Pros And Cons Of Building A New Home Vs. Buying An Older Home
Pro’s Of Purchasing An Existing Home:
More Land – Buying an older home allows more money for a larger parcel of land. With the amount of land decreasing everyday, land is becoming more and more expensive. Buying an existing home, in most cases, will provide you with more choices when it comes to location and the amount of acreage. If you’re looking for a larger lot an older home will net you more.
Price Per Square Foot – Although I wouldn’t recommend buying a home based solely on price per square foot, an older home will provide more space than a new home. Construction supplies have increased dramatically over the years, and due to this fact, price per square foot has increased for newer built homes.
Character Galore – There are many older homes with some incredible features. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find an incredibly unique home that will never be built again. With an older home, if you don’t like some features, they can easily be replaced with updates to add a little bit of your own character to the property.
Mature Vegetation And Large Trees – With an older home you’re going to get a better yard. Trees have had the time to mature and the vegetation should be well groomed.
Con’s Of Purchasing An Existing Home:
Maintenance Issues – An older home is more likely to have maintenance issues than a new home. Appliances age and as they age they start to fail. You may find yourself replacing a furnace or a dishwasher sooner than if it was a newer home. There may also be electrical issues, lead paint, a leaky roof, or a termite damage. Be sure to do a thorough inspection so you know what you’re getting yourself into prior to buying an older home.
Faulty Wiring And Plumbing – Depending on how old the home is, wiring and plumbing may need to be updated. Updating an entire homes wiring is quite expensive and faulty plumbing could lead to leaks and mold. You can usually negotiate these types of repairs when buying the home so be sure to get a real estate agent who knows how to negotiate properly.
Needs Updates – An older home will most likely need some sort of updating. If you plan on selling your home, if the updates aren’t done, you will lose out on potential equity. Be sure to calculate in your purchase price the costs of updating an older home, and the costs of paying someone to do it if you can’t.
Pro’s Of Building A New Home:
Minimal Maintenance – If you hire a respectable builder maintenance over the first ten to fifteen years should be very minimal. One of the main reasons I advise my clients to build new is if they want to avoid a lot of upkeep.
Home Warranties – Most builders will warrant their homes for at least the first year. If something goes wrong, the builder will cover it. Also, new homes come with new appliances and they normally have warranties. If you’re furnace of dishwasher were to fail within the first couple of years, the warranty would cover it saving you an out of pocket expense.
New House Smell – A new home should come with all the basics that an older home may not have. Things like updated light fixtures, fresh-neutral paint, modern cabinetry, and clean-fresh carpet are great advantages of building. New homes are also built with new building codes which means they may be greener and could save you money on your monthly utility bills.
You Get To Choose – The number one reason to build is choice. You can choose your own lot and upgrade until your hearts content. This is the number one factor to build. Many of my buyers can’t find exactly what they’re looking for on the market so they build their dream home. If you can’t get everything you want in an older home, build your own.
Con’s Of Building A New Home:
They All Look The Same – Many builders, in order to save money, have just a few floor plans to choose from. Many newer homes just don’t have the character or wow factor of an older home, and if you want to get that wow factor, it’s going to be quite expensive. Which brings me to my next point.
New Homes Are Expensive And Time Consuming - In order to build a new home you have to have enough time to get it build. A new home takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to build and, as I mentioned above, the price per square foot is going to be a lot more. If you need a lot of space, a newer home is going to cost a pretty penny. Not to mention the lot. If you want the perfect parcel of land, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Unfinished Landscaping – Many builders don’t put the cost of landscaping into their initial bids. If you want your yard to have luscious vegetation, pretty flowers, and large trees you’ll have to pay extra. I’ve seen people build homes and not get landscaping done for years after the completion of construction. Make sure you understand the costs of making the yard pretty.
If you’re thinking of buying a home, be sure to hire a great real estate agent and do your homework. Home buying should be a great experience and whether you choose to build or buy an existing home, have fun and don’t let the stress get to you. Happy buying!
-article was written by Lisa Udy, a real estate professional in Utah