Every new home buyer is usually faced with the dilemma of either buying a new or used home in Texas as their first home purchase. While both have their pros and cons, you should make your first home purchase decision based on your personal or financial situation.

The main reason why buyers consider a new home as opposed to a used one in Texas is that it is unlikely to be in any need of costly repairs. In addition, buyers can be confident in the home’s quality. In contrast, older homes are often sought for their already-developed neighborhoods and amenities.

So, which is better for you: a new or used home? In this article, we’ll explore both options and weigh the pros and cons associated with each.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Buying a New Home

Less maintenance is required.Newer homes tend to be smaller.
You have the opportunity to design or customize your home before it’s built.They are often located in undeveloped neighborhoods.
There is a long builders’ warranty.There are unknown factors, such as the potential for flooding, that you may not realize until long after you’ve purchased the home.
There are modern amenities. 
You are more likely to get lower interest rates and quick financing. 

Less Maintenance

If you’re buying a new home, you will have to deal with fewer maintenance issues for at least 5-10 years. Since the house is still fresh with no previous occupant, you are most likely to find the home appliances in a pristine condition. You will also likely not have to deal with making significant repairs, such as fixing the roof or the HVAC system, anytime soon.

Design Your Own Home

Most of the time, new homes are sold to you, the buyer, before they are even built; this allows you to design your home from the ground up. You can pick your desired floor plans, countertops, cabinets, appliances, and more. You can also communicate your home must-haves for the builder to incorporate.

Builder Warranty

When you buy a new home, builders are required to provide you with a comprehensive builders’ warranty. Generally, this type of warranty is different from a home warranty, in that it covers structural issues like a broken roof, as opposed to home appliances. A builder warranty lasts for six months to two years, with some lasting up to 10 years for related structural issues like a broken roof.

Lower Costs

It is easier to get lower interest rates and quick financing with a new home compared to a used one. Most builders have their own financing department that makes it easy to finance your home at a much lower rate. In addition, your homeowners’ insurance will be lower by working with the builder.

Modern Designs

Aside from the modern building design, newly built homes feature state-of-the-art interior decorations and appliances. From fancy bathtubs, refrigerators, and dishwashers, to interconnected wiring systems, new homes will include better smart home technologies that are incredibly energy-efficient.

Smaller Size

One of the major drawbacks of buying a new build home is that they tend to be smaller. Since builders are in to make quick profits, you may have to deal with limited yard space, smaller bedrooms, and little room to accommodate large furniture pieces.

Undeveloped Neighborhood

While a finished new community is an excellent place to live in, you may have to deal with the sight of excavators or building equipment moving in and out of your neighborhood until then. You will need to cope with living in a construction site since most of the lots around your home will potentially be undergoing construction for months or even years to come.

Dealing with the Unknown

Buying a new home may offer you the opportunity to deal with less repair or renovation issues, but what happens several years down the line? For example, you won’t know whether you’re in a flood zone in a new community until it happens.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Buying a Used Home

Prices are always negotiable.Finding the right home is challenging; you may have to compromise with your needs and wants.
The neighborhood the home is in has been established.An older or used home means that more maintenance will be required.
Used homes are generally in prime locations.Used homes can be equally as, or even more, expensive than new ones.
Many used homes are move-in ready. 
There is a lower tax burden. 

Negotiable Price

Unlike new-build homes with no previous occupant, sellers of existing homes are more likely in a hurry to sell. For that reason, it is easy for buyers to negotiate on the purchasing price of the home based on current market conditions and the state of the property.

Established Neighborhood

Most existing homes have long-term neighbors-turned-friends and nearby residents with a great sense of community. They can offer recommendations such as schools, parks, restaurants, and other great amenities you will likely want to know about in a new area.

In addition, older or pre-existing homes are likely to see little to no construction in the area since the neighborhood has already been built.

Great Location

Most used homes are situated in communities close to downtown areas and with great urban amenities and schools. Since they are in already established neighborhoods, they are likely near some of the top entertainment destinations, companies, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and government establishments.

Move-in Ready

For new homes, you may have to wait for months, even weeks, for the builder to complete the building before moving in. Buying a used home doesn’t require you to wait. Once you close on the purchase, you can move-in within a few weeks to a month, depending on your agreement with the seller.

Lower Tax Burden

On average, older homes tend to be less expensive in taxes than newly-built homes in Texas. Due to their lower purchasing price, dwindling structural appearance, and decreased resale value, their tax rate is more likely to be lower than a new construction home.

Harder to Find the Right Home

Finding used homes with all your must-haves may be hard to find. You may have to compromise on your needs and wants to get a home in your desired area.  

More Maintenance

With new homes, you’re buying a home with new appliances, flooring, and designs. But when you buy a used home, you will need to deal with periodical maintenance and repairs of those items. Also, you may need to do an extensive upgrade of the home’s interiors or exteriors to meet your housing needs.

Can Be More Expensive

While most home buyers believe that new build homes are more expensive, a used home has the potential to be more costly to purchase than a new one. Since most used homes are in established communities with excellent schools and urban amenities, their prices may be higher.  

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, your home buying decision should be based on your personal and financial situation. Both new homes and old homes have their equal share of pros and cons, so it all comes down to what you need for you and your family. However, before you decide on the type of home you want to buy in Texas, speak to a qualified local lender and real estate agent to help you make the right choice.