Should I Purchase A New Construction or An Established Home?

Good morning Riches.  As I was on the road early this morning , I thought about houses and the architecture of it.  My love for interior design started when I was a kid.  I remember spending my Summer in Florida, And my family and I went to look at model homes.  I remember this one specific home that was so amazing to me.  It was well staged, and the staged little girls room had an actual ballerina stage in it.  It was a small one, but it was so amazing.  I was taking tap and ballet at the time, so it made sense.  I will never forget that model home.  I think this is when I fell in love with the possibilities that peak for interiors.

Today I want to talk about purchasing new construction or a home that has some years on it.  I’m not a real estate agent or an architect, but I want to visit this idea from a design professionals point of view.  I want to look at the aesthetic and the upkeep on which I think is a better option.  This is also coming from personal and actual experience.  My current home is a new build, and I’ve lived in an already built home.  So the question is, “should I purchase a new construction home?”.

New Construction

IMG_1615New construction properties are great.  You’re the first owner, you get to see the foundation, the footers, the skeletal, the heart and lungs, and the cosmetics, you break the house in, you may get some of the latest in design technology and/or aesthetic, you set the tone, and one day you may want to use it as an investment property.   I can go on and on with the amazing perks.  You also get that one year warranty that I guarantee that you WILL use, and two years on your HVAC, electrical, you know, your more internal functions.  The thing with new construction is this, you experience a lot of settlement. ALOT.

-Settlement cracks.  Your walls will crack, your baseboards will crack and split, your tub caulking will crack from the weight in the tub

-Nail pops.  Nail pops will be everywhere!  Even after one year, they will still come through until the settlement process has settled.

-Roofing issues.  Yes, things happen.  I had small water damage in one of my rooms.

-Cement cracks.  Your cement can create small hairline cracks which needs to be taken care of because it is a hazard, and can split further.

-Flooring will shift.  Your hardwood slabs can shift a bit and can come up or crack.

Established Homes

With already built homes you can sometimes buy someone else’s problems if it’s not caught during the home inspection and walk through.  Established homes may have some years on it, but it’s already settled.  You can still run into the same problems if not worst with established homes, and without warranty to cover you.  When purchasing an already established home, you’d want to look at the history of the home, really get to know the track history and evaluate everything from top to bottom.  You also want to keep track of the year the home was built.  A home built in 2016, is now being sold in 2017, you’d want to know why.  The home is new, and possibly still under builders warranty, but previous owners were in it.  This is a safe option since the home is new!  Established homes sometimes require new finishes to keep it up to date, which can result to more money spent.

Asbury Circle
Asbury Circle

I love a new home since you can see the home “grow up”.  It’s a process, but it’s a rewarding one.  It can allow you to see it start off as dirt on open land, then build into something livable and functioning.  It’s personal preference.  As it relates to design, as I mentioned, you have more of the latest in aesthetic.  More up to date homes, from the 90s to current, you have open floor plans.  Homes built in the 70s didn’t focus on much of the “family gathering” aspect, which explains why bedrooms then were much larger, kitchen and dining areas were divided by a wall.  Bedrooms now are smaller and features an open floor plan, with larger and more open kitchens and living areas…with smaller rooms, it almost demands you to interact in the living room and social areas in the home.    I recommend evaluating your needs and budget.  With established homes, you can always go out and add custom work to your home, can be expensive, but an experience.  New homes, you may face the issue with “builder grade finishes”.   Some things cannot be customized until after you move in.

Design Your Life

Not everyone needs design full design assistance.  Sometimes you just need help with choosing color, or choosing the perfect floors for your dining room and kitchen.  Then you have some that need quick design help and not ready to investment in full design.  Visit to view our design packages and see which one works for you.

When you update your decor, it changes your whole outlook, the way you move, the way you communicate, your thinking.  It enhances your mindset through aesthetic and emotion.

Richie Madison Interiors, Tiara xo


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