a scottsdale home for sale

Should You Buy New or Resale Scottsdale Real Estate?

Maybe your dream home in Scottsdale has Saltillo tile, a front porch with a beautiful water fountain, a tall palm tree in the back yard and an older saguaro in front, with an inground pool. You might need to look at existing homes vs. new ones because these few items can be very expensive additions to today’s new construction.

You might be surprised to learn that not everyone has a pool in the Valley. Most don’t want the upkeep, but personally, I couldn’t imagine not having one. That’s where I do my exercising.

Tall palm trees and saguaros aren’t going to be part of the landscaping you’ll get with new construction. Of course, you could spend the money to get established, grown plants, but it could be out of the reach of many new home buyers.

Alternatively, perhaps your ideal home includes all of the current conveniences: an open floor plan in the living and dining areas, wide windows, linked, "smart" appliances and security systems, and minimalist design elements. You might not find what you're looking for in an older, resale home in Scottsdale. 

When it comes to acquiring a home, whether you choose a brand new construction home in Scottsdale or a resale home, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Which type of home is best for you will be determined by the variables that are most essential to your way of life. 

Building a New Construction Home

new model scottsdale home with blueprints

The first consideration with new construction is the fact that unless it is a "spec" home that is already built and ready to be occupied, you're going to have a long wait for the house to be completed and for you to be able to move in. This fact alone keeps many home buyers away from new construction. Once a buyer has the desire to move, they don't want to have to wait up to a year to get into a home.

You might think picking out fixtures, flooring, cabinets, etc. will be fun. But it's actually a lot of work! We flipped a house and it turned out beautifully, but it was a job choosing all of those details. I hate shopping, so that could be part of my issue, but I sold new construction and I have seen many buyers drag their feet when it came to the time when they had to submit their selections.

If you're buying a home when it's still in the planning stages, you might be able to modify a lot of the specifics. Many home builders will give you the option of adding design components to create the home of your dreams. If the subdivision is new, you may even be able to choose the lot you prefer, although lots also have price differences. 

You may have additional customization options early on in the construction phase. If the walls aren't finished, you might be able to add more outlets in each room or wiring for surround sound in the media room if the walls aren't finished. You might be able to relocate the laundry area from the main level to the top floor. It's possible that you'll be able to obtain almost all of the upgrades you’d want if you ask in the beginning phases of the build. Waiting too long to make changes will cost you a lot more. 

You may be able to add marble countertops, an island, and bespoke cabinetry to the kitchen later in the construction process. A steam shower, spa tub, and European fixtures could be added to your master bathroom. You should verify with the builder to see which features are included and which are optional, and of course, the costs of each upgrade. Those upgrades can really add up!

New Homes are More Energy Efficient and Require Fewer Repairs

green energy efficient logo

All you have to do now is move in once your home is finished. If new appliances need to be repaired, they will be covered under warranty for a few years, and they will most likely perform well for several years without needing maintenance. New construction is frequently covered by a builder's warranty, so any necessary repairs during the first year should be covered.

Energy-efficient and green appliances, such as high-efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, heaters, and air conditioning units, are common in new homes. These energy-efficient appliances, together with adequate insulation and energy-efficient windows, will help you save money on your monthly electricity bills.

New homes also frequently feature low-maintenance building materials, such as composite siding instead of wood siding, which does not require annual repainting. You won't have to spend as much money on your new home's upkeep.

You won't have to spend any money on restorations or updates for several years if you customized it during pre-construction. You can simply enjoy it without having to worry about putting money aside for costly home repairs.

How to Make Sure You're Making a Wise Purchase of a Newly Constructed Scottsdale Home

buyer and builder shaking hands in front of a scottsdale home under construction

Do some research on the builder before submitting an offer or signing a contract. Do they have a solid track record? What else have they constructed? Were there any difficulties with their other new residences, such as poor construction or unfinished details?

You like the model home, but do you like the location of the subdivision? Return to the area after you've looked at the house to see what it's like at different times of the day. Take a walk around the neighborhood during the day and evening to see how you like it.

New neighborhoods tend to attract similar types of buyers, such as urban professionals, couples, retirees, and young families. You'll be living next to these people, so make sure you want to be a part of this new community.

 It's also possible that you'll have to be flexible with your move-in date. Builders will only allow you to move in if they are able to stick to their construction timetable. The walls will not be able to be finished if the wiring is delayed. Schedules tend to slip since so many construction projects are contingent on the completion of previous tasks.

A Resale Home Offers a Better Established Neighborhood with Amenities Close By

man shopping with a grocery cartBecause different types of building styles and materials have gone in and out of favor throughout the decades, you'll find more variation in home styles with older homes. In different neighborhoods, you might come across brick construction up to composite exteriors, Midwestern type homes to modern southwest styles, tract design, ranch or split-ranch homes, two-stories, or more contemporary residences.

Existing homes are in established areas, which may offer more surrounding facilities than a new home in a brand new subdivision. Restaurants, cafes, and boutiques may be within walking distance in your new area.

We really enjoy being able to cross the street for 2 separate grocery stores and other shops and restaurants. Our adult son doesn’t drive so he either walks or hops on the bicycle to get to a store.

A Resale Home in Scottsdale Will Normally Cost Less than New Construction

money in an egg in a nest representing saving on a resale scottsdale home for sale

Personally, I prefer looking for resale Scottsdale homes for sale that offer almost everything we want and need. You could find a resale home with many upgrades and amenities that you wouldn’t be able to afford to get in new construction.

There is always going to be a much better selection of resale homes vs. new construction. Depending on the kind of market you’re in when buying, you might be able to negotiate with a homeowner. There is usually less negotiating power with a builder. Unless it's a slow Buyer's Market, most builders stick to their prices.

A lot of home sellers try to update certain things in their homes before they list them for sale. Sometimes they update almost the entire home. Or just imagine if they got a new roof, updated the bathrooms and the kitchen, put in new flooring, etc. It’s almost like getting new construction at a lower price. 

You could also get a nicely done flip home that is completely redone inside (and sometimes outside, but many flippers stop at some point) that will be priced at the top end of resale Scottsdale homes but less than new construction. You do have to make sure the flipper did quality work. I've seen some terrible flip homes, and many of these are being sold by iBuyers.

Tips to Make Sure You're Making a Good Resale Purchase

inspection on a resale scottsdale home

You always want to have a home inspection done, whether the house is a resale or new construction. Even new homes can have issues. I know because I worked in a new Scottsdale home subdivision for almost three years. I’ve seen a few things!

Although a resale home will most likely have older electricity and plumbing, a good home inspector should be able to point out any deficiencies. Most sellers will fix electrical and plumbing issues because these are maintenance items that need to work correctly and safely. The same will normally go for HVAC systems.

We actually prefer a home that needs some cosmetic work. Those homes are usually priced a bit lower so we can do our own remodeling in the way we want it. We usually do a room at a time to finally make it our own.

We personally don’t like a lot of the floorplans of today’s new construction. We have found open floorplans to be too “open” for us. We like our own areas where we can do work or watch television or read without having to go into a bedroom. Open floorplans can look nice, but you can hear everything!

Whatever your decision, call Judy Orr at 480-906-1500.

Posted by Judy Orr on
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