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New or Pre-Owned? Choosing the Right Home for You

Today’s homebuying market offers so many choices for prospective buyers – and that can be intimidating. But it’s also a very good thing.

After all, more choices means more options – and that means a golden opportunity to get exactly what you want in a home.

Many buyers struggle with the decision to buy a pre-owned home, or one that’s brand-new from the ground up – what’s better, what’s less expensive, what works – but most of the time, it’s simply a matter of preference.

Lifestyles and a home to match

In the end, many buyers’ home decisions are dependent on the kind of lifestyle they want – or the kind they want to lead. For example, families with young children often choose large planned communities where they can buy a brand-new home that won’t require the kind of time and attention that an older, pre-owned home usually needs.

Today’s new homes include upgraded design features for style-conscious homeowners – homes that are specifically designed to meet the busy lifestyle needs of technologically-savvy, 24/7 homeowners. Homebuilders are featuring up-to-the-minute design centers with many options for consumers – from hardwood flooring to cabinetry, fixtures to lighting – and everything in between.

Developers of larger new home communities are also designing the kind of surroundings that encourage an active lifestyle. There are pool and neighborhood groups for built-in social activities and community support, plus recreational options so that the whole family can get involved. And, they’re close to a multitude of stores and services, newer neighborhood schools and other amenities. In short, it’s the kind of environment that’s easy, convenient and, in a word, effortless.

Lots of character – and lots of maintenance

Those who prefer pre-owned, or existing homes, are usually going for a particular genre or neighborhood. These homes often have the kind of character that can be elusive in certain newer neighborhoods.

While that’s appealing on many levels for some homeowners, the maintenance commitment isn’t. Whether they’re 10, 20, 50 or 100 years old, maintenance is an everyday occurrence.

And, in the case of 50-plus-year-old homes, with old construction methods that don’t exist anymore, the upkeep can be exhausting. These are the kind of homes that require the attention that a two-year-old child might – loving but firm, always following behind to clean up messes that are frequent and often damaging.

Green homes for green living

Also, existing homes tend to be drastically less energy-efficient and green than their newer counterparts, and that doesn’t connect with consumers who are clamoring for more green products and practices.

In fact, the National Association of Home Builders, in a consumer survey released in February 2008 about buyer preferences 72 percent named energy-efficient features as the top factor that would influence their purchasing decision. And, when asked about trade-offs, 91 percent said they would choose an energy-efficient home with lower energy bills over a home that was 2 to 3 percent cheaper and did not have extra energy-efficiency features.

In the end, the sky’s the limit when it comes to buying a home, and there are a lot of choices for today’s buyers, whether it’s a new or existing home. And that’s a good thing!

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Equal Housing Opportunity Logo The Fair Housing Act prohibits certain forms of discrimination including discrimination against households with children under the age of 18. This prohibition does not apply to "housing for older persons". In an effort to assist buyers, identifies those communities that are age qualified. To find the community that best suits your needs, look for the "age qualified" and "all ages" indicators on each listing or community detail page. More

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