When shopping for a home, deciding between an old home or new construction will likely be one of your primary decisions. Is there a better one to buy? There truly is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are distinct pros and cons to each type that you should be aware of. It likely will come down to personal preference, but here’s what you need to keep in mind when trying to decide if an old home or new home is right for you.
Advantages of Old Homes
The great thing about older homes is you know they are quality builds. They have stood for decades (or maybe even longer!) and have weathered storms and other life events. The proof is in the home you look at!
Zoning changes are less likely to occur in older areas, so older homes have well-established and predictable neighborhoods. Not to mention, the vegetation and trees will be mature and provide scenic and shaded yards and streets. If having nice trees on and around your neighborhood is important, then an old home might be what you’re looking for.
Residential areas with older homes are usually centrally located and closer to city or town centers. If you’d like an easy walk to a coffee shop, restaurant or prefer an easy commute, then an old home might be perfect.
The biggest selling point of any old home – its unique character! Custom arches, hand-carved detailing, unique built-ins, and other interesting architectural features are abundant in older homes.
Disadvantages of Old Homes
A home that has been around for decades may have more charm, but it also likely needs more maintenance. Aging construction means there’s always something that needs to be fixed. Stone foundations require tuckpointing. Old plumbing made with galvanized pipes may rust over and need to be replaced. Floors may start to slope and need correction.
Older homes weren’t built to comply with modern safety standards, so adding them into your home is not only crucial but can be expensive. Sensitive electronics need grounded wiring, and old electrical panels might be fused-based instead of circuit-based. Leaving these issues can be a major fire hazard.
Nowadays “bigger is better,” but when old homes were being built, people had less stuff. Less clothing, fewer personal items, and fewer vehicles per home. This means old homes will have smaller closets, cabinets, storage space, and garages.
Advantages of New Construction
If you’re looking for something no one has even step foot in, new construction will be your pick! When you buy brand new, you also know that it will be clean (so you don’t have to worry about that) and there are no major issues left by previous owners.
Ability to Customize
In an old home, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. But when it comes to new construction, you have the ability and option to customize your house to your exact liking. From choosing the flooring, to the bathroom counters and cabinet hardware, you can build your home the exact way you’ve been dreaming of.
New construction is meant to outlast warranties. This means homeowners shouldn’t have to install a new roof, repair fixtures, or replace the water heaters for 10-20 years.
New homes also mean new gadgets and appliances. The best thing is that new appliances use less energy. Ceilings, floors, and walls are well insulated. They often also have dual-pane windows that retain the heat in the winter and keep the home cooler in the summer. Your energy-efficient home will not only be great for the environment, but great for your wallet too.
Disadvantages of New Construction
A new home might be cheaper concerning maintenance and renovations, you will likely be paying more for your home. A while back, Trulia found that new homes (build In 2013-2014) cost about 20% more than similar existing homes.
Location Might Not be Ideal
New constructions homes are usually placed in less desirable areas or on the outskirts of urban areas, where new land is available. When you’re out on the edge of town, you’ll have to drive to restaurants and activities, and your commute will be longer as well. Not to mention your new home will likely be beside other new homes being built, so construction noises will be constant.
This is a matter of preference, but as old homes have unique charm, newer homes lack that. Home in a new development are usually made from the same template and are identical to one another, lacking individuality.
Your Next Home
When it comes to deciding that home you should buy, it will always come down to what you need and want in a home. For many families, a new home is the answer to their needs. For others, an older home with all the charm is the only way to go. Your Crowe realtor can help you assess which house is best suited for you and your family no matter what you’re looking for. We’re happy to help and guide you through the entire process in the Montrose, Colorado area.