for sale sign outside house

for sale sign outside house

No matter what items a homebuyer has on their wish list, they are typically constrained by the home price.  As a result, the buyer is often limited in their choices.  Accordingly, buyers prioritize home features and benefits when comparing homes.

Nonetheless, homebuyers often have a choice between a new home or resale.  Besides the allure of contemporary design and modern building materials, the benefit of new construction is the minimal maintenance during the first year of ownership.  Although many homebuyers desire to buy new construction, the combination of their budget and criteria lead them to a resale home.

A resale refers to a home that is being sold by a homeowner, rather than the builder.  The average age of a resale home can vary depending on the location.  It’s not uncommon to find a resale in a new home development.  However, when resale comes to mind, most think of homes where they grew up.

Although the home buying budget is a main consideration, there are other reasons why home buyers decide to purchase a resale rather than new construction.  One of the main reasons, as stated above, is that the resale fits their criteria for price, location, size, etc.  It is typical to get more house and yard when purchasing an older home, when compared to a new home of similar price.  Resale homes tend to be located in established neighborhoods, whereas new home developments’ amenities are often not yet completed.

Regardless, some home buyers are attracted to older homes.  It seems as if there is a correlation between a home’s age and the charm it exudes.  The older the home, the more likely a home buyer is captivated by its charm.  When explaining a home’s “charm,” buyers usually describe a combination of style and craftsmanship.  They often refer to the saying “they don’t build them the way they used to.”

Although most homebuyers want a turn-key home, some buyers find opportunity in older homes that are in need of repair or updating.  These buyers feel they can create a home that meets their needs and lifestyle without breaking their budget.

When buying a resale, do not expect the home to be perfect, even if the home is relatively new or has been renovated.  There is no getting around the fact that living in a home promotes wear-and-tear.  Consider that a home is made of many components each having a limited life span.  Regular maintenance can prolong a home’s life.  However, you will eventually have to replace components and systems.

Resale homes are not maintenance free, and deferring maintenance creates costlier repairs.  Experts recommend that you have a repair budget.  You should not just budget for regular maintenance and repairs, you should also budget for future updating.  Ask your agent about a home warranty that can help you with repairs on a fixed service-call fee.

Get a thorough home inspection.  Home building has changed dramatically over the last 100 years, so make sure you hire a licensed inspector that is knowledgeable with the engineering and materials in your home.  (Keep in mind that home inspectors are not perfect, so there may be a chance of finding conditions that eluded the inspection.)  Even if the home appears to be in good condition, the inspection is likely to find items in need of repair.  You and your agent can decide on the best negotiating strategy of inspection repairs.

Dan Krell is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Platinum Realty in Bethesda, MD. You can access more information at

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