If you’re in the market for a condo, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to by a newly built condo, or to by a previously owned condominium. Both have advantages and both have pitfalls. Here are a few thoughts to consider.

The Fountains at 301 N. Beauregard

The majority of condos that are sold are existing condos. This is
neither an advantage or a disadvantage—simply a fact. The majority of
marketing materials and advertisements you will see for condos is for
new construction.  This means that it is easier to find ads, pretty
pictures and floor plans for new condos.

One of the advantages of buying an existing condo is what you see is
what you get. There will be no surprises, good or bad. There will be no
change orders.   You won’t have to look at a model and a floorplan to
get an idea of what you are buying. Instead, you can tour the property
that you will actually buy.

You can move into an existing condo as soon as your loan and title
work are finished. There will be no construction delays. Construction
delays can be sizable and in today’s market it is even possible for
the builder to fold-up shop before the project is completed.

Abingdon Row

All properties, condos included, have kinks.  That is to say, there
are unexpected problems with the construction, lay-out or plan.  In an
existing condo, the owners have already discovered, identified and
usually solved those problems. In a new condo, you never know what the
problems will be.  If anyone could have predicted that unexpected
problem it wouldn’t exist!

Existing condos are in established neighborhoods. The traffic
patterns are set. The views are what they will be.  Established
neighborhoods have a tendency to have “enough” shopping outlets.
Established neighborhoods have very predictable values in the future.
New neighborhoods can have unexpected increases or decreases in value.

One of the disadvantages of buying an existing condo is that you
might not have some of features you want. This can be simple things
like have the cable wired on the wall where you prefer to put your TV.
You might have to compromise on your laundry room and be forced to
share a community laundry. You might find that the layout is not
exactly as you would like it. A newly built condo always has the latest
features and if it is brand new construction the builder can sometimes
tailor the unit to your demands.

Let’s face, brand new buildings are often more appealing than old condos.The materials, the stylings, even the smell
of a new condo is enticing. New condos are fun and bright and designed
to appeal to the latest notion in the buying public. A new condo will
not require any special assessments or repairs.  It’s in perfect shape.

To weigh your options between new and previously owned condos, contact Will Nesbitt with Condo Alexandria.

Properties in Clarendon

Aubrey NesbittAbout the Author --- Aubrey Nesbitt is a native of Northern Virginia who attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a veteran of the US Army and helps his family business by providing informational articles like this one. In addition to photography and blogging, Aubrey provides administrative support for the office.