Buy New Construction or Existing Home - Pros and Cons for Buyers

Helpful advice for home buyers trying to decide between buying a new construction home or an existing resale home.

Should I buy new construction or an existing home? What are new construction pros and cons versus existing homes pros and cons? Questions like these are not unusual for home buyers who are beginning their North Carolina real estate search.

Whether or not you decide to buy a new home or a resale home is a personal choice based on many factors. Let’s take a look at some of those deciding factors which will help you decide whether buying new construction or an existing home is right for you and your family.

Buy New Construction or Existing Home – The Basics

The home search process requires a lot of time and energy. Buyers must consider a number of factors as they search for the perfect home to buy. Price, location, HOA fees, property taxes, school district and local real estate market trends all come into play when making a home buying decision.

What about the home itself? Property condition is a major factor for home buyers as well.

Do you want to buy an existing house, which may need some work but comes with a lower price and is a better fit for your budget and monthly mortgage payments? Are you okay with paying a higher price for a move-in ready, new construction house?

What features of you ideal home are absolute needs and which are only wants? Think about your lifestyle must-haves, like buying a home in the best school district for your children or purchasing a new home with a convenient, short commute to work or easy access to dining and shopping.

Reviewing your home buying checklist helps answer questions and narrow your choices before beginning your home search. Also, be sure to ask for insights and input from your North Carolina real estate agent.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing both new homes and existing homes on the market.

New Construction Pros and Cons


  • Constructed using newer, safer building codes
  • Buyers can customize finishes and upgrades
  • Less expensive to maintain (new appliances = fewer repairs)
  • Less expensive to operate (energy-efficient construction)
  • Extended warranties on workmanship and systems (HVAC, electrical, etc.)
  • May have a homeowners association (helps protect resale value)
  • Move-in ready with no repairs needed


  • Limited negotiating room on price
  • Easy to overspend on upgrades
  • Cookie-cutter design with less character
  • Unknown issues from faulty construction
  • Often must pay to add landscaping
  • May have a homeowners association (can put limits on how you use your property)

Existing Homes – Pros and Cons


  • More character, individuality and history
  • More choices of resale homes available to purchase means more options of styles/design
  • Buyers have more room to negotiate on price
  • Known issues revealed in disclosure documents and property inspection
  • Necessary repairs completed prior to closing
  • Established neighborhood


  • More maintenance: Things break or wear out
  • Less energy-efficient: More costly to operate
  • Dated design, older appliances and amenities
  • Customizing can be costly with remodels

When looking at the big picture, the decision to buy new construction or an existing home is not just about the property, but also about your lifestyle preferences and financing requirements. Use your home-buying checklist, ask for input from your real estate agent and take your time when searching for the perfect North Carolina home to buy for you and your family.

Ready to start your search for your next home in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill? Contact us today at Red Door Company to get started!