New vs. Old – Jacksonville Real Estate


When it comes to buying a home, everyone has their personal preference. With so many different neighborhoods in Jacksonville, Fla. finding a new or existing home in a great area is not a problem. Not sure whether you want a new build or existing home? We did the hard work for you and put together a list of pros and cons for both:



This new model home by Mattamy homes in Nocatee has tons of curb appeal.


A new home has never been lived in, which means you’re the first family to eat, breathe and sleep there. It will even have a new house smell. Nocatee and the Northside of Jacksonville are two areas that are developing like crazy and offer loads of amenities that older areas can’t offer.

Because these homes are brand spankin’ new, most come with home warranties so you won’t have to worry about paying for any repairs for quite some time. Builders are also making homes more energy efficient with better air quality, windows and some may include solar panels that will reduce your energy bill.

A huge bonus to new builds are the technology features. Some homes now include USB plugins, surround speakers, and iPads to control the air, music, TV, etc. Technology is taking over and builders are adapting to that.

When you build, it’s all your choice. You choose the land, you choose the builder, and you choose the design. It’s all up to you, which sounds great but can also be stressful.

Newer development communities like Nocatee are built to entertain. They have waterparks, fitness centers, walking trails and even a zip line. You’ll never have to leave your neighborhood and you wouldn’t want to anyway!


Zip line at one of Nocatee’s pools.


Workmanship might be questionable – make sure you do your research on the builder. We’re not calling anyone out, but some builders are more worried about quantity than quality.

Everything comes with a price. When you tour the builders’ model homes, they are usually decked out with all the “upgrades,” so beware that if you want all those fancy options, they are going to cost you!  According to a Trulia article, new homes cost roughly 20% more than similar existing homes.

If you choose a developing neighborhood, they usually have building guidelines and you can only choose a few different floorplans of homes, making the neighborhood feel cookie cutter and less unique.

Finally, homes don’t get built overnight, y’all!  Construction takes time and having it nearby means increased noise. If you’re already moved in while they’re still building the neighborhood that could mean getting woken up to the sound of sawing for many months. Throw in some grumpy toddlers being disturbed from their naps, and you will not be a happy camper.  Also, you have to think about construction setbacks, which could push back your closing date, potentially leaving you homeless until the build is finished.



This home from our HGTV show, Florida Flippers had great bones, but just needed a facelift. A little paint and landscaping go a long way.


An existing or old, lived-in home has so much charm and history that can’t be bought and is hard to recreate. If the bones are good, you can virtually fix any physical element that doesn’t work for your family. Riverside, Avondale, and the Beaches are a few good examples of neighborhood with loads of charm. Not only do the actual homes have loads of character, but these areas have developed landscaping and mature greenery.

As we mentioned earlier, newer doesn’t necessarily mean better. We’ve seen plenty of old block homes that were built better than new homes.

Just because a home is deemed “old” doesn’t mean it has to have pink shag carpet and popcorn ceilings. A lot of older homes have been remodeled at least once since they were built and most of the time you can get a killer deal on an old home, do the remodel yourself, and remodel and have instant equity in it.

Location, location, location – the #1 rule of thumb of Real Estate. The best locations are already taken, meaning there isn’t room for a new development there. So you have to think about the tradeoff – location or new home? But remember established areas with a great location will hold their worth and most of the time increase in value.

Homes built in the 1900’s had more character. Character that can’t be replicated, unless you’re willing to fork out the big bucks for special materials and labor. The craftsmanship was unique and was built to last. Older homes still hold this charm, which is still desired when looking at existing homes. Baseboards, built-ins and fireplace mantles are a few examples of charm that people long for.

Last but not least, existing homes usually close quicker because the home is already built and the owners are ready to move onto their next venture. Whereas, new construction could have delays and the closing could be pushed back.


An updated 1912 Riverside home with tons of original charm.


Older homes are just that, old. They could have existing foundation problems, termite damage, water damage, etc., which is why you always need to get an inspection on any home you’re contemplating purchasing.

With old homes, there is only so much inventory. Existing homes are usually built in prime locations and that usually equals more demand and less supply. Higher demand can also mean paying more for a smaller home than a newer home in a less desirable neighborhood.

Amenities weren’t as popular in the 1900’s as they are today, but most people are looking for neighborhoods with parks, pools and gym to keep themselves and their families occupied and older neighborhoods lack these amenities.



Regardless of whether you choose to buy old or new, do your research about the areas you’re looking at – school districts, crime rates, and depreciation or appreciation value. This will help you make a decision you’re confident in.

If you are wanting to make the big move into either a new or old home, call 27 South Home Group today and we will help you buy the dream!

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