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Old House or New House: Which is Right for You?

Old House or New House

The following is an excerpt from Local Real Estate News.

My fiancé and I are searching for our new dream home in a central metropolitan area. Over the past few months, we have been struggling with the decision of whether or not we should purchase an old house or new house. I love the charm of the older homes in the area, but I’m not sure if they hold as much value as a new home would. From your experience, would you say that an older home could be worth as much as a home that was recently built?

Sandy Q.

Dear Sandy,

This is often a question we hear when buyers, like yourself, are interested in centralized properties. So, let’s jump straight into the new house or old house debate.

Pros of Buying an Old House

If you’re looking for beautiful architecture, mature landscaping, lower upfront costs, and a more centralized location, an older house just might be for you. Let’s take a look.

Architecture

Many older homes offer a certain charm and elegance that newer builds lack. Turn-of-the-century homes, Victorians, Colonials, and Tudors are just a few of the architectural styles that today’s home builders hesitate to replicate. It’s far more time and cost-efficient for builders to construct cookie-cutter homes. If the architectural character is near the top of your must-have list then an older home might be right for you.

Mature Landscaping

Land used to be more affordable in ye old olden days so older homes often come with larger yards than new builds. It’s common to find that many years, much effort, and 10’s of thousands of dollars have already been put into the landscaping of an older home by previous owners. A beautiful yard that you didn’t have to do: what more could you want?

Centralized Location

Older homes tend to be bigger, more centrally located, closer to downtown, and in stronger communities making them less likely to undergo zoning changes.

It makes sense when you think about it. Families used to only have one car and before the time of cars, people used their own two feet to get around (or a horse’s four hooves!). Everyone built as close to town as possible to keep close to amenities like the post office or corner store. As the population grew, people had no choice but to build farther away.

Lower Cost

You may pay for the charm and elegance but these old, unique homes cost much less than new builds on average and offer homeownership opportunities to those who can’t afford new builds with the skyrocketing lumber prices.

Cons of Buying an Old House

Buying an older house isn’t all roses though. An older home is more likely to have big-ticket maintenance expenses sooner than a new build, as well as increased utility costs, and an outdated interior style.

Maintenance Costs

With older homes come older materials, so expect to budget for a few maintenance costs. Be sure to have a home inspection done that checks out the big-ticket maintenance expenses like windows, roof, siding, and HVAC so you aren’t surprised with a massive bill a month after you bought the home.

Utility Costs

Speaking of windows, a lot of the materials used during home construction have improved. Double-paned windows and increased insulation allow a home to better retain heat or air depending on the season. If your old build home has single-paned windows expect a higher heating bill come this winter.

Style

In an aged home, you rely largely on the previous resident’s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling. A new build often has an open floor plan while older homes reflect the needs of the time it was built by offering smaller, more separate spaces.

Pros of Buying a New House

Many people consider a new build more valuable because there should be no major expenses in the first few years of ownership and the utilities should be lower thanks to energy-efficient building materials.

Delayed Major Maintenance Costs

New homes mean new water heater, new roof, new windows, new appliances, new everything. Which, hopefully, means that the homeowner can avoid those hefty maintenance expenses for a while those who purchase older homes can usually expect to fork out some serious coin for, say, a new roof.

Energy Efficiency

Homes are better insulated than they’ve ever been and that’s resulted in lower utility bills for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Double-paned windows help prevent the escape of air as well leaving new build homeowners sighing in relief.

Larger Living Spaces

In a new house, modern features like media rooms, large closets, and extra-large bathrooms are more attainable. More electric outlets are built into a new home in more convenient locations as society becomes increasingly dependent on electrical energy.

Cons of Buying a New House

Smaller Outdoor Space

As the price of land increases, the outdoor space that comes with a home decreases. If you’re looking for a big backyard for your pup to run around in, a new build may not be for you.

Less Centralized

Newer builds are often much less centralized than older homes. As more homes are built, there is less space to build on in town. There is no choice but to build farther and farther out.

Higher Upfront Costs

A new house means higher upfront costs. You won’t have to replace that new roof for a few years but you will have to pay for that privilege. Major maintenance costs are delayed for now because you’re buying everything new.

The Bottom Line of New House or Old House: Value is in the Eye of the Beholder.

The truth of the matter is that the value is in the eye of the beholder. We recommend making your must-have list and your wants list then matching them to the homes you’re looking at and your budget. An older home that needs a little TLC might be more attainable than a newer home, or a new build might be the move-in ready place you need. Your housing needs are unique and only you can pick the home that is right for you.

If you have any additional questions about the values of your home, we are always happy to have a chat free from obligation. Just give us a call at 614-888-6100.

Father’s Day Fun in Columbus OH

Happy Father's Day

Celebrate Father’s Day in Columbus, Ohio

Columbus really knows how to have fun and have and celebrating Father’s Day is practically required. The Columbus Team salutes all our friends and neighbors who are fathers. Thanks, Dad & Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day Cake Decorating Event:

Dad take your kids on down to Our CupCakery on 54 South High Street in Dublin for some one-on-one time! You’ll level, frost, and decorate your very own Father’s Day-themed cake that you get to take home. This June 18th event is from 4-5:30 PM and it’s just $59. Gluten-Free or Vegan options are available for an additional fee.

The Annual Drafts for Dads:

A family lunch at Cedar Grove Lodging in Logan, Ohio is just the ticket! This open house-style event includes a tasty lunch, drafts for dad (and juice for kids), games, and quality time with the family. You can even enjoy a day hike to Old Man’s Cave! Mark your calendars for 6/18 at 11 AM.

Wings & Whisky Crawl:

Okay so this one isn’t exactly for Father’s Day, but do you know any dads who don’t like whisky & wings?! Dad’s meet up at Park Street Cantina in Columbus at 12 PM on April 23rd for an afternoon of food and drinks! You’ll get to try a ton of different flavors of wings at participating bars and tickets to a wing eating contest with a trophy for the winner. Happy Crawling!

That’s all the confirmed events we have for Father’s Day at the moment but there are sure to be more coming soon! Keep your eyes open and have a Happy Father’s Day!

This list was accurate at the time of publication, please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

Downtown Powell Street Market 2022

Street Market

If you love the village atmosphere of Powell and enjoy a great street fair, make a point to visit the Downtown Powell Street Market, when all the shops and more come out to ply their wares and create a fun family event! 

This event only happens a few times a year so save the date for May 1st & September 18th! Open from 9 AM to 4 PM, Liberty Street will be filled with vendors, food, music, collectibles, and more. Don’t miss the excitement!

Vendors include local shops, plus special one-day-only booths from artisans who create handmade crafts, fine art, amazing food, and so much more! It’s the perfect event to find that one-of-a-kind birthday gift for a loved one, eat great food & enjoy the street fair, or get a jump on your holiday shopping. See you in Powell!

Please note: The dates and times of this event were correct as of publishing, however, weather and other issues can cause changes, so please check the link provided before making your plans. Thank you!

The Best Assisted Living Facility in Columbus, OH

Place for Mom

There comes a time in life when your parents are ready to discuss selling their home and moving to somewhere with more assistance. Deciding which is the best assisted living facility is right for your family can be confusing and stressful.

Everyone just really wants to choose the best assisted living facility for their family member.

A Place for Mom helps families make the best decision for them. They spend time getting to know you and your loved one to determine what’s important to you. They ask basic medical questions about your loved one’s health & from this information they take that intimidating list and narrow it down to the top 3-5 best assisted living facilities for you and your loved one.

The best part? It’s free to you! 

A Place for Mom is paid by their participating communities if a family member moves into a senior living community or signs up with a home care provider. 

Their advisors’ recommendations are unbiased because they are not compensated based on which community is chosen. They are simply incented to help your family find the right solution that meets your unique needs.  

In fact, our own REALTOR, Sue Lusk-Gleich, called A Place for Mom, to help her find the best place for her mother:

“When I called them, they asked a series of questions to help me narrow down choices as to a place for my mom here in Columbus. They saved us an enormous number of hours of research and visits with their knowledge of what was available in Columbus and how their recommendations would best fit my mom based on our answers to their questions. All these retirement and long-term health care facilities have their marketing departments that make every place sound like the place you would want to be. A Place for Mom helped us sort it all out. Mom went to one of the 4 recommendations they made to us and it was a perfect fit. The best part? A Place for Mom cost us absolutely nothing to use them and get those recommendations.”

To begin, we recommend that you do a little research on what’s available in your area or the area you’re considering. Once you get a feel for that, contact A Place for Mom to get a list of narrowed-down recommendations. 

A Place for Mom operates in the US and Canada so, they can help even if your loved one lives away from you. You may want to consult a financial planner and your loved one’s physicians as well since medical and financial considerations are often essential considerations.

Of those 3-5 places on the recommended list, we advise you to do your research well. Read up on the different types of care offered, visit each in-person to ensure that it’s as nice in person as it is on paper, ask lots of questions & pay attention to the answers. It’s helpful to take notes of their answers to be used for comparison later. 

The Columbus Team knows Columbus, but A Place for Mom knows senior living options, they’re who WE consult when it comes to finding a place for OUR Mom. We’re glad we found such a great resource to share with our friends and neighbors!

Questions? Contact The Columbus Team today.

What You Need to Know About an Appraisal Gap

Appraisal Gap

Let’s start with the one thing everyone knows about real estate at the moment. It is a sellers’ market. Whenever you take a mortgage out to buy property; all mortgage lenders require an appraisal. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the fair market value of the property. This is so lenders can ensure that the borrower is requesting an appropriate amount for the purchase.

With the real estate market today, buyers are purchasing homes above the market value. This leads to an Appraisal Gap which means you’ve agreed to pay more than the house is worth according to the appraiser. This seemingly unimportant term results in complications, delays, & sometimes losing out on your dream home.

So, what can you do when you find yourself with an Appraisal Gap?

Pay the Difference in Cash

You’ve put an offer in on the house but your mortgage lender won’t lend you more than the house is worth. Your first option is to pay the difference in cash. This means your down payment will be bigger than expected. You’ll have to cover the difference between the appraised value and the price, or risk having others buy the property you want, when you can’t or won’t go through with the sale.

Walk Away

This option is the least risky, but you’ll find yourself back in the same place as you were before. Needing a house, fast.

Renegotiate

You could ask the seller to cut the price to the appraised value or to split the difference with you. Unfortunately, in this seller’s market, you’re more likely to be told to take a hike than to be invited to the negotiation table.

Request a Review

If you think you’ve found errors in the appraiser’s report, you can request a review of the appraisal. Your agent can help with the research and paperwork but anything that drags out the buying process may lose you the house. After all, this seller most likely has offers from other buyers that can happen immediately and under more favorable terms.

Apply with Another Lender

You could also apply with another lender in the hopes of receiving a more favorable appraisal, but like requesting a review, this takes time, and you might get the exact same answer.

Or, you could eliminate the issue before it starts with Appraisal Gap Coverage.

But wait, you say, I already have an appraisal contingency in my home purchase contract. An appraisal contingency is not the same as appraisal gap coverage. A contingency says that the buyer or seller can call off the deal if the property is appraised for lower than the buyer offered. No problem, you’re covered, right?

Not exactly. In hot real estate markets, like we’re currently in, buyers will waive the appraisal contingency to make themselves more appealing to sellers.

Appraisal gap coverage is different. It is custom wording in the purchase contract that guarantees that you will pay the difference between the appraised value and the contract price, up to a certain amount, if an appraisal gap becomes an issue.

From the seller’s perspective, this lowers the risk of a financing-contingent deal falling through by guaranteeing an acceptable appraisal gap amount that can occur without giving the buyer a way out of the deal.

For the buyer, it makes their offer more compelling and allows them to walk away if the appraisal gap is bigger than the agreed-upon amount, which is clearly stated and outlined in the contract.

Buying a home in this market is complicated. Be sure to discuss all your options with The Columbus Team before submitting or accepting an offer and definitely before signing a contract! 

There you have it. Everything you need to know about Appraisal Gaps and how to use them to your advantage. Happy House Hunting!