Weigh Your Buying Options: New Construction or Pre-Owned?

couple looking at old and new home

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have purchased many houses, the decision between a new or old home is a tough one.

Picking a home can feel like a TV show—are you going to choose the quaint and cozy fixer-upper? Or the modern, newly-constructed home with the open floor plan?

While we understand the choice can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be! Sure, each comes with their own challenges, but there are also numerous benefits to both. We want to discuss the perks of each and a few things you should consider when making your decision between new or old.

To Buy A New Home…

The Benefits of Buying A New Construction Home

There’s no denying the benefits of purchasing a new, or newer, home. Here are some of the biggest assets to new construction:

Low Maintenance

When you purchase a new home, chances are you will have little (if any) maintenance to do. In a new construction home, you’ll have a brand new foundation, new roof, new pipes, new everything. These new features should last you a long time, too—around eight to ten years on average.

Modern Finishes

Many new homes come with the latest in appliance technology. From the dishwasher and microwave to the refrigerator and HVAC system. New construction homes will also typically offer the “open floor plan” that is so desirable these days, along with updated countertops and other modern amenities like a wine cooler or smart home technology.

Plus, if you decide to custom-build, you can have a say in which modern finishes and features are built into your home.

Personal Touches

Speaking of custom-built, creating your home from the ground up gives you the opportunity to create the home you want. The options are practically endless!

However, even if you aren’t able to fully customize your home, you can always talk with your contractor to see what updates you can make. Being able to personalize your home will make it feel uniquely yours—bringing your vision of the “perfect home” to life.

Energy Efficient

You’ll find that many of today’s newly constructed homes are “green”, or built to meet the growing demand for energy efficiency and sustainability.

Some might feature solar panels, while others are upgraded with energy-saving appliances and technology. Plus, new windows and walls insulated with fresh, high-quality insulation will help maintain proper heating and cooling in your home—keeping you comfortable and your electricity bill low.

Potential Pitfalls Of Buying A New Construction Home

Along with the benefits, consider these other factors when deciding whether new or old is best for you.


New homes are often more expensive than older homes, especially if you’re opting for a custom-built. Modern updates, upgrades, and locations in popular up-and-coming communities can drive the price up and if your budget is already tight, this is something you’ll want to take into account.

However, don’t underestimate your Realtor’s ability to find you the house of your dreams–new or old–for the right price. Just one of the many benefits to having a Realtor on your side during the buying process.


Chances are, if you’re choosing a new home, you care more about the modern look and appeal than old-fashioned charm. Some homebuyers, though, can’t resist the allure of a home full of quirks and history—and that’s okay!

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you.

Or To Buy An Old Home?

While some homebuyers limit their search to new homes, there are plenty of benefits to choosing an old home, too!

Benefits of Buying An Existing Home


One of the perks of purchasing an existing home is that they usually cost less than a new home. On average, an old home costs around $250,000, while a new home could cost upwards of $350,000. Of course, it doesn’t come without a few sacrifices.

When you’re working with a budget, this huge price difference may be what tips the scales when deciding new or old.  


Location, location, location!” Some buyers feel that where their home is, is just as important as the home itself. Older homes are normally located in well-established neighborhoods, with wider streets and larger properties.

Existing homes are also more likely to be closer to downtown, schools, shopping, restaurants and more. Is location important to you?

Sturdy “Bones”

There’s a reason these older homes are still standing! Older homes have good bones and a strong foundation. In some cases, these homes were built by hand, with extreme attention to detail.

Most of these homes have weathered storms and stood strong for years—they won’t be going anywhere any time soon! But that doesn’t take away from the importance of a home inspection. An inspection will unveil any issues with the home’s structure that the naked eye can’t see.


Old homes hold history. They have old-world architecture, with unique, one-of-a-kind touches throughout. While this may seem outdated to some people, to others it looks like the perfect DIY project! In most cases, these antique pieces just need a little TLC to bring them back to life.  

Pro tip: If you find carpet in your old home, try tearing up a small piece in the corner. You might find original hardwood floors under there just waiting to be restored!

Potential Pitfalls Of Buying An Existing Home


It’s not just the home that’s old, but everything in it, too. Old pipes, outdated appliances, and a leaky roof could result in lots of necessary fixes—and repair bills.

However, there are a ton of things around an existing home you could upgrade on your own to save money! If you’re handy and love DIY projects, restoring an old home to its former glory could be the perfect project for you!


Nowadays, everyone wants to have an open floor plan. It’s easier to entertain, to stay involved, and it makes your home look bigger. Unfortunately, an open floor plan isn’t something you’re likely to find in an old home.

Again, if you’re handy, you could tear down walls yourself to save money and get the open concept look you want. Just be careful you don’t start tearing into walls that aren’t supposed to come down!

Overall, the decision between new or old is completely up to you. While it’s important to weigh the pros and cons, base your ultimate decision off what home works best for you, your family and your budget.

New construction or existing–buying a home is a huge life step, and we want to help you through the process. If you’re ready to buy, we’re ready to show you the best Raleigh has to offer.

Schedule a time to sit down with us and we’ll go over exactly what you’re looking for in your new home. From there, we’ll create a plan so that together, we can find your perfect home. At Spencer Properties, we know the Raleigh real estate market better than anyone else in the triangle, and we’re determined to get you into the home of your dreams.

Schedule An Appointment With Our Team