Trying to decide whether to buy a New or Old home?
Here are some things to consider
If you’re one of the many people across the country looking to buy a house at the moment, you’re on the verge of making one of the most important financial decisions of your life. You have two choices when it comes to buying a house. You can either buy an older pre-owned house, or you can go for something new. This article will look at buying an old house vs. a new house and hopefully give you some things to think about when making your decision.
A New House – Pros and Cons
New houses have several advantages over those which were built many years ago. They are often very modern in their design with an open plan layout. A new house offers you a blank canvass that you can decorate to your own style, specifications and taste. It’s not unusual for builders to offer incentives to encourage people to buy their houses. For example, you may get offered a choice of fitted appliances such as refrigerator, oven, stove or dishwasher and so on. You will also be able to choose the type of kitchen cabinets that you’d prefer as well as selecting your flooring coverings.
New houses are built to tighter specifications these days. The windows are usually double pane and the walls and roof space are insulated which means that the property is more eco friendly and cheaper to heat. New houses can also be covered by a warranty which sometimes lasts several years. This can give you peace of mind so that if anything major does go wrong, at least you can get it fixed at no extra cost to you.
Because land isn’t as freely available as it was 60 or 70 years ago, developers have to look way out of town for a suitable plot to build on. Quite often these locations can be remote and many miles away from amenities such as your work, schools, churches, parks and shops. These new neighborhoods are still in the early stages of evolution so you can’t really tell what it will be like to live there as there’s no history to research.
New houses tend to be built to a common design and can look very alike. Some would say that developers have a cookie cutter approach to designing new houses these days, as they like their buildings to have a uniformed quality about them. So if it’s character that you’re after, a new build may not be for you.
If your yard is important to you, then a basic grassed surface might not be very appealing. If you like mature plants and trees, it could take 5 or 10 years for your yard to reach that level of maturity.
Buying an Old House – Pros and Cons
For starters, older houses usually have more character. No two look the same. They’re frequently located in well established neighborhoods with convenient access to all popular amenities such as your work, schools, parks, shops etc. They also tend to be better connected to public transport such as train stations and bus services. Because they’ve already got an established history, you can easily find out what it would be like living there by researching crime figures or speaking to neighbors and so on.
If you like your trees and mature shrubs and plants, then older houses tend to have well established yards with water features and so on.
From a financial point of view, older houses can often be cheaper, especially if they’ve been allowed to deteriorate by the previous owner. The condition of an older property can give you bargaining power and you could negotiate a better deal with the seller. An FHA 203K loan for renovation could help you buy an old house and borrow extra money to fix it up which would add thousands to the value after you’d moved in.
Older houses might be full of character, but they can be a potential money pit. For example they could need renovation, rewiring, new plumbing and structural repair to name but a few. Older houses can be much more expensive to maintain and heat since they were built before new building guideline standards were introduced. They often lack sufficient electrical sockets as they were built way before we had countless electrical gadgets and appliances and they are often inadequately insulated.
There could be asbestos lagging in the roof or walls which can be hazardous to health and costly to remove safely. External repairs to an old period style house can also be very expensive. If you want to retain the original features and character, it is sometimes necessary to hire specialist contractors to complete the work.
These cons though can be corrected and best of all financed with an FHA 203k loan.
When comparing buying a old house vs. a new house, only you can decide which way to go, but hopefully this article will have given you something to think about. Whether you decide to buy new or go for something older, always make sure you have the finance in place first. It can be a let down to have your heart set on a property, only to later discover that you can’t get a home loan on it. So plan ahead and speak to a home loan and renovation specialist first.