Buying an Old Home versus New Construction

January 01, 2017 / Posted in Uncategorized


treehouse-oldvsnewEverybody desires to own a home where they can build their lives. For many people, this will be the highest expenditure they will make during their lifetime. Hence, it is pertinent to make an informed decision concerning the type of home an individual will purchase. The biggest decision most buyers face is whether to buy an old property or a new one.

While the costs are often dramatically different, each type of home has its benefits. There are so many pros for purchasing both types of homes that they tend to balance each other out. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preferences. Some people like the fact that new homes have a virtually untouched appeal while others prefer older homes with stories to tell. Below are key factors to take into consideration during the decision-making process.

1. Floor Plan
Individuals who prefer a custom-built property opt for a newly constructed home because they can work with contractors to create the type of layout they want. Although many pre-built homes are built using a standardized market design to appeal to a broad range of potential buyers, many have a modernized layout with open floor plans. Also, their rooms are larger with a lot of natural light as opposed to older homes.

2. Efficiency

New constructions come with energy-efficient home systems and appliances. These buttoned up homes contain efficient insulation and windows making it less costly to cool and heat compared to older models.

3. Maintenance
Perhaps the biggest argument against older homes lies in their higher homeownership costs, since most of their fixtures and appliances may be over ten years old. A newly constructed home has fewer maintenance costs since everything from its roof to appliances and HVAC system is brand new. Furthermore, warranties can cover the home for years before the owner has to make any major repairs.

Buyers should enquire when a home’s major fixtures were last upgraded or replaced. If these components are over ten years old, then they should factor in replacements costs. However, for a well maintained older home with a new roof, HVAC system, furnace, wiring, and plumbing, its age becomes irrelevant.

4. Cost
New homes (built post-2013) cost roughly 20 percent more than older homes. However, the buyer should consider other factors that affect the value of a home including location and type of home. Vintage and classic homes have a higher price because they are located near mass transit and urban amenities.

5. Location
New constructions usually come up in exurbia because land is plentiful. However, commutes are longer, and most homes are located away from schools, restaurants, and shopping centers. What’s more, most new homes located within a city or metropolitan area are in-fill homes on small urban lots or high-rise condos with little outdoor space.

On the other hand, many old homes are located in prime neighborhoods near economic and social amenities like banks, schools, and entertainment areas.

6. Character and Custom Design
Old homes are built in popular traditional styles like Greek Revivals, Victorians, Colonials, Craftsman Bungalows, and Tudors. They have interesting architectural features including stained-glass windows, arches, and hand-carved decorative appointments. On the other hand, new homes come with a standardized design to appeal to a broad range of customers.

7. Resale Value
Although many buyers plan to live in their next home for years, at some point, most individuals sell their homes for a myriad of reasons including moving to a smaller or bigger home or relocating across town for another job. In this case, a relatively newer home (say five years old) will have a higher resale value than a 25-year-old one.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a home is dependent on the lifestyle preferences of the buyer. It is essential to consider factors like the asking price, cost of renovation if any, monthly maintenance costs, location, size of the lot, and resale value.