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The Gilbert model surrounded by a green field AB Homes new home builder Suffolk
The Gilbert model surrounded by a green field AB Homes new home builder Suffolk

On the Home Front Blog »

Build a New Home versus Resale Homes. Which is Best?

by Brandon Simpson and Dan Lawson

As temperatures heat up in Hampton Roads, no doubt your HVAC system is getting a workout. Just the other day, we were swapping tales about the heat and humidity with two good friends. One recently replaced an old heating and cooling system in their 1960s home. The other just bought a newly-constructed home with brand-new everything, including a premium HVAC system. Since the weather was top of mind, we asked about their utility bills.

Let’s just say, while there are wonderful advantages to living in beautifully designed older homes, energy efficiency isn’t always at the top of the list. This prompted us to think about the differences and, in some cases, similarities between new vs. resale homes. Here’s where our conversation led us:

Architectural Features

Older homes can have a lot of handsome features, including crown molding, high ceilings and screened-in porches. Today’s new homes (unless you’re looking at cookie-cutter homes) carry comparable features with an updated look. At AB Homes, for instance, you can choose from a variety of custom features, from architectural shingles to granite countertops, and everything in between. What modern homes lack in antiquity is gained with the help of a skilled architect and customized touches inside and out.

Floor Plans

Homes built before the 1940’s carried the standard floor plan of the time—a narrow foyer with dining and living rooms off to the left and right, and the kitchen and den tucked in the back of the home. After World War II, open floor plans emerged as contractors sought to accommodate growing families in smaller spaces. The result was a combined kitchen/dining/living space where families could gather, eat and enjoy time together. Open floor plans continue to evolve and serve homeowners well. It’s a personal choice to go with traditional or open plans.

Lawn and Garden Areas

An advantage of an older home is the established lawn and garden beds that you get with your purchase. It takes several years for a new yard to get started and longer for shrubs and trees to grow to maturity. Starting from scratch, however, has its advantages. You can choose the landscaping you’ve always wanted, with the chance to see it flourish in the years ahead.


You know what you’re getting with a newly built home, from the roofing and siding, to plumbing, electrical system and appliances. As long as you keep up with your maintenance check points, these features won’t need to be replaced for a long time. Old homes, however, require ongoing maintenance no matter how well they’ve been kept. If you have the resources, patience and time to keep an older home in good shape, that’s great. If you don’t, you may want to consider a new one.

Energy Efficiency

So, getting back to the chat with our friends about energy efficiency. New homes really have the advantage here, with insulated walls, ceilings and floors; double-paned windows; and new energy-efficient appliances. In tandem with a new HVAC system, these features will keep you comfortable year-round, without breaking the bank. If you’re considering an old house that needs upgrading to be energy efficient, keep in mind the added labor and expense that will be required to maintain the rest of the home.

Wherever you decide to place your welcome mat, old or new, we hope you will love and enjoy your home sweet home for many years to come.

To learn more about building a custom-built home, call our AB Homes specialist at (757) 435-9900. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

All the best,

Brandon and Dan


Note: In addition to the list above, don’t let the time you think it takes to build a new home keep you from making that choice. With AB Homes, your new home will be completed within 90 to 120 days of the date the building permit is issued. Call us for information (757) 435-9900

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