Home Real Estate Blog New Construction vs. Existing Home — Which Is Right for Me?

New Construction vs. Existing Home — Which Is Right for Me?

Posted 10/13/2021

Seabrook Island Real Estate aerial shot

When it comes to homes, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Building a new home might be the right decision for one person while buying an existing home might make the most sense for someone else. Regardless of your decision, investing in a new home is an important and exciting time in your life. Seabrook Island Real Estate is here to help you through your journey — here are some things to consider while you’re in the process:


Moving is never as quick and simple as we would like or hope, but settling into an existing home is considerably easier than building from the ground up. From planning and securing permits to the construction process itself, new construction can take up to two years. 

This may not be a dealbreaker depending on your circumstances. If you can make arrangements for housing and storage, or if you are able to stay where you are, building your dream home may be worth the wait. It is also important to consider that most existing homes may not possess every characteristic that you desire, and building a new home can give you the freedom to customize every element to your liking. However, if you’re working on a compact timeline or would rather avoid alternative housing or rental options, purchasing an existing home might be a better fit for you. 

Armchair in Seabrook Island home - real estate feature

Photo by Franz Annika Photography


How long are you planning on staying in the new home? If you move often for work or other circumstances, it may not be worthwhile to build, and you might not have much time in your home before you need to move again. However, if you are planning to move on a more permanent basis, new construction could be a great option and a fresh start for you!


In an existing home, landscaping is already completed. You can always change or add to it, but the previous owners have already laid the groundwork so you can skip straight to deciding between roses and lilies instead of laying down grass and digging out gardens. If you’re hoping for tall, strong, mature trees to shade your backyard in the summer, existing homes might be the way to go — trees take years, sometimes even decades, to mature.

Outdoor space Seabrook Island home - real estate features

Photo by Coastal Real Estate Photography


Old homes are often ready for some TLC by the time they fall into a new owner’s hands — whether it’s time for a new HVAC system, roof, garage door opener, oven, etc, these costs can quickly add up. Depending on the existing home, the amount of repairs may be costly enough to turn the tides on your budget. In a new home, everything will be brand new and fully functioning. 


We’ve all seen those existing homes for sale with less-than-tasteful wallpaper or unpleasant carpeting. If you fall in love with the structure of an existing home despite the rough decor, you may be in for a time-consuming and costly redecorating process.

Floor Plan/Architecture 

While you can always tear down dated wallpaper and replace tacky decor, the floor plan and structure of your home can be trickier to modify. High ceilings, open floor plans, and numerous windows are a relatively new trend and one that’s hard to accomplish in an older home without major renovations. Should you choose to build a new home, you are able to choose a floor plan tailored to your preferences with Seabrook Island’s New Home Collection. The New Home Collection offers various custom home floor plans that have already received approval from the Seabrook Island Architectural Review Committee — alleviating the stress of the review and approval process in a custom home build.  

Unique Features

Is your heart set on a breakfast nook or an upstairs laundry room? Would someone in your home, or a frequent visitor, benefit from a disability-accessible floor plan? Have you always wanted a home theater or workout room? Do you long to live in a community with an equestrian center or prefer to have your own garden in your backyard? While you may find an existing home with one or two of these features, the home may lack other non-negotiable items, or simply be lackluster in other regards. Building versus buying lets you create a home tailored perfectly to your preferences. 

Door handle unique features in real estate

Photo by Ellis Creek Photography

Seabrook Island Real Estate

If you are looking to purchase a new home, cottage, villa, or homesite, or list your property on Seabrook Island, contact the local experts at Seabrook Island Real Estate. We list and sell more real estate on Seabrook Island than all other companies combined. Contact one of our expert REALTORS® today.

Disclaimer:  Seabrook Island Club membership is required for ownership. Club amenity use is for members and their guests only. Lake House use is for members, property owners, and their guests.
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