What are the Benefits of a New vs. Existing Home and How will the Triangle Housing Market Affect Your Decision?

Triangle Market: Triangle area buyers historically bought approximately 50% new homes vs. 50% existing homes. Currently, however, 75% of home purchases are new construction homes. Why? In part because the Triangle area is facing a shortage of existing home inventory. For example, many new residents from out of town looking for a home have more equity and a well-paying job. So, builders are building larger homes. Also, investors are hearing that Amazon and Google may be relocating to the Triangle area. Many investors are looking long term and buying homes in towns like Cary that have had historically a steady increase in value and are easy to rent. These factors create a tight market with increasing home prices. The Wake County Register of Deeds stated recently that during the second quarter of 2018, Wake County continued to see upward trends in the real estate market. The Triangle MLS, which covers 16 counties, also reported that the average sales price of homes which closed in the area was $341,518, a 5.6% increase year to date. Also, homes are selling quicker. The News & Observer notes that homes on the market are sold on average within 26 days, down from 30 days last year. A big improvement over the typical 80 days a house was on the market just a couple of years ago!


New Construction: So, what are the advantages to a new home? Few or no repairs! At least in the immediate future, you don’t have to worry about replacing the roof, heating or AC units, or water heater. Also, your house will be clean, bright and airy! No odd smells or stains to worry about. The house will have new amenities and modern features that may be hard to change at a later date, such as an open floor plan. What are the cons? To afford a house in your price range, you might have a longer commute. Sometimes building a home can be stressful, especially for first time buyers who don’t have experience in new construction. Often buyers may choose a home in a certain neighborhood that should be in their price range, but the price quickly balloons outside of the desired price range due to upgrades. Also, your idea of quality materials and standards may differ from what is used by certain builders. Some buyers don’t realize that the agent at the building site represents the builder. Make sure to have a real estate agent represent your interests--it doesn’t cost you anything!


Existing Construction: Why should you look at those older homes that might need repairs or are out of date? Existing homes tend to be less expensive and might be closer to your work or established schools with amazing PTA groups. The landscaping and the neighborhood will be more mature. Shade from a mature tree is a plus in our hot summers! The neighborhood might also have amenities already in place such as a swim team for the kids. Just make sure that if you buy an existing home that you use a reputable inspector so that unexpected issues don’t surprise you. Don’t know of one? Mike knows some top inspectors to recommend to you.


Buying a house is one of the most important financial decisions you will make in your life, whether new or existing. Make sure that you have a real estate agent to guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions. Mike’s team would love to be able to tell you “Congratulations, you own a home!”