General New Construction TopicsNew ConstructionTri-Cities Real Estate Information March 4, 2019

Should I Build a New Home or Buy an Existing Home?

You’re ready for a new home for any number of reasons. As a result, you’ve found yourself wondering, should I buy new construction? Or do I want to buy a resale house and avoid the ins and out of building? Here are 5 benefits to consider when choosing to buy new construction!




1. Energy Efficiency: Whether you pride yourself on your contribution toward benefiting the environment, or keeping your energy bills low, a newly built home wins. It’s nearly impossible for a resale house to match the efficiency of today’s new homes. From design flaws, to building code standards; energy efficient materials to certified energy efficient appliances, older homes simply don’t match up. Not only that, but most new construction homes will offer improved air filtration systems, increasing air quality; a big plus here in Eastern Washington!


2. Updates and Home Improvement Costs: First of all, when you buy a brand new home, whether it’s a spec home or custom designed, everything is new! There aren’t any looming home improvement costs, and you will have warranties on many of the more expensive components. Most HVAC systems have lifespans up to 20 years; Roofs – 25 years; etc. 

Now, consider a previously owned house. Below are many of the potential home improvements that may need to be addressed within the first few years of ownership. The national average costs for these projects, sourced from, will give you an idea of the true cost of buying resale.


  1. Install a Shower – $3,096
  2. Remodel a Bathroom – $9274
  3. Install Flooring – $2890
  4. Remodel a Kitchen – $19,920
  5. Reface Cabinets – $6700


  1. Install an AC Unit – $5233
  2. Repair an AC Unit – $318
  3. Install a Furnace – $3881
  4. Repair a Furnace – $267


  1. Repair a Roof – $653
  2. Install a Roof – $6626


  1. Paint a Home Exterior – $2575
  2. Paint a Home Interior – $1656


  1. Install a Water Heater – $888
  2. Repair a Water Heater – 4480
  3. Repair a Clogged Drain – $194
  4. Install a Septic Tank – $4583
  5. Hire a Plumber – $280


  1. Install Electrical Wiring or Panels – $1324
  2. Install a Lighting Fixture – $499
  3. Hire an Electrician – $322
  4. Install a Ceiling Fan – $243

All of these costs are averages, and when you buy a resale property, you won’t have to do everything on this list. It’s simply something to consider when evaluating a house. Write down what projects you plan on completing within the first few year, add up the average costs, and see for yourself what you’re looking at.


3.Resale Value: Most people, and by that I mean the national average, sell their homes within 5 years. There are a plethora of reasons for this; job change, more kids, children move out, divorce, etc. If you decide a brand new built home is right for you, if and when you decide to sell that home, it will be more desirable than a 20-year-old property. It will also be more energy efficient, have a more updated style, and require less updating to be ready for the market.


4. Safety: Most, if not all, new homes have improved safety features. They are being built with more modern, informed, and stringent building codes in mind. Also, the materials used have been researched and improved upon from previous generations. From electrical wiring standards to insulation materials, today’s home are far more safety conscious. 


5. Customization: If you are moving forward with new construction, you have the option to work directly with a builder. You can customize the home to your liking; different floor plans, building materials, technology improvements, paint, etc. Working with a builder may seem intimidating, but a good buyer’s agent can give you the peace of mind you need. An established real estate agent, familiar with local builders, new construction building locations, and your needs, can make buying a newly built house a seamless process.


As a final note, it is worth recognizing that new construction typically is priced higher, per square foot, than existing properties (resale properties). This is an effect of the cost of materials, land values increasing, and supply and demand. Therefore, if your only concern is the purchase price upfront, a resale home will most likely afford you more square footage for the same price. However, if you are looking for value, resell ability, and aren’t interested in looming home improvements, new construction can be an amazing opportunity! If you don’t already have a real estate agent familiar and comfortable with navigating new home sales in the Tri-Cities, please Contact Me Now.

Other Topics That May Be of Interest

Need to Sell A House? Visit the Seller’s Homepage!

When Is The Best Time of Year to Sell My House?

Mike Petrillo is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Washington. For more information about buying or selling personal property in the Tri-Cities area, feel free to reach out via email or text, or submit an inquire here: Contact Me


Mike Petrillo

Real Estate Agent | 509-579-2247 | 490 Bradley Blvd, Richland, WA 99352