New Home Construction vs Resale: Should You Buy an Older or Newer Home?

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To buy or not to buy, that is not ever the only question. The inevitable decision every house hunter has to make is whether or not to go with the old or buy new. Alongside pricing and location, the age of a home is an important factor to consider when looking at property. With new home construction, there may be less renovations upon move in that will need to be done. If you are up for the challenge, an antique home may satisfy that unique-build-itch you are looking to scratch. As some prefer history and character, others are drawn to the comfort of modern conveniences. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of both options before deciding what is right for you.

Buying an Older Home

PROS

  • Unique character: Think stained glass, molding, fireplace and woodwork. Older houses often have one-of-a-kind elements and details that are tough to come across in modern makes.
  • Vegetation: Older homes tend to have well developed yards and gardens. The vegetation is mature so you don’t need to wait years before having those lush trees you’ve pined for.
  • Availability: There is no waiting for builders to finish. Schedule delays due to construction will not keep you from moving into your new home on time.
  • History: Not only does the property have its own history, you will have an index of how much it has appreciated over the years. A track record gives you a place to start in measuring the community’s marketplace appeal.

CONS

  • More maintenance: Owning an old home is not for everyone. Due to its age, an older home may require constant TLC, so aim to understand what type of upkeep commitment you are making before buying.
  • Remodeling and Updates: Whether it’s a matter of updating your home for comfort, like installing an AC, or making repairs so your new space is up to city standards, work may need to be done if you want your home to be efficient and safe.
  • Expensive repairs: You should ask when major components were last replaced so you can factor the cost into your final decision. As systems age, they naturally require replacing which may be something you wish to reflect in your new home’s purchase price.

Buying a New or Almost New Home

PROS

  • Customizable: If you buy early into your new home’s building phase, you may get a say in what you would like based on your personal taste and needs.
  • Low maintenance and builder’s warranty: New constructions are built to last years before home owners have to replace major components. So relax and enjoy!
  • Built to code: Code regulations change often to make sure houses are built as safe as possible. You have the comfort of knowing that your house systems are up-to-date.
  • Energy efficient: You may save on energy costs because your house is built based on recent studies and environmental recommendations.

CONS

  • Immature vegetation: The house is new and so is the yard! You will need to invest in your backyard and be patient before having mature trees.
  • House settling: New houses settle and it is not necessarily a question of location or of type of soil. There is a chance that cracks in the foundation and walls can occur as it sets.
  • Modern cookie-cutter design: New communities are often developed with a unified style. Contractors tend to build a few models of houses where the floor plans are very much alike.

Both purchases have their benefits. Whichever you decide, be sure you know what to expect with your new home and you understand the type of commitment you are signing up for.

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