Should First-Time Homeowners Buy New Homes or Older Homes?

August 28, 2019 9:00 am Should First-Time Homeowners Buy New Homes or Older Homes Published by

Of all the debates that one could have about the process of buying a home, perhaps none is more contentious than the debate between those who want a new home and those who want a pre-owned home. In this article, we will explore that debate and attempt to resolve the issue once and for all.

Older Homes: The Pros:

Let’s start with the most obvious benefit of an older home: Lower cost. Realtors and other home sellers know that they cannot ask as much for an older home. To find out how much of a difference this might make, let’s look at a list of average prices for new homes. This list goes all the way back to 1963, so you can get a good idea of how the housing market has changed since then. According to our list, the average price of a new home in 2019 is $368,600.

For comparison, let’s look at some figures regarding pre-owned homes. This list is similar to the first one, though it doesn’t go back nearly as far. According to this list, the average price for a pre-owned home in 2019 is $314,000. That’s not a very big difference at all.

On the upside, older homes tend to have larger yards, which is great for those who want to do a lot of backyard activities. Most lots were cheaper in previous decades, which is why an older home will probably offer a larger yard.

Older Homes: The Cons:

We’ve already established that older homes are almost as expensive as new homes. Now, let’s think about the biggest downside of an older home: Maintenance and repair. Older homes often require repairs to bring them up to code standards. If you don’t do these repairs, you could then be slapped with a large fine.

Sometimes, these repairs can end up being a serious hassle. For instance, if you get an older home that isn’t set up for HVAC, it will be pretty expensive to make the necessary modifications. This site gives us a rough estimate of the price, which is between $2570-$3200.

Older homes tend to have larger yards, and this means more yard work. This might not be a problem for some people, but some others might need to hire professionals, adding an extra living expense.

New Homes: The Pros:

New homes offer quite a few distinct advantages. First of all, a new home gives you plenty of time to relax and enjoy life before any real maintenance becomes necessary. Since everything is new, you can reasonably expect that nothing will begin to deteriorate for a long time.

Another good thing is the fact that new homes are built to conform to current building codes. In fact, the builders don’t really have a choice in the matter. Thus, you won’t have to worry about things like upgrading old copper piping or changing outdated aluminum electrical wires.

New homes also tend to be a lot more energy-efficient. With many older homes, energy-efficiency was not a huge concern. This is especially the case if you are dealing with a home built before the 1950s. Before the advent of air conditioning, good ventilation was a must if you wanted to keep cool in the summer. However, this old-school design doesn’t work so well with modern HVAC systems.

When considering the benefits of a new home, we shouldn’t forget about customization. This option is even more important if you are having a new home built. Although humans are very adaptable creatures, it really is nice to have a space that is custom-designed to meet your needs. For instance, let’s say you like to have a lot of potted plants or aquariums in your home. It wouldn’t be too hard to equip your home with automatic watering systems that run on a timer. It also wouldn’t be too hard to have your aquariums built into the wall to save floor space. The options are literally endless.

New Homes: The Cons:

It is true that new homes are a little bit more expensive. However, as we have already seen, the price difference is not that large. However, those are average figures. Therefore, the safe thing is to assume that your new home will cost a little more.

Another problem that you will sometimes encounter is the abundance of tract homes. Tract homes are made in huge “batches.” These are the neighborhoods where every house looks the same. Some people don’t mind the uniformity, but a lot of people don’t like it at all. While this is a matter of personal preference, we think it is safe to say that most home buyers would prefer something unique.

Another disadvantage with new homes is the phenomenon referred to as “settling.” During the first year or so of its life, a new home will gradually settle itself into place. It will sink and shift a little bit, moving so slowly that no one notices. As the wooden beams dry, they will flex and bend just a little. However, the flexing of the timbers will sometimes cause your walls to develop cracks. The good news is that settling is a normal problem and usually doesn’t cause any lasting damage. Still, there have been exceptions in which a crack has gone all the way down to the foundation.

Conclusion

Although there are many sides to this debate, we think the answer is fairly obvious. Buying a new home is probably the better choice. We based our choice on several factors, but the biggest one is this: People usually buy older homes on the assumption that they are cheaper, and it turns out that the price difference is very small indeed.

Although new homes do have their problems, older homes are likely to have more. Thus, the increased costs of repair and maintenance also had a lot to do with our conclusion. We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you will fill out the contact form below for more interesting content like this.