FROM OUR BLOG
July 31, 2018

Buying A New Home vs Buying An Old Home

If you’re in the market to buy a home, you may be comparing buying a new home vs buying an old home. You want to know what the advantages are to buying a new home vs buying an old home.  What stipulations comes with each and what compromises you’ll have to make depending on which option you go with.

 

Buying A New Home

For comparison purposes, we’re going to include flips because many of the same advantages and disadvantages apply.

Pros

 

  • Assuming the new home is not custom, chances are that it will be less expensive than an older home in the city. This excludes flips within Denver.
  • Fewer repairs. New homes are just that, new. Thus, there’s less of a chance of something breaking, unless of course, the materials used were not quality. We have heard that some homeowners of flipped houses are dealing with cheap materials breaking after purchase.
  • Built to code. Because code regulations constantly change, new builds will be held to the most recent codes.
  • Energy Efficient. Newer homes will have more insulation or just be better insulated in general. The floors, walls, and ceilings are insulated. Further, new builds have new appliances which are more energy efficient. Additionally, new builds or flips will have new windows which will do a better job of keeping the heat in in the winter and the cool in the summer. Lastly, some new homes have solar paneling built in, which will save on electricity.
  • More square footage. In many cases, newer homes have more square footage for the same amount of an older home in the city.

Cons

  • If you’re buying in a new housing development, odds are you’re buying into a tract home community. If that’s the case, some argue that those home are identical and have no character.
  • Immature trees and yard. It takes many years for trees to grow. While many times new homes have sod planted, it doesn’t always do well.
  • Foundations settling. No matter the type of soil, new houses will settle. Settling foundations can cause cracks in the foundation, walls, and frames. Even if this is covered under a warranty with the builder, it’s still a pain to deal with.
  • Commute. Chances are if you’re buying a new build, you’re outside city limits. If that’s the case, you might be up against a longer commute.

 

Buying an Old Home

What can you expect from buying an old home?

 

Pros

  • Sturdy. You know the old saying “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”? Well, this is the case with homes. Older homes were built with quality supplies and by hand. They’ve stood up to storms for decades.
  • Character. As was one of the cons on the new builds that they lack character, this is one of the positives for older homes. You will see more architectural features in older homes.
  • Larger yards. Obviously this isn’t the case in every old home, but land was cheaper when older homes were built, thus, they are built on bigger lots than new builds.
  • Mature vegetation. Older homes have the benefit of mature trees and landscaped yards. Trees will, if in the right location in the yard, offer shade on hot summer days.
  • Better commute. If your occupation requires you to be closer to the city, then you’ll likely enjoy a better commute buying an older home vs a new home.

 

Cons

  • Maintenance. Older homes have older things inside which might require replacing. Some things will be preference, others necessary. If your water heater breaks (these usually last 8-12 years), that’s going to be a necessary replacement.  If you don’t like the color of the walls or the cabinets in the kitchen, it will be up to you and your budget if you want to live with them or change them.
  • Master ensuites and other amenities aren’t as common. Master ensuites are more of a recent amenity and many older homes don’t have them. If they do have them, they are typically smaller than new builds. Further, the closets in older homes are much smaller than new homes.
  • Trees and vegetation were listed as a pro, but we’ll also list them as a potential drawback too. Large trees have large roots. These roots can get into the sewer line and create plumbing issues. Sewer problems are not cheap too.
  • Compliance to code. Wiring and other electrical updates may be necessary upon the purchase of an old home. These are also expensive.

As you can see, there are positives and negatives to buying an old home and buying a new home.  Hopefully after learning more about the generalities of both, you’ll be better equipped to weigh them when house hunting. There will also be other factors that contribute to the home-buying process that you’ll be considering.

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Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc.

Sierra Pacific Mortgage NMLS# 1788. Michael Shotnik NMLS: 218281, CO License: 100017466. Regulated in Colorado by the Division of Real Estate #988320. To check license status of mortgage loan originator, visit D.O.R.A. and NMLS consumer access.