If one of the main reasons you’re hesitant to buy a home is because you’re worried about the upkeep, here’s some information you may find interesting on both new home construction and existing homes (homes that have been lived in by previous owners).

Concerned About Home Maintenance Costs? Here's What You Need to Know

Newly Built Homes Need Less Upfront Maintenance

If you can afford it, a newly built home might help ease your worries about maintenance costs. Everything in a new home is brand new, which means less wear and tear compared to an existing home. Consequently, it’s less likely to need repairs in the early years of ownership. As LendingTree notes:

“Since the systems, appliances, roof, and foundation are new, you’re less likely to pay for major or minor repairs within the first few years of homeownership. That can make a big difference for first-time homebuyers who are adjusting to owning rather than renting.”

Moreover, many builders offer warranties that cover significant expenses. First American explains:

“The new systems in your home, like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, are typically covered for one to two years by your builder’s warranty. When something happens to these systems, you contact the builder or their warranty company.”

 

Existing Homes Can Still Have Great Perks

It’s not just newly built homes that can come with warranties; existing homes can also benefit from them. Your agent can help you negotiate with the seller to include a home warranty as a concession in your contract. However, not all sellers may agree to this. If they don’t, you have the option to purchase one yourself. According to Forbes:

“During a real estate transaction, a home warranty policy can be purchased by the buyer or the seller.”

There are benefits for both buyers and sellers when it comes to home warranties. MarketWatch explains:

“A buyer’s home warranty benefits both buyers and sellers, as it helps the seller close the deal while providing the future homeowner with peace of mind that they’ll be covered if a system or appliance breaks down . . . Sometimes, a seller will pay for the first year of the home buyer’s warranty to sweeten the deal, but it depends on the real estate market.”

If you’re interested in a home warranty for peace of mind, lean on your agent. They can negotiate on your behalf to see if a seller would be willing to cover one for you. Just remember, the likelihood of a seller including a warranty depends on conditions in your local market.

 

So, Should I Buy New or Existing?

While new construction offers the perk of less upfront maintenance, there are some unique advantages to existing homes. For instance, existing homes often have character and charm that’s difficult to replicate. The quirks of an older home can make it feel more homey. Additionally, existing homes typically have more developed landscaping and a well-established sense of community, making them feel more inviting than a blank slate of new construction.

Another consideration is the timeline. With new construction, you might have to wait for the home to be completed, depending on its stage in the building process.


Bottom Line

Whether you choose a newly built or an existing home, you can mitigate some of your maintenance concerns with a home warranty. To weigh your options and determine your top priorities, consult with real estate professionals who can guide you through the process. They can provide valuable insights and help you make the best decision for your situation.