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Is an existing home better than new?

Better than new is one of those phrases we often see in a listing of an existing home. New home salespeople like to call them used homes; we tend to call them existing homes for sale.

New construction

In a community where you have a choice of new construction, a to-be-built home that is advertised at the Base Model price or an existing home that is move in ready, which is the better value?

Lets compare a new model at Bay Crossing with an existing home in the same community.

The Cutter is 2,300 square foot single level home with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths being built by Blenheim Homes. The builder offers an optional 2nd floor with an open loft, 3rd bedroom, & full bath. A full unfinished basement is included in the base price. Also included is a standard lot with no premium.

Standard flooring is carpet and vinyl. The model is shown with hardwood flooring, an optional sunroom, the second floor loft and vaulted ceiling, upgraded gourmet kitchen, stone two-sided fireplace, luxury owners suite and more. Models always display every imaginable option and upgrade to show prospective buyers all the ways a home can be customized.

MLS#563897 is listed at $379,900, the base model price for The Cutter. The Final Section under construction now includes some lots that back to trees at a Premium Price or lots that back to other homes with no lot premium. Only a few remain that can have a Walk-out basement.

Better than new?

Now lets look at an existing home for sale at Bay Crossing, a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath Beacon model with a loft that was built in 2005 by Pulte Homes.

When this home was purchased new, the current owners selected many options and upgrades that included:

  • Premium wooded, cul-de-sac lot
  • Sunroom
  • Maintenance free rear deck
  • Hardwood floors and Ceramic Tile
  • Extended Corian counter top with bar seating
  • Tray Ceilings
  • Full unfinished Walkout Basement with a double door and 5 full sized windows
  • Upgraded HVAC to a dual fuel system with a humidifier and electrostatic air cleaner
  • Additional insulation in the garage walls and attic
  • Pella Storm doors and exterior floor lighting

Then there are all the decorative touches and upgrades that have been added like:

  • Custom Paint
  • Blinds or shades in all the bedrooms, dining room and living room
  • Master Bedroom closet organizer
  • Stainless appliances including a gas double oven
  • Custom Wall unit with storage and bar in the living room
  • Front loading washer and dryer
  • Garage storage unit and epoxy painted floor
  • Ceiling fans in all bedrooms, Sunroom, Family Room and Loft
  • Additional landscaping
  • Gutter Guard

MLS#593867 was listed for sale at $439,500. On one of the best lots in the community on a dead end cul-de-sac, there is nothing you need to add to this beautiful home.

UPDATE - This home sold on September 26, 2012 for $420,000

Recent Sales at Bay Crossing

When I look at the actual selling price of new homes sold at Bay Crossing in the past 12 months, I find

  • MLS#591716 that was listed at $359,900, sold for $437,730 in June 2012.
  • MLS#591615 that was listed for $359,900, sold for $415,042 in May 2012.
  • MLS#592607 sold in July for $492,147

And those selling prices do not include finishing touches like blinds and window treatments. So which is the better value in todays market?

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