Buying a Condo: New or Pre-Existing?

The urge to buy a place of your own has taken hold. Like many others before you who have made the same decision, you have opted to buy a condo instead of a single-family home. It is time to begin the search. One of the first questions to ask yourself is this: Should I buy a new condo, or one that already has been lived in? Unless you have strong feelings one way or the other, in all likelihood you will look at and consider both.

Following is a primer on some of the positive aspects of each.

Positives of New Condos

1. Choose your floor plan. In most condo buildings, there are a variety of floor plans. While the selection may not be huge, you may find one that is distinctly preferable to another. You may find one that is more of an open concept, or that has a kitchen that would function especially well for you.

2. Upgrades. When you buy new, you get to decide what upgrades you want. Maybe granite counters and hardwood floors are your thing. But maybe you are fine with standard-sized cabinets and mid-grade flooring. When you buy new, it is up to you.

3. All you. Some people get hung up on the idea that someone lived in a place before them. If that describes you, or even a part of you, it is probably a good idea to at least scope out the new condo market. Even if it does not work out, at least you will know you gave it a shot.

Positives of Pre-Existing Condos

1. Cheaper. In all likelihood, the used version of one condo would be cheaper than the same, newly constructed condo. But it is worth checking on because sometimes people are surprised that the price difference may not be as great as they expect.

2. More options. Simply put, the number of existing condos outnumbers the number of new condos. So if you have a lift of things you absolutely need in a condo, you may be able to mark more of them off by searching for an existing place.

3. Shorter wait. When you buy a condo that has not yet been built, you have to wait multiple months before you will be able to move in. When you buy a pre-existing place, you just have to wait until closing, which often occurs within two months.

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