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You’ve made the decision to move, and you cannot wait to live in your new house.  But now you need to decide what kind of house you want, and this goes beyond deciding if you want a Cape, Ranch or Colonial.  The decision now is whether you want a “new to you” house, new construction, or a move-in ready house.  It’s important to know the difference and what each has to offer.

A “new to you” house isn’t actually new, but is purchased from someone else, making it “new to you”.

Typically, this type of house needs some work or updating, even if it’s just cosmetic.

A new construction literally means you hire contractors to build a house to your specifications.

You choose the style, the size, the flooring and the appliances, and the house is built to your specifications. Building a new home is often a lengthy and costly process. If you’re in a hurry to move or have a tight budget, this is probably not the option for you.

A move-in ready house, by definition, means it is a new home with all appliances in place, with electric, plumbing, heating and air functioning properly and build to local code.

The contractor has the house sitting in his existing inventor and it is ready (or at least very close to ready) to be lived in.  Inspections are complete and once you sign, you simply just need to worry about moving your stuff in.  These homes are often built in newer neighborhoods, since that’s what many buyers look for.

But to some people, move-in ready could mean something entirely different.

A move-in ready home is typically a house that has been lived in, is structurally sound but might need cosmetic work or updated rooms.  Overall, the house is ready for someone to move into it without needing major repair.  This is similar to the “new to you” house, however the “new to you” house might have issues that need to be dealt with before you can live in it, such as needing an electric upgrade to bring it up to code.

A move-in ready house, sometimes called a turn-key house, is often sought after since the new owners don’t need to worry about major renovations or repairs before moving in.  Nor do they have to wait for it to be built or worry about getting the permits.  While there might be aspects of the home that need some attention, they do not need to be addressed immediately.  The new owner has time to settle in and save a bit before tackling the problem areas.   They can get a feel for the house and then decide what projects to tackle first.

We can clearly see that a move-in ready house can mean different things to different people. Be sure to discuss exactly what you want and what you expect with your real estate agent from the start.  Your agent might have their own idea of what move-in ready means, which might be different than yours.  Conveying what you want and expect early on will prevent both you and your agent from wasting precious time.