Buying a Newer Home vs. Buying an Older Home
So, you’re looking for a home. You go online and there are two kinds of homes, newer homes and older homes. Which do you want to call home? Here are some advantages and disadvantages to both types of homes.
First, let’s look at older homes.
- More character: Older homes include styles like craftsman bungalows, victorian era, tudors, and colonials. These architectural styles mean older homes are adorned with arches, carved decorative appointments, and other various details that give the home more character.
- Established neighborhood: Changes in zoning are less likely to occur in older, more established areas.
- Mature landscaping: The longer a home has been around, the chances are the landscaping, i.e. trees & vegetation, are more developed and mature. This can provide bigger canopies in yards along with more lush landscaping.
- Old-world construction: Many older homes have stood for decades, and in some cases, even centuries. These homes have seen many storms and all sorts of weather, yet still stand against time. This is because these homes were built with meticulous attention to detail and solid framing.
- Location: Older homes are usually in closer proximity to downtowns, entertainment, and local restaurants because they were built around the city when it was established.
- Upkeep: The older the home, the more wear and tear it has seen throughout various families and over the years. Things will go wrong, periodically, and there is always something to fix or replace. Some examples include roofs, chimneys, tuck pointing foundations, and sloping floors.
- Smaller spaces: When older homes were built, people had less things and many families only had one car. This means that closets, storage spaces, and garages in older homes are typically smaller when compared to new construction homes.
- Updates: In addition to general maintenance and upkeep of the home, older homes will require more updates in HVAC systems along with aesthetics in areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
- Plumbing: Many times, the plumbing system of an older home has smaller, more galvanized pipes. This means water pressure can be lessened in the home and replacement may be needed.
- Smaller square footage: Older homes were built with smaller rooms, so the square footage of an older home is going to be smaller than when compared to a newer home with the same number of rooms.
Next, let’s take a look at newer homes:
- Less maintenance: New construction is meant to last awhile so there is going to be less upkeep, especially in the areas like HVAC and roof, which only requires replacement every 10-20 years.
- Warranty: Many builders offer a new home warranty (often 10 years), which gives the buyer a safety net for the foundation, structure, and other components.
- Energy efficient: Newer homes are built with walls, ceilings, and floors with newer & updated insulation, newer dual pane windows, and new appliances. All of these items help to cut back on energy usage, meaning warmer winters & cooler summers while spending less money.
- City codes: Many old homes do not need to abide by certain building codes since they were built so long ago. Whereas, a new home needs to abide by the most up-to-date building codes that help ensure safety.
- Square footage: The square footage of a new home is usually larger than an older home, even with the same number of bedrooms.
- Cookie cutting: Many new homes are built within a development, which means all the neighboring homes are built by the same builder. This can result in cookie cutter homes that look nearly identical from exterior to the interior floor plan.
- Young landscaping: It takes years for trees to grow, which means the newly planted trees of a new construction home are not yet mature. They will offer less shade. In addition, the lawns are still growing, which means they are going to be less lush that an established landscape of an older home.
- House settling: Older homes have already settled, but new homes still need to settle over the years. Regardless of soil, this happens to all homes in some capacity. This can cause cracks in foundation, walls, and even door frames. Luckily, you will have a home warranty from the builder if these things happen in the first 5-10 years.
- Distance from downtown: Newer homes are usually built in neighborhoods that are further away from the downtown area, restaurants, stores, etc. This could mean a longer commute to work in rush hour and a longer distance to things to do in the town.
While there are advantages and disadvantages of all kinds of homes, it does not mean one is less-than the other or should be avoided. They are simply different options depending on what you are looking for during your home search. Be sure to talk these differences and your desire in a home over with your realtor to determine what you would like to pursue in your home search.