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Should you purchase an existing or new construction home?

Do you have a love of old craftsman homes or prefer a modern French country farmhouse? Along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, we are lucky to be able to accommodate either of those preferences on either side of Mobile Bay.

Even with the market returning to pre-pandemic conditions, in many parts of the country the number of available houses for sale is still relatively low. But whether you prefer a historic existing home in Mobile’s Dauphin Way Historic District or a new home built to Fortified Gold Status in Daphne, you have options in our area thanks to a slowing of existing home sales over the past few months – at least compared to the past few years – and an increase in new construction listings.

In Baldwin County, the number of new construction listings has climbed 13.7% from August 2021 to 2022, according to data from Baldwin REALTORS®. In Mobile County, the number of new construction listings from 2021 to 2022 has nearly doubled through the beginning of September, according to data from the Mobile Area Association of REALTORS®.

With new construction being such a viable option along Alabama’s Gulf Coast thanks to home builders like Truland Homes, many newcomers – and even those who have called the Gulf Coast home for a while – debate whether to purchase an existing home or a newly constructed one when considering a move. Below are some pros and cons to consider when debating which option is best for you.

New Construction

  • Never been lived in by someone else (New home smell, anyone?)
  • More customizable to fit your lifestyle
  • Come with a builder’s warranty to cover unexpected issues
  • More energy efficient
  • Often cost less to insure (along the Gulf Coast they are often built to a Fortified Gold Status that can qualify buyers for up to 40 percent off discount on homeowners insurance)
  • Usually require less maintenance and are easier to clean
  • Suited to new technology installation
  • New appliances, HVAC and components
  • Generally comes with a termite bond at no charge
  • Generally have included amenities such as a pool, playground or tennis courts

Existing Homes

  • Generally less expensive; Many extras have already been put in the home at no additional costs to you, like blinds and flood lights
  • Established neighborhoods often have more trees and foliage
  • No construction noise to contend with while homes are being built
  • Potential building delays would not affect your moving timeline
  • Have architectural styles you may prefer that are no longer common
  • Are less likely to be under an HOA
  • Have a mailbox on your property where many new construction neighborhoods do not
  • Have sidewalks where many new construction neighborhoods do not

Only you can determine which option best suits you and/ or your family. Having an experienced REALTOR® by your side through that process can help you make the best decision possible.

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  • Buyer & Seller Tips
Posted on September 23, 2022