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Is a New Home or an Old Home a Better Buy?

Is a New Home or an Old Home a Better Buy?
4 min. read

Image: Andy Hoech / Shutterstock.com

While searching for a new home, you might find yourself wondering whether it’s better to buy a new house, or an old one. It’s always good to have options, and it’s worth taking your time pondering the various pros and cons for old houses vs new. In most cases, it comes down to a matter of personal preference, and indeed circumstances.  

The best advice is to ask yourself a few questions and take into consideration the differences. With this information, you’ll be in a better place to make the best decision for you. Below, you’ll find some pointers to help you make your decision.

Think about the location

In many cases, people choose a particular property based on the location more than anything else. Choosing the right neighborhood for your needs is extremely important, and can be the difference between your dream home, and a nightmare situation. Older homes are more likely to be found in established neighborhoods, while newer ones will typically be found in new neighborhoods, or neighborhoods that are under development.

Older neighborhoods may be filled with an array of different architectural styles, have established infrastructure, such as convenient public transport links and local shops and restaurants, and offer larger property lots. Newer neighborhoods, on the other hand, are typically more planned, creating cul-de-sacs of similar if not identical houses, wide streets, fewer above ground utilities, and more modern public facilities. In terms of the daily commute, older neighborhoods are typically closer to more traditional employment centers, as well as major transport routes.

How important are design and floor plans?

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to find inspiration and discover the perfect look for your home. Nowadays, many modern homes are built in more traditional styles, such as Cape Cod or Victorian, so if you have fallen in love with a classic style, you don’t necessarily have to buy an older home. What you might need to consider a little more, however, is your ideal floor plan. If you have your heart set on an open floor plan, you’re more likely to find it in a modern home, while older homes typically feature a more traditional layout.

Are you prepared to renovate?

If an older house is ticking all the right boxes, except perhaps a few certain elements, it’s worth asking yourself if you’re prepared to carry out renovations to transform it into your ideal home. If you’d rather avoid renovations entirely, a new home should negate the risk altogether, although there are many older homes that have been renovated as well.

It’s also worth thinking about outdated mechanical elements, such as wiring, or plumbing. Some older homes may need to have the entire electrical system, roof, or pipework replaced, so be sure to have a home inspection. Having said that, it’s widely agreed that older building materials and craftsmanship were higher quality and more likely to last than more modern materials. However, modern ventilation, insulation, electrics, plumbing, and HVAC systems are generally more efficient and easier to maintain.

What are your parking needs?

Are you a 2-vehicle family? If so, you might struggle to find an older home that has space designated for your cars. Remember that many older homes were built in a time when cars weren’t as common as they are now, so provisions for parking were largely dismissed. More modern homes, however, are built with the modern family in mind, with many featuring double garages as standard, or at least access to a private car park. In older homes, you may have to make do with street parking, though this is by no means always the case.

Consider the yard

If you value your outdoor space, it’s worth considering that the yard in a new home might be a blank canvas when you move in. For some people, this is great and allows them to really make their yard their own. However, if you value the privacy afforded by large trees, bushes, and shrubs, you may find you’re in for a long wait. In older yards, plant life is mostly already established, allowing you to work with what you’ve got, without having to play the waiting game.

It’s important to note that each home is different, regardless of whether it’s old or new. As such, there are frequent exceptions to the rules. For example, you can find old homes that have been fully remodeled, with all modern conveniences, and a layout fit for the digital age. There’s no right or wrong, just what works for you!

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