The Great Home Debate: Old vs. New
A walk or drive through an established neighborhood with charming, historic homes and large established trees can make for a wonderful Sunday afternoon, but if you are in the market for a home you may be having the old vs. new debate.
The purchase of any home has intrinsic pros and cons, but the costs and benefits can vary greatly depending on the age of the home you choose. So let us look at the different aspects you should consider when making your choice.
Older homes may have a certain charm not present in their newer counterpart. Architectural detail, large porches, wood burning fireplaces, wide sidewalks, street lamps, and tree-lined streets are just a few of the items that can have immense appeal. But the older home may have dated electrical and plumbing systems as well as potentially hazardous materials such as lead paint or asbestos. It is important to take extra care when purchasing an older home to understand the cost of maintenance and repairs before finalizing the deal. Obtaining a home inspection is a critical element in the purchase of a used home. Hiring a professional home inspector is the only way to expose unseen issues that could result in costly repairs.
Be sure to download our tips on “How to Hire a Home Inspector”.
Older neighborhoods offer a buyer the opportunity to see the surrounding areas in a “finished” state. Schools, shopping centers, and community services are commonly established. This eliminates the concern about future development, redistricting of schools or expansion of highways.
Depending on the era that the home was built, you may find that the overall square footage is less than you would find in new home construction and the room sizes tend to be smaller as well.
While new homes may come with fancy new appliances and up-to-date systems, they lack some of the established elements of the older home. Considering how much you may have to invest in landscaping, lighting, and window coverings should factor into your purchase decision.
A new home, however, allows you the opportunity to create your own environment with the selection of your floor plan, appliances, and finishes. It is your home, without anyone else’s history. Most builders offer a home warranty policy with new construction, which will afford you the opportunity to have items fixed without incurring additional expenses.
Obtaining a home inspection is not necessary with new construction; however, it is beneficial to read any disclosures supplied to you by the builder. A clear understanding of the type of foundation, the grading of your lot and water/sewer systems will ensure that you are an informed homebuyer.
Regardless of whether an old Victorian charms you or a new Colonial, it is important to take a moment to visit the pros and cons that each style has to offer. Creating a spreadsheet for the anticipated costs involved with each one will help you to calculate the expenses that homeownership demands outside of the down payment and purchase price.