Monday, June 5, 2023

Buying in Coronado: New Construction vs. Remodeling


As real estate has recovered from the recession, we’ve seen two trends in our Coronado market. The first is an increase in new construction on the market. The second is more buyers evaluating whether remodeling their existing home or purchasing a fixer upper is the better route for them.

Each option comes with different advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, determining which option is better for you comes down to your budget and preferences. Here is an overview of each of the two options.

Coronado New Construction

Coronado provides unique advantages for those looking to purchase a new home. Because land is limited, all the new properties on the island are built into existing neighborhoods. This means you have access to all necessary amenities, proximity to parks, and can take advantage of our renowned school district. Oftentimes, buying new construction in other areas of the county will mean moving into a less established community. Depending on the area, this may mean that the police department, fire department, or school systems are still being developed.

New construction is a great option for families who prefer turnkey properties. They don’t find joy in large home improvement projects and appreciate all new appliances and finishes in a home. Luckily, in Coronado, we have seen an increase in new construction over the last two years, which means more options for families to choose from.


Most new homes utilize the latest technologies, most current design trends, and popular floor plans. Whether choosing a modern style or a beach home, buyers will enjoy all the charms of a particular style with the benefits of being the first to live in the home.

In addition to enjoying the luxuries of brand new appliances, families who purchase early on in the home-building process can select finishes and add their own personal touch to the property.


Typically new construction homes cost more than similar sized homes that are older. Buyers invest a premium to enjoy the new appliances, modern designs, and be the first to use a home. The appeal of modern designs doesn’t always appeal to everyone. Some buyers appreciate the charm and architectural features of an older home.

Buying a new home while under construction comes with challenges as well. There are often delays in the process, and completion may take longer than expected. Families who need a home soon might prefer either fully completed homes or look for newer homes on the market.

Common Misconceptions

While early buyers can choose many components of the home, such as paint color, tile, and appliance packages, there are limits to the amount of items they can adjust in the home. For example, floor plans are set. Moving walls or adding rooms is not an option as the architect establishes the layout before construction begins.


Remodeling and Fixer Uppers

It’s very common for Coronado buyers to prioritize a lot size and location in their home search. With limited land on the island, oftentimes the availability of homes can pose a challenge. Some families wait years to purchase within a certain area. They then remodel and customize the existing home to fit their preferred style or to update to current trends.

Often, budget constraints move families toward electing a home with the intent to remodel.


The biggest advantage of purchasing a fixer upper is the potential cost savings. You can find a good deal on a home that needs updating. Many times homebuyers are able to bring in contractors to complete updates for far less than what the completed project would go for on the market.

Investing sweat equity and going the “do it yourself” route increases the overall savings. For individuals who enjoy hard work and get a sense of accomplishment from completing a large project, the entire process is very rewarding.


While purchasing a fixer upper has a romantic feel and is a great option for our unique market, remodeling a home isn’t for everyone. Updating a home takes time and money. Not all families have the desire to do it themselves and shy away from the cost of hiring contractors to complete it for them.

A full remodel is an expensive undertaking. It can be spread out over several years, but then families are living in a constant state of renovation.

This type of home is a better deal for individuals who either enjoy the remodeling process or have the time and money to invest into updating a home. Individuals going the “do it yourself” route need to enjoy the work, otherwise the cost savings isn’t worth the quality of life trade off. If buyers prefer to spend their weekends doing activities or enjoying our island culture rather than working on their kitchen and becoming a Home Depot regular, a fixer upper is most likely not the best option for them.

Common Misconceptions

Often, buyers under estimate the work and time necessary for a remodel. It also comes with a constant wave of decision making, from what flooring to use to which finishes to install to what is the most cost efficient installation method. As is the nature with construction, remodeling a home usually takes much longer to complete than initially anticipated.

Purchasing Your Next Home

Whether you are looking for the latest new construction to hit the market or wanting to discover the best deal in a fixer upper, partnering with ParkLife Real Estate will make the home-buying process better. As the largest boutique realty office on the island, we understand the unique dynamics of the Coronado market. Due to limited land availability and increased desire to live here, there are many different aspects to purchasing on the island compared to other markets. That’s why it’s important to partner with a local agent who understands all the nuances of our market.

At ParkLife, we are committed to helping you discover the best home for your family. We help you evaluate all the options, discover opportunities, and ultimately find the house that can become your next home. Contact us today to start the process!