New Homes vs. Existing Homes: Which is better for Your Vacation Home?

New Homes vs. Existing Homes Which is better for Your Vacation Home

The Outer Banks is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the East Coast.  Our beaches are regularly cited by “Dr. Beach” as one of the best in the country.  Our recent beach nourishment projects will ensure they remain there in the future.

Our low crime, family friendly atmosphere and resistance toward over development keep vacationers coming back year after year.  It is not unusual for multiple generations of the family to gather in a vacation home to savor a slower pace and reconnect with each other.  Memories are made this way and continue for generations. 

Many vacationers stay in the same community and neglect to see the great variety other Outer Banks communities have to offer.  One recent visitor who has spent their annual vacation in Kitty Hawk for the last 20 years, never ventured as far as Corolla.  Once they did, they decided to pursue a vacation home purchase in one of the beautiful resort communities in Corolla. 

Unlike Nags Head with a history of visitors for more than a century, Corolla has only recently been developed.  Not too long ago, the paved road did not even go to Corolla.  As a result, the communities in Corolla have a more gracious layout and shared amenities to make one feel like they are in a resort while on vacation.

Perhaps you have rented a vacation home for years in the Outer Banks and wonder if you could buy your own place in the sand?  Corolla is an ideal location for your vacation home.  There are new homes being built in new developments as well as new homes in established developments with well-run home owner associations (HOA).

There are advantages for both building/buying a new home or buying and existing home.  Which alternative is best for you depends on your particular preferences and lifestyle choices.

Energy efficiency

One of the most attractive features of new homes are their energy efficiency.  Our Corolla new homes have modern appliances that are more energy efficient than even appliances only a few years old. 

New construction has a tighter envelope with improved insulation and efficient windows to eliminate drafts and even resist fading from the sun.  The reduced cost in utilities over time is a big gain for the homeowner.  Saving on utility cost with your vacation rental keeps more income in your pocket.


New homes and new building materials can reduce the need for continuous maintenance.  A new home will provide years of carefree enjoyment before any major systems fail.  This will save you money even if you have your home managed by a property management company.  Fewer maintenance request by guests will keep your management fees to a minimum.  Homeowners who manage a VRBO or Airbnb vacation home will especially be pleased to not have to scramble to find maintenance assistance.

An older home that has not been properly maintained can cost thousands in unplanned repairs that may not be discovered during the inspection process.  An older home may appear more dated to vacation renters and prompt nuisance and unnecessary calls to the property management company or owner.

Visiting your vacation home should be pleasurable.  If the time spent at your vacation home is all about work and no play or relaxation, then it is not going to be an experience you look forward to.  Buying a new home in Corolla will provide you and your family and friends a delightful escape full of fond memories.

Hazardous Materials

Hopefully, any inspection of an existing home will uncover issues with lead paint or asbestos.  However, even mold can be hazardous and trigger asthma attacks or odor complaints with sensitive guests.  An existing home could have undetected leaks leading to an undiscovered mold issue.

New homes tend to use low or zero volatile organic compounds in paints and building materials that improve the air quality.  This will provide a better experience even for sensitive people.


Smart home technology will make managing your vacation rental from your primary residence as easy as using your phone.  Keyless entry is appreciated by guest checking into your vacation rental rather than making an additional stop for keys after a long trip.  You can control and review the access to your home for any service providers and not have to worry about decreased security from lost keys.

Automated thermostats can improve the efficiency by setting an upper and lower limit or even shutting off the A/C when a door is left open for a prescribed period.  Water leak detection will provide peace of mind in the off season when the home may be vacant for longer periods and potential damage would increase exponentially if undetected.

Remodeling an existing home to make it smart is an option for buyers but older homes are usually not equipped with the wiring and installation may not appear as seamless as when installed with new construction.


All of our Corolla new homes come with a 4 year American Home Shield Warranty and a 1 year Builder Warranty.  You will rest easy knowing there won’t be any financial surprises and you can have confidence in your budget and projections. 

Prior Renovations

Some existing homes may have had renovations that don’t meet current building codes.  New homes constructed today meet or exceed the building code standards.  Construction codes are updated frequently.  So, for example, additional hardware tying the roof to the structure may be missing from an older home but is important for windy conditions. 


In most locations, existing homes have an advantage over new homes with prime locations.  Fortunately, in Corolla the established communities have not been completely built out and desirable lots are still available. 

There are also a few new communities being developed, like Soundfront at Corolla Bay, which still has waterfront lots available.  This community also has beach access so you enjoy the best the sound front and ocean have to offer.

Floor Plan

A new home allows you to get exactly what you want in your homes layout and design.  You get to pick all the finishes and colors to reflect your style and preferences.  Even pre-built new construction can allow the buyer to upgrade or change some finishes and select colors and preferences. 

New homes are typically designed with open floor plans to reflect how families use homes today.  Kitchens are larger and open to the living room to invite conversation. Great rooms and larger bedrooms and bathrooms are common in newer homes.  Closets and storage areas are well thought out and useful.  Check out our open and airy floor plan for our new home in Monteray Shores.


Landscaping is another consideration when looking at new homes and existing homes.  Established communities tend to have landscaping in place and mature trees that provide valuable shade and help with utility costs. 

A new home allows you the flexibility to design a landscape with the plants and colors that reflect your style.  You can establish a landscaping plan that requires very little maintenance.  Ideally, a vacation rental home should have an attractive natural landscape that does not require a lot of maintenance.  This minimizes any disruption to your renters from enjoying your home during their stay. 

An existing home may have mature trees or can be an overgrown mess that requires expensive services to remove undesired vegetation.  Planting a new landscape can be expensive and it may take many years before it is fully established.


Buying an existing home is usually quicker than building a new home when you can close in less than 60 days.  New home construction on the Outer Banks takes about 5 to 7 months.  So, with proper planning you can have your new vacation home ready before the next rental season.  At Homes by Eillu, we have some homes already under construction, so the time delay before you take possession can be even shorter.  Act now to select finishes and colors.


Typically, a new home costs more than an existing home if you only consider the purchase price.  However, if you take into consideration the energy efficiency and the reduced utility expense the difference in cost can be recouped in a few years. 

Furthermore, if the existing home you are considering will require a remodel or major maintenance and repairs than the cost of a new home can be even less than an existing home over the time of your ownership.

A new home allows you to take pride of ownership.  It is the embodiment of your style, decisions on colors and decoration, choice of materials and lifestyle.  Approximately 14% of home sales are new home sales.  However, if costs were the same 41% of Americans prefer a newly built home for the customizable options, less maintenance and modern conveniences.

The Outer Banks rental market continues to be strong to provide income from the investment and enjoyment for the family for years to come. At Homes by Eillu, we specialize in developing new homes and provide top notch service especially for our out of town buyers.  For more information on buying Outer Banks Real Estate  and earning a rebate or to learn more about the Outer Banks in general, please contact us or check out our blog.

Build Your Outer Banks Dream Home with Eillu

Yes, You Can Expect More With The Eillu Real Estate Team!

Mailing Address
PO Box 3009, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Physical Address
3712 Suite B North Croatan Hwy
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
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