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Buying a new construction condo vs pre-owned condo in Miami

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Are you thinking about purchasing a condo in Miami? You may wonder if buying a new construction condo is the right move or if you should buy a pre-owned condo. This article compares some of the pros and cons of buying a new construction condo in Miami vs. a pre-owned one.

In this article

The Pros of Buying a New Construction condo

You get to pick your finishes: When you buy a pre-owned condo, you're stuck with whatever the previous owner chose in terms of finishes. If you don't like their style or if it's outdated tough luck. On the other hand, when you buy new construction, you can pick out all the details yourself. You can choose what goes into your condo, from flooring to appliances to countertops and light fixtures.


New construction condos are often closer to the action: If you're looking to be in the city's heart, new construction condos will usually be your best bet. That's because developers are always looking to build in growing and up-and-coming areas. So if you want to be near all the best restaurants, shops, and nightlife, a new construction condo is likely to put you right in the thick of things.


You don't have to worry about noisy or unruly neighbors: One of the downsides of buying a pre-owned condo is that you never really know who your neighbors will be. Will they be loud? Messy? Rude? With a new construction condo, everyone in the building is starting from scratch, just like you. So there's a good chance that you'll all be on your best behavior as you get to know one another.




The pros of buying a pre-owned condo in Miami

Price: One of the biggest pros of buying a pre-owned condo is that they're often cheaper than buying new construction. So if you're budget is tight, this may be the way to go.


Location: Pre-owned condos are often located in areas that are already established and therefore have all the amenities you need nearby. So if you're not interested in being in a brand-new area that's still growing, this may be the better option for you.


Maintenance and repairs: With a pre-owned condo, someone else may have already taken care of any significant maintenance or repairs needed in the condo. So if something breaks, it's likely that the previous owner has already taken care of it. On the other hand, with a new construction condo, you may end up being responsible for any repairs or maintenance that arises, which can be a hassle and an expense.



Now let's talk about the cons of buying a new construction condo vs a pre-owned condo.


The cons of buying a New Construction condo

There may be hidden costs: When you buy a pre-owned condo, what you see is what you get. But with new construction, there may be hidden costs that you're not aware of until it's too late. For example, the developer may charge you for upgrades that you thought were included in the unit's price. Or you may be blindsided with extra fees for things such as parking or storage. Read the fine print carefully before signing on the dotted line.


The building may not be finished on time: If you're buying a new construction condo, there's always a risk that the facility won't be finished on time. This can leave you scrambling to find a place to live in the meantime, and it could end up costing you more money. Before buying a new construction condo, ask the developer about their track record for finishing projects on time.


The quality of the condo may not be what you expect: When you buy a pre-owned condo, you can always go in and look at the unit before making a decision. But with new construction, you're often buying sight unseen. This means that you're taking a bit of a gamble when it comes to the quality of the unit. Most developers have a reputation to uphold, so they're usually pretty careful about ensuring that the units they build are up to par. But still, you should keep this in mind before making your purchase.


The cons of buying a pre-owned condo

One of the main cons of buying a pre-owned condo is that you may not get as much for your money as you would if you purchased a new construction condo. Additionally, you may have to deal with repairs and renovations that need to be done to make the condo habitable. If you're looking for a turnkey property, buying a pre-owned condo may not be the best option.


Another thing to consider is that you will likely be dealing with a previous owner's taste in design and decor. This may be a pro or a con, depending on your taste. If you're someone who likes to put your spin on things, buying a pre-owned condo may allow you to do just that. On the other hand, buying new construction might be a better option if you prefer a move-in-ready property.


Finally, it's worth noting that pre-owned condos may not have all the same amenities and features as new construction condos. If you're looking for a property with the latest and most incredible amenities, buying new construction is probably your best bet.


What to keep an eye out for when buying a new construction condo

When buying a new construction condo, it's essential to keep in mind a few things:

  1. Consult with your real estate agent to understand what's available and what will best suit your needs.

  2. Make sure to read all the documentation carefully before signing anything.

  3. Ask lots of questions!

The developers will be more than happy to answer them.

Be sure to research the developers and the contractors that they are using. You may be able to find out the reputation of the developer and builder. Many projects in Miami end up in litigation after the project is complete due to building flaws and discrepancies on what the final product looks like vs. what the developer advertised. Remember that owners may be forking up the bill for major repairs.



What to keep an eye out for when buying a pre-owned condo

When looking for a pre-owned condo, it's essential to consider a few things. Location is critical – you'll want to be close to the action, whether by the beach or in the city's heart. Take a look at the building itself – is it in good condition? Will you have to worry about noisy neighbors or other issues?


Make sure you have a professional condo inspection done of the condo. You also want to find out if there are any special assessments on the building and get information regarding the 40-year recertifications. Your title agent will typically find out if there are any open or expired permits on the unit during the title search process.


How do you know which option is best for you?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:


  • Location: If you want to be close to the action, buying a new construction condo is excellent. New construction condos are often built near the beach or the city's heart.

  • Maintenance: When you buy a pre-owned condo, you may be responsible for upkeep and repairs. With a new construction condo, the builder or management company typically takes care of the maintenance.

  • Amenities: New construction condos often have more luxurious amenities than pre-owned condos, such as concierge service, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and pools.

  • Price: Pre-owned condos are often more affordable than new construction condos. However, keep in mind that the price of a condo is not just the purchase price – you also need to factor in things like monthly maintenance fees and property taxes.


Conclusion

Ultimately, your budget, lifestyle, and needs will determine the best option. If you're not sure which type of condo is right for you, consult with a Miami real estate agent that can assist you with finding the right condo whether it's new construction or pre-owned.

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