can expect it to look shiny and perfect when you move in. Builders tend to put a lot of emphasis on visual details and follow the latest design trends. Newly built homes are likely to feature an open floor plan, a large central kitchen island, and 9+ foot ceilings, which are must-haves for many modern buyers. However, some buyers complain of the cookie-cutter feel of new homes since they are often built with a similar aesthetic.
In some of the most coveted neighborhoods, an older home with classic styling and character can be highly sought after. But unless the previous homeowners have invested in tasteful updates, an existing home may look and feel dated. While some buyers prefer the traditional look and character of an older home, others crave something more modern. If that's the case, we can help you find a resale home that leaves enough room in your budget to renovate it to your liking.
Whichever Path You Choose, We Can Help!
When it comes to choosing between a new build or an existing home, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. We understand that there are numerous factors to consider, and you may have to make some compromises along the way.
We're here to help. Our expertise is available at no cost to you in many cases. That's because the home seller or home builder traditionally compensates us with a commission at closing. Some new-construction homebuyers make the mistake of visiting a builder’s sales office or even purchasing a home without their own real estate representative. But keep in mind, the builder’s agent or “sales consultant” has their best interests in mind—not yours.
We are knowledgeable about both the new construction and resale home options in Naples Florida's current real estate market (as well as the surrounding Gulf Coast areas), and we can help you make an informed decision, negotiate a fair price, and avoid mistakes that can cost you time and money. So, give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation—and let’s start searching for your next home!
Whether you choose to go for a new build or an existing home, each option has its advantages and disadvantages. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences, LOCATION!, budget, timeline, and other factors. However, by carefully considering the above factors, you can make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and needs.
To make the home-buying process smooth and stress-free, it's essential to work with an experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the process and represent your best interests. At the Briten Coastal Team, we are committed to providing our clients with expert advice, valuable insights, and personalized service to help them find their dream home in the Naples Florida area and beyond.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How long does it take to build a new home in Naples Florida?
Currently, many home builders are facing unique challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in rising costs, labor and material shortages, and shipping delays. As a result, the construction timeline for new homes has increased to around 18 to 24 months in Naples Florida, and our surrounding communities.
2. Are existing homes in Naples Florida cheaper than new builds?
Generally, existing homes in Naples Florida tend to be more affordable than new builds. However, the price depends on various factors such as location, age, condition, and amenities.
3. Are new builds more energy-efficient than existing homes in Naples Florida?
Yes, many new builds in Naples Florida are designed to be more energy-efficient than existing homes. They often come with modern features like high-quality insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, and ENERGY STAR-certified appliances.
4. How do I prepare for unexpected maintenance costs when buying an existing home in Naples Florida?
We recommend hiring a certified home inspector before buying an existing home in Naples Florida. Once you have the inspector's report, we can negotiate with the seller on your behalf for reasonable repairs or concessions. Additionally, it's a good idea to set aside some funds for unexpected maintenance and repairs.
5. Can I negotiate custom features and upgrades for a new build in Naples Florida?
Yes, you can negotiate custom features and upgrades for a new build in Naples Florida. However, it's essential to work with an experienced real estate agent who can help you negotiate better contract terms and advise you on the potential risks involved.