Buying a New Home vs. a Resale in Austin: Which One is Right for You?

Posted by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty on Thursday, April 13th, 2017 at 8:37am.

buying a new home vs a resale in austin

With Austin real estate in such high demand in recent years, developers have had their hands full building new homes to keep up with the booming market. For home buyers, this begs the question: Should you buy a newly built home or a resale?

Both types of homes have their advantages, so part of your decision may certainly come down to personal preference. However, you'll need to consider which of the benefits you value more when you're weighing the advantages of buying a new home vs. a resale home in Austin.

Advantages of New Homes in Austin


New homes in many cases allow you to select your own siding, flooring, countertops, appliances, and even floor plans. With new homes, you can design the home your way, as opposed to catering to the previous owner's tastes or spending extra money to rip out the floors to have it your way.

Energy Efficiency:

You're far less likely to harm the environment and your wallet by purchasing a new home compared to a resale home from the 20th century. Special window coatings prevent that unwanted draft in your home during the cooler months, while energy-efficient heating and cooling systems keep your energy bills down at a much more reasonable price than homes built a few decades ago. Newly built homes also allow buyers to rest easy knowing their home has met the stiff energy codes that didn't exist years ago.


Brand new homes come with builder warranties in case you have problems with your plumbing or your roof or any of your appliances. Resale homes, on the other hand, leave it up to the owner to pay if something breaks down, which has a higher probability of happening in a used home anyway.


In general, the majority of new homes are built in master-planned communities with an extremely suburban feel. These neighborhoods are usually built on safe streets with families in mind, although the closest amenities sometimes involve a lengthy drive. The Austin area features several of these communities, such as Avery Ranch, Belterra, River Place, and Steiner Ranch. However, the beauty of Austin is there are also an increasing amount of new builds popping up in established neighborhoods near the heart of the city, so those who are looking for a new home in an urban environment may be in luck.

New Home Feel:

Perhaps you just love the look and feel of a brand new home with a fresh coat of paint on the exterior walls, the pristine look of your interior flooring, and that fresh smell of a newly built home that many find intoxicating. Yes, you can clean and renovate a resale home, but for some it will never compare to the feeling of a home that has never been lived in.

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Advantages of Resale Homes in Austin


Resale homes are generally less expensive than new homes per square foot, so this may be your best option if you're having a tough time finding an ideal home within your price range in the competitive Austin real estate market. The price for resale homes is also much more negotiable than new builds, so there could also be some wiggle room to get an even better price.


Just as some home buyers might prefer new homes because many of them are located in safe, master-planned communities, others may favor the more established neighborhoods where you find resale homes. In these neighborhoods, you generally have better access to public transit and a closer proximity to downtown Austin. You also have the benefit of living within walking distance from many of the trendy and quirky cafes and restaurants that Austin's is so well known for. Schools are generally in closer proximity as well, and you just can't substitute the personality and charm of Austin's older neighborhoods.

Resale Home Appearance:

Much like your personal preference will likely dictate what type of neighborhood you want to live in, the same rule applies when it comes to the look of your home. Austin boasts an abundance of gorgeous, mid-20th-century homes built in a variety of traditional styles. Charming ranch-style homes, along with bungalows, cottages, and Craftsman homes are just some of the single-family homes you'll find throughout the city. If your heart desires the character of these older homes over new builds, you might find resale homes more enjoyable to live in.

Favorable Move-in Date:

When you buy a resale home, you've presumably negotiated the date when you can move in and actually take possession of the home. This is ideal if you have a specific timeline on when you want to, or need to, move in. On the other hand, if you buy a new home before construction is finished, you will likely have to be flexible on your move-in date because you're at the mercy of the builder's construction schedule. This may not be a problem for some, but if you have a stringent schedule for moving into your Austin home then you should consider a resale.

If you're looking to explore the Austin real estate market to see what type of home is right for you, contact our local experts online today or call (512) 483-6000. We'll be happy to answer your questions and help you find your ideal home.

BHHS Austin Real Estate Blog

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