Is a New or Existing Home in Harrisburg, PA the Best Move for You?

New Harrisburg Home Decision

Harrisburg Homes for Sale: Existing Houses Vs. New Construction

Are new or existing homes for sale in Harrisburg, PA the best choice for buyers today?

Harrisburg new home communities can be very alluring to Pennsylvania home buyers. The question is whether they are really worth the asking price, or if existing homes may be the smarter and safer investment, especially for first time home buyers?

Harrisburg Celebrated as Leading American City

While perhaps underestimated by many, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is garnering much acclaim as both a fantastic place to live, and a strong real estate investment destination.

Quick city facts:

  • The area was believed to be inhabited as early as 3,000 BC
  • Harrisburg was incorporated in 1791
  • Is the 4th largest metropolitan area in PA
  • Was ranked ‘2nd Best Place in the US to Raise a Family’ by Forbes
  • Ranked as one of the top 7 most recession proof cities in America (2010)
  • Bounced back from being 2nd most distressed city in 1981

Put simply; Harrisburg has proven to be one of the most resilient American cities, continues to attract long term residents, and hosts a wealth of older homes in established neighborhoods, as well as becoming a hub for new home construction.

While the crises of the past decade created many renters, rising rents, moderate home prices, low interest rates, and easier mortgage approvals have made it more attractive, and cheaper to buy homes in Harrisburg, as well as opening up exciting Carlisle and Camp Hill, PA homes for sale.

Related: Central PA Homes Offer Safe Haven from Soaring Rents

New Vs. Existing PA Homes

With so many options the big question is which house is right for you?

Should move up and first time home buyers be demanding the new home smell, or could they be better served by acquiring existing homes?

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of both options…


  • May be ready to move into sooner
  • Could offer more value if recently renovated
  • Often located in mature neighborhoods
  • Enable home buyers to improve over time as they can afford it


  • May require significant repairs or updating
  • May result in higher ongoing out of pocket maintenance costs
  • Potential for outdated floor plans and features
  • Might have shorter functional lifespans


  • May take longer to generate the same amount of positive equity
  • Could mean waiting for construction to be completed
  • Can be situated in younger communities, with no telling who will move in next door
  • Sometimes located further from urban centers and activities


  • Buyers can finance in most of the upgrades they desire
  • Warranties cover major appliances and structural issues
  • Longer useful lifespans
  • Could be more valuable in the future

It’s All About You

The truth is that the best choice is a personal choice based on what is most important to you and your family.

Part of your decision may rest on your resources and financial strength, as well as how important having the latest styles is versus proximity. Which home best matches your budget and lifestyle requirements?

What about your financial goals? How long will you really keep this home before you move up, or on? Is an existing or new construction home likely to be worth the most when you plan to sell?

If you aren’t sure, contact a local Realtor to help walk you through the decision. Or start browsing homes for sale in Harrisburg, PA now…

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