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Old House vs New House: Which is Better to Buy?

by Yucatan Times
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Between an old house vs new house, which is better to buy? Check out this guide to learn the pros and cons of each.

Over 5 million existing homes are sold each year in the United States. Compare that to just over 600,000 brand new builds sold in 2018.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that buying re-sale homes is the best option. Read on for a list of all the things to consider with old house vs new house purchases.

The Cost of Buying a House 

In most cases, there is a sizeable difference between the cost of a resale property and a new build. The average sale price of a resale home is $278,000. That’s $60,000 less than the cost of new construction. Also, on a resale purchase, you have room to negotiate a lower price. That is rarely possible with a new build. But we all know that the sticker price is not the only cost of buying a house. 

Cost of Repairs And Renovations

Build your own home costs nothing for repairs. You may undertake some renovations such as finishing a basement or adding a patio. Yet, on the whole, you spend less money on repairs and renovations when building versus buying a  home.

Especially because when you build your home, you can change the layout to suit your needs. Find new construction homes near me to learn about the types of layouts you can choose from. 

New homes are unlikely to need major repairs for at least seven years. And many things like windows will have warranties that may cover repairs. 

Additional Costs Of Old Vs New Homes

There are other costs besides the mortgage payments and repairs. There are all the costs of ownership.

New homes are usually energy efficient which will help keep your energy bill low. Older homes might have poor insulation, outdated HVAC systems and building materials that make the home less energy efficient.

50-year-old pipes and baseboard heating systems can be a nightmare to deal with.

Then there are the costs for things such as maintenance fees if you live in a condo. The older the units, the more you’ll pay monthly in condo fees. 

Untouched or Well-Loved?

Another huge consideration is how important a brand-new house is to you. The number one reason people choose a new build is that everything is new and untouched.

The appliances, the walls and baseboards, and the flooring are crisp and immaculate when you move in. There are no funky smells or stains to deal with and everything is in perfect working order.

On the other hand, you might love the character of a home that has switched hands many times. Century homes have a lot of history and many unique features. That leads us to our next consideration: the home’s style.  

Home Design Style

Both an old house vs new house have lots to offer in terms of design. Older homes may have mature trees, gorgeous details in the crown molding, wainscotting, and ceilings.

There might also be a curved staircase, a wood-burning oven, and a secret staircase or dumbwaiter. Sure, you might be able to add some of these features to a new build, but the house wouldn’t have the same historic feel.

On the flip side, new homes have the latest trends and designs. Open concept living areas, wide hallways, smart outlets, and pot lights and so much more. 

There is no one that is better than the other. It’s really just about personal preference when it comes to home design.  

Maintenance and Upkeep

The cost of buying a house always needs to include the time and money spent on maintenance and upkeep. Some people enjoy lovingly working on their homes. Others simply loathe it.

People who are handy are often the ones who don’t shy away from older homes. They feel confident that they can tackle a leak, fix a squeaking floorboard or fix the toilet when it overflows.

You might be the type of person who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of things going wrong. In that case, a new home may be your best bet.

Location, Location, Location

Real estate agents know that a big part of the appeal of any home is the location. A property’s location greatly impacts the owner’s lifestyle.

Do you want to be able to enjoy the art and culture in your city? 

Maybe you want to walk to downtown to enjoy the outdoor market, live bands, and little shops along the streets? Do you want to be able to hop on a train or streetcar in a flash?

Then you probably will need to consider purchasing a resale home. Most downtown areas are surrounded by mature homes that have been there since the epoch of the town.

Or you may want a certain school district or access to the newest amenities like smart shopping centers and malls and recreation facilities.

Keep in mind that buying a new home means living in a construction zone for a year or more. You may not have grass or a poured driveway for a while. There will be no mature trees and certainly a lot of dust.

The sound of construction (trucks, roofers, and contractors working) will be your everyday norm. You might live in a lesser developed area with longer drives to schools, shopping areas and so on. And, you might add quite a lot of time to your commute to get to work.

The best house in the world can’t offset the lifestyle factors that can impact your happiness. So keep these things in mind when deciding on an old vs new home.

Final Thoughts on Old House vs New House

We hope this article has helped you consider the pros and cons of an old house vs new house.

At the end of the day, your decision will depend on how much you value the factors we’ve discussed. Chances are that one or more of these will outweigh the others. 

Read more about real estate on The Yucatan Times.

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