New Construction Vs Existing Home Vancouver, WA

Real Estate

New Construction vs. Existing Home Vancouver, WA

New Constructionsubdivision



If you are in the market for a home in the Vancouver, Washington area, Congratulations!  Investing money in real estate in this area at this time is a great choice.  With the increased demand, the scarcity of land, and the low inventory the prices in the Vancouver, Washington real estate market are continuing to rise.  This means appreciation and the opportunity for a great return on investment!


Real Estate Markets are Local


Questions: new construction or an existing home?  Which one will offers the best bang for the buck?  Which one is more affordable both in the short term and in the long term? 


These are questions we get on a regular basis and they are good questions to ask.


Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each one.


Notebook pros and cons


First, new construction – that new home smell can be intoxicating.  Everything in the home is untouched and pristine.  The landscape is not overgrown however there is likely no landscaping at all in the backyard so one must factor that into the cost.  In addition, there are little to no window coverings so factor that cost in as well.


The appliances, furnace, etc. will be under warranty for a few years so nothing to worry about there.  However, the builder generally does not provide a refrigerator or air conditioning so factor that cost in. 


If you are one of the first ones in a new construction neighborhood, you will be living in a construction zone for some time to come.


Home made with tools


There won’t be privacy from mature landscaping for a while nor will there be an established neighborhood community for several years to come. 


New construction is often built farther away from amenities, as that is where the available land is. 


If you found your dream home by walking into a model home, just remember that most of what you saw in the model home is considered an “upgrade.” 


For instance, having a side door in the garage that provides access to the side yard can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500 depending on the builder.  Wrapped windows, extra plug-ins, a fireplace, air conditioning, a covered patio and much more are usually “add-ons.”


It’s like a new car – the base model price mentioned in the commercial as “starting at” is not the model shown.  That one is the one you want and that one has a lot of “upgrades.” 


New construction in the Vancouver, Washington area will almost always have a homeowners association that a homeowner must join and then pay for monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on how it is set up.  So, factor that into the budget too.  


Given the above facts; it’s easy to see how a new construction home can get very expensive very quickly. 


According to Forbes, “Brand new homes can cost more – sometimes up to 20% more than a similar existing home.” 


Link: Forbes Article: The pros and Cons of Buying a Newly Built Home


For some, new is worth the extra costs but others prefer an existing home in an established neighborhood that may be closer to amenities and transportation.




What can a person expect with an existing home purchase? Let’s take a look.


Man q:question mark


An existing home with the same square footage as a new home usually costs considerably less (up to 20% less) and there is more flexibility with location. 


On the other hand, there is often more competition for existing homes.


Negotiating on an existing home may offer more flexibility depending on the seller’s motivation to sell


With an existing home it is easier to do a neighborhood review to check traffic flow, safety, and to see how others in the neighborhood care for their properties. 


There is more variety in existing homesSo for those looking for a particular architectural style such as Cape Cod, Craftsman, Colonial, etc., existing homes are the place to shop.


Link to:  Guide to Residential Styles Article


However, there may be deferred maintenance or repairs that need to be addressed and those costs can add up


Old house


Sometimes it’s the list of repairs generated by a home inspection that cause the buyer and seller to return to the negotiating table.  Most times it works out, but sometimes the transaction fails because buyer and seller cannot agree. 


Taxes may or may not be different between new construction and existing homes as it depends mostly on the area and the purchase price.  The same is true for homeowner’s insurance though sometimes that is a bit less on new construction.


tax, tax, tax 


One other thing to consider is that new construction homes are often built on smaller lots than existing homes so you will be closer to your neighbors and have less privacy. 


All of these facts and nuances can get a bit overwhelming, but have no fear Ronnie The Realtor and Sherry Too are here! 


We can help you sift and sort all of those pros and cons so that you can make the best choice for your family and your future hopes and dreams.


Click Here to contact us today and let’s go shopping!


Realtor with keys


For more information on your neighborhood or a neighborhood you are interested in, Click Here to visit our Market Insider page.


For more information on Vancouver, WA area communities, Click Here visit our Communities Served Page.



Ron and Sherry Patterson







For More blog topics you may find helpful:  Click on any of the links below


Why Now May Be The Best Time To Sell


Successful Real Estate Negotiations


Avoiding Pricing Mistakes


Seller Closing Costs in SW Washington State