Buying a resale home ( the pros and cons )

falling creek deering

Previously owned home

When you decide to buy a home, you have several options available.  Sometimes there is a disparity between what you want and what you can afford.  One of the things you will have to decide is whether or not you wish to buy a brand new home or a home that has been previously owned.  There are pros and cons to the purchase of a resale home.


  • In most cases, a resale home has gone through the “growing pains”.  The little things that a builder had to repair or fix have been done.  The landscaping in the yard has grown in.  The surrounding neighborhood has acquired it’s own character and the other homes are occupied.
  • A resale home is usually being sold by a buyer that is represented by a real estate broker.  The seller does not have to adhere to conditions that are found in sales of new home developments.  Concessions can be negotiated that are not constrained by concessions offered to other buyers.
  • Many resale homes do not carry “front foot benefit fees”.  These fees are assessed at the time that water and sewer lines are installed and last for around 20 years.  Once they have been paid, the tax bill is reduced.
  • The resale home is usually ready for you to move in quickly. The previous owner will vacate and you do not have to worry about construction delays, etc.
  • Resale homes often include upgrades that require additional payments in a new home. The previous owner may have finished the basement, installed a fireplace or deck. The previous owner may also have upgraded appliances and redone the kitchen.
  • The resale home will give you far more value than a new home. Everything the owner has done to improve the property is included in the sale price.


  • A resale home may have hidden defects that can range from structural to minor.  A home inspection should be done to determine the “bones” of the home.  The owner may balk at repairing minor defects.
  • Wall paper and paint color choices in resale homes are often very personal and will require possibly removing wall paper and re-painting walls.  The same can be said for the flooring which may include carpet choices that are not anywhere near what you would choose.  Upgrading walls and floors are a cost that must be considered.
  • When you buy a resale home, you are buying the neighborhood. If the neighborhood is in a state of change, it will take time to gentrify.
  • When negotiating with a home owner for the sale of their home, it can become an irrational personal discussion. This is not just four walls and a roof. It has been their home and what may appear to be reasonable requests are received as unreasonable demands.

If you are willing to do the leg work and home work regarding home styles, neighborhoods and price, a resale home is often quite a bargain.  It is much easier to evaluate these homes with the help of a Realtor.  The Realtor has seen many homes and knows most neighborhoods.  It is wise to take advantage of their experience.  A good Realtor will take you through the process making sure that you understand every step and are aware of all the conditions of the sale.

Should you have questions or if you would like to begin the journey to your new home, contact us at 301-509-5111


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