Should we purchase a new home or an older home?


The following is an excerpt from The Locale 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 a new home or an older home. 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.

Consider the Variables in a New Home vs and Older Home

When considering the value of a home, and whether or not it is a good idea to purchase an older home over a newly built home, there are many variables. Like you said, older homes offer charm and elegance, and unbeholden to some – many are built with a larger square footage and with higher quality materials than what is being built today. Some would argue that homes aren’t built the way they used to be: brick homes are being replaced with houses wrapped in vinyl, attention to detail is being lost, houses with character are being swapped out for open floor plans in cookie cutter neighborhoods.

Consider Future Expenses

However, people would consider a new home more valuable because there should be no major expenses in the first several years of ownership. In a new house, modern features like media rooms, large closets and extra-large bathrooms are more attainable. In an aged home you rely largely on the previous resident’s tastes and technological whims, unless you already plan to farm thousands into a remodeling.

Consider the Big Ticket Item Expense

All that in mind, however, a house that is 30 years old may be equally renovated and just as updated as a new home. The usual big ticket expenses are windows, roof, siding, and HVAC, so if all of those are well kept, then an older home could be of equal value as a brand new home and of more value if the foundation is stronger.

Consider Land and Location

When thinking about what type of home is right for you, land and location can come in to play. Typically the older homes are likely to be much more centralized with more properties to choose from, while the newer homes in the area are a bit fewer and built farther out from the city center. Many of the older homes in the area are generally larger than the newly built homes and are located on larger pieces of land than what people in the same area would currently be building on.

Additionally, on that land the landscaping is normally already completed and with the possibility that 10’s of thousands of dollars in landscaping could have already been completed and included in the purchase price.

Value is in the Eye of the Beholder

The truth is that value may be in the eye of the beholder. Just look at all of the details and what you are looking for specifically in a home, then relate that to the age of the home, major home expenses, the quality of the construction, the land/ location, and the overall costs to evaluate value.

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