Old Home Vs New Home: What’s best fit for you?

Posted on January 6, 2011. Filed under: Homebuyers, Homeowners, Ideas & Information, Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Buying a home could be complicated and challenging than people realize, and deciding to buy either a new or old home is another thing.  For every qualifier, there’s a dis-qualifier. For every “on one hand,” there’s an “on the other hand.” Both have advantages and disadvantages that must be consider before buying a home.

Location:  New homes are often to be found in newer suburbs and in reclaimed wild areas. If a home buyer wants to live in an area that is already an established estate or in an established neighborhood, an older home is preferable. Some home buyers may also object to buying a new home that was built on newly cleared forest land or wetlands. New subdivisions — and newer schools — are generally on the outskirts. But the expense of daily commute is one factor that many buyers forget to consider.  In an older community, he said, people have moved in and out over the years and you tend to get more diversity of neighbor backgrounds that include older people, singles, families and renters. Some older homes have been passed down from generation to generation. Relationships develop over the life of a house and its occupants, and a watching-each-others-back mentality surfaces that can extend to folks buying into the neighborhood. You don’t just buy an old home . . . you buy an extended family.

Price: Existing homes are usually less expensive per square foot, in part because of escalating land costs in new subdivisions. But ownership costs are considered more predictable — almost inevitable — in a new home, especially considering the cost of a code upgrade or remodeling of a vintage home.

Space:  Older homes tend to be smaller than new homes, but they tend to be on larger parcels of land. With the fast rise in land prices that has occurred in recent years, new homes are often built on less land than even 10 years ago. Whether a home buyer prefers a larger home on less land or a smaller home with a larger yard should be considered before deciding between new homes and older ones. The layouts of new homes also tend to be slightly different than older ones. Older homes may have all of the bedrooms grouped together and may have only one or two bathrooms.

Living space and design: Lower building costs of the past mean more homes for the money for the buyer of a resale. Resale basements may have been finished out nicely for additional living space. On the other hand, new-construction homes often employ more efficient, innovative uses of square footage and property. Also, newer “zero-lot-line” developments offer more living space per square foot than a same-size lot that surrounds a resale.

While buying a used or new home should be largely a lifestyle decision that still shouldn’t prevent the potential buyer from also thinking like a seller.

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