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A question that often comes up, especially for first time home buyers, is whether to purchase a newly constructed or older home.

As you’ll find out in this article, there are pros and cons to each side of the decision. Read on to get a better understanding of which home is right for you.

Older home advantages

Larger yards and better landscape.

Years ago, when land was cheaper, builders had larger lot sizes to build on. Trees have also had time to fully mature which provide better scenery, more privacy and cover from noise.

More character.

Colonials, Tudors, Victorians, Greek Revivals… these architectural titles are common among older homes. Interesting constructive features such as arches, hand-carved decorations and stained-glass windows are a few examples of what you may find in an older home.

Closer to downtown entertainment and restaurants.

Older areas tend to be located closer to downtown. If you want to be in walking distance to a local coffee shop or restaurant, you may want to search for a home in an older, established neighborhood.

Older home disadvantages

More maintenance.

Nothing lasts forever. With an older home, you’re more likely to run into basic problems with the foundation. It’s also expensive to replace wiring or plumbing if issues occur.

Less storage space and smaller closets.

Bigger is better wasn’t the case when construction started on many older homes. People had less personal items to store so extra storage space wasn’t a large priority.

 


New home advantages

Modern floor plan.

Open space has been the trend lately. For example, wide-open floor plans often include kitchens that flow into family rooms providing a more social atmosphere. Bathrooms are usually larger in new homes as well.

Less maintenance.

Newer homes are built to last for a while. New home owners usually don’t have to deal with issues that plague older home owners such as electrical or sewage trouble.

Energy efficiency.

New appliances use less energy. Solar panel roofs are becoming popular. Walls, ceilings and floors are better insulated. All these contribute to paying lower utility bills each month.

 

New home disadvantages

Immature vegetation.

Unlike older homes in established neighborhoods, trees and landscapes are usually underdeveloped. It can take years for your yard to grow trees. New neighborhoods often have a barren look since the vegetation has not had time to mature.

Similar looks and floor plans.

If individuality fits your style, you may want to look at an older home. Homes in new neighborhoods can appear identical inside and out. As folk singer Malvina Reynolds once put it, “Little boxes on a hillside, and they all look just the same.”

Location.

New construction often grows up away from the city which may result in further commutes to work and other locations such as restaurants and the grocery store.


No matter what type of home you’ve decided to look for, a free preapproval is the best way to get started.

Looking for other home buying resources?

Click here for a full list of calculators and today’s rates >


Sources:

The Balance, Buying Newer or Older Home?

Zillow, New Construction or Existing Homes: The Pros and Cons of Both

 

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