Which is the Better Value: New Home or Resale?

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Price is an important factor when you’re choosing a home to buy. But price doesn’t always reflect the value.

You expect to pay more for a premier location and certain features, but you need to evaluate the actual bottom line to accurately determine which is the best value, a new home or resale home. Your first concern is what you want from your next home.

Are you looking for the comfort and convenience of a move-in ready home or would you like to tackle a fixer-upper? And what do you consider “move-in ready”? Is it a picture-perfect reflection of your dream home, from the colors on the wall to the kitchen counters and cabinets?

Do you consider “cosmetic changes” to be acceptable? If the location is absolutely ideal and the home is a good (not perfect) match, you might lean toward choosing the resale.


Before you sign on the dotted line and schedule the movers, be sure you fully understand what you’re paying for. Create a tangible, realistic budget of the costs and timing required to transform this resale home into your own.

Calculate the cost of the materials and labor. Do your homework here and get estimates so you avoid sticker shock, or suddenly realize that after the closing, you don’t have the funds to cover the changes you want.

If you’ve ever watched a home makeover show, you’ve probably seen the experts unearth some hidden horror—plumbing that needs a total overhaul, a foundation that can’t handle the construction, poorly installed subfloors, or some other nightmare that suddenly drives your home improvement costs through the roof.

Consider A Newly Constructed Home

Now, look at buying a new home. You work with your home builder to determine the layout that fits your lifestyle. You go through one detail after another to get everything as you want it—from the number of bathrooms to the color on the walls and the hardware on your kitchen cabinets.

When you buy a new home, move-in ready is exactly that. You don’t have to change a thing, Take the keys at closing. Move in. Unpack.

If you do encounter a problem, you don’t have to scramble around to find someone to do the repair. Your home, the systems (e.g., HVAC), and the appliances are covered by a warranty.

A new home also reflects the latest advances in construction methods and materials, which include energy-efficient and eco-friendly practices and products. A resale home can be retrofitted—at a cost.

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) reflects a national standard for energy efficiency. The lower the number, the higher the efficiency.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical resale home is rated a 130 on the HERS scale, and a typical new home has a 100 HERS score. That means, by today’s standards, an average new home is 30% more energy efficient than a typical resale.

Some new homes will score even lower, widening the gap between the energy efficiency in a resale home and a new home. Over the years you own your home, how does the energy cost impact the cost of maintaining your home as well as impacting its resale value? All of these factors contribute to the cost—not the price—of your next home.

More Information

If a low-maintenance lifestyle adds value to your home purchase, you can enjoy this freedom along with the benefits of buying a new home. Epcon Communities provide friendly neighborhoods of single-family homes and 55+ communities. You can choose your floor plan and the details, so you gain the move-in ready experience.

We build new home communities around the country, so take a look to see if we’re in your area!