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Buy a New or Gently Used Home? It’s a Question of Budget and Lifestyle

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Home-selling Strategies by Chris Kaucnik

RISMEDIA, Nov. 3, 2008-With all the options now for home buyers, many will weigh heavily whether to purchase a new home or an existing one. Often, discussions erupt that are more emotional than rational and you can be called upon for decisive wisdom. Keeping clarity in this situation means focusing your clients on their budget and lifestyle. Consider the following:

Irresistible incentives can be enticing. Many home builders are offering them, and this can make it difficult to consider purchasing an existing home. But, while many buyers will be ready for a brand-new home, incentives aren’t the only considerations attached to this important purchase. There can be more costs and stresses tied to acquiring a new home than a gently used one, and we’ve outlined a few below:

-A sudden increase in driving and pumping gas is unsettling. Generally, existing homes are closer to town, near jobs, stores, public transportation, services, schools and more. New subdivisions tend to be farther out of town, sometimes with very few of these necessities nearby. This can mean longer commutes and trips on weekends.

-Call the decorator because we’re too busy. Soak in that new home smell and feel. It’s great. But wait a minute-the windows are bare, and there’s no landscaping, wallpaper or any decorating, and the holidays and folks are coming. While this can be the fun part of a new home for many, it can turn expensive and stressful, especially for working parents with children. Buyers can often find an existing home they can live in while accomplishing the decorating changes over time without piling on more debt. And many sellers have already neutralized and made the necessary repairs in order to sell more quickly.

-The real monthly costs and taxes are what? Usually, existing homes cost less per square foot due to escalating land costs in new subdivisions. New homes are often built in outlying areas where the municipalities need to charge higher taxes as there are fewer families to pay for basic services. Additionally, newer homes are often subject to assessment fees for amenities the family may or may not use, which must be considered now and for potential resale.

-We’re feeling stressed with all this mess. New homes are often in areas where building is still occurring. Owners must be prepared for the daily noise and dust of construction crews, trucks, neighbors moving in, and more.

Chris Kaucnik is marketing director for Home Warranty of America.

For more information, please visit www.hwahomewarranty.com.

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