When you are finally ready to make the leap into buying your next home there are a plethora of choices to make. Key among them, old house or new? Should you opt for new construction or invest in a fixer upper? As the idea of “flipping houses” progresses in popularity, more and more individuals have grown an interest in taking a more DIY approach to their living space. The question of time and money can often be the deciding factor in this case but take a look at some pros and cons may help you make a more informed decision.
Thinking about the smell of timber and the buzz of saws as the walls of your new build are set into place? Sounds like a new home construction may be in your future. The positives of building your own home are straightforward. You get to be the first residents, everything is brand new (and designs have been selected by you), and you have a cohesive neighborhood organized and protected by the Homeowner’s Association. You can depend on the HOA to protect your resale value should you choose to move in the future and the maintenance costs will be lower while the energy efficiency will be much greater than in an older home.
There can be downsides to building your own new home. The often contemporary aesthetic of new construction can seem cookie cutter and the buyer’s negotiations will be limited. According to Forbes new homes can cost 20% more compared to older homes with similar features. The price paid for those neighborhood HOA fees may be an irritant as well.
If an old charmer is more your style there are pros to that consideration also. The benefits to buying an older home include a vast increase in design options. The choices are endless if you don’t want to limited by predetermined subdivision styling. The financial aspect can also be a pro for older homes. The buyer is much more likely to be able to negotiate the final price compared to new construction. An older house comes with the plus of an established neighborhood . No surrounding construction or infant trees here. All the charm and character you wanted also comes with “documented disclosure of any known issues” the house may have at the time of purchase, a benefit you won’t find with new construction.
Not all old houses are a dream though. Someone else has lived there, you won’t be the first. The maintenance costs will be higher and often the existing appliances are less energy efficient. The home’s design and amenities are frequently dated and in need of some considerable effort. These factors should all cross the mind of a buyer before jumping to a commitment.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease your path, either way you decide to lean. If new construction is your desire, remember to research your builder to ensure that their ethics and abilities match your expectations. While you are looking around be sure to walk the neighborhood and visualize how you would feel living in that setting. It is critical to expectations to visualize your future home instead of the model home walk through, the builders will include updates and specialized details to impress potential buyers.
If you take the more adventurous route towards purchasing an older home there are similar tips to protecting your investment. Always get an inspection, the risk outweighs the reward here tenfold. Setting up a house inspection is paramount to avoiding any hidden problems that may empty your savings after the ink dries on your contract. Don’t be afraid of the inspection process, the results will allow you to feel more comfortable within your budget and benefits you in negotiating the purchase price. Buyers must expect the unexpected in the realm of older homes. There is no knowing what is going on behind that beautiful woodwork without bringing in a professional. Lastly, be honest with yourself. It is important for buyers to be willing to compromise and know their limits. If you aren’t willing to live in construction or install flooring on the weekends, don’t sign up for it.
Which home path would you choose?