Every buyer asks themselves the same question: Should I buy an older, historic home or new construction? Each has their own plusses and minuses so let’s explore each.
Older homes have advantages and disadvantages
Some of their advantages are in their solid construction. They have stood the test of time and usually have great craftsmanship and attention to detail. They have more character with interesting architectural details and decorations.
Generally they are built on larger lots, in or outside of the city, and are in established neighborhoods. In some, those homes have been handed down through generations so neighbors know each other. Being in established neighborhoods also means less likelihood of issues with zoning. Yards and neighborhoods have mature trees and landscaping.
However, the age of the home can be a drawback
Older homes require more maintenance. Things age and need replacing. Some of those fixes are expensive, especially if they involve the electrical systems or plumbing. For instance, septic systems, or even older cesspools, need to be replaced costing thousands. Old knob and tube electrical has to be completely replaced since newer wiring can’t be spliced in.
Other updates, like kitchens and baths are always expensive updates. Older homes have smaller, or no, closets and less storage space. Unless your older home is a larger estate, the living space, especially kitchens and bedrooms, tend to be smaller. And then there’s dealing with historical societies when buying and updating an historic home. They will be the ones to dictate things like paint colors and allowed updates.
Newer homes have pluses and minuses
New homes have much less maintenance. New takes longer to break. They are also built with modern conveniences, with up to code wiring and plumbing, energy efficiency and larger living spaces. Builders also give a warranty for a specific period in case something goes wrong. Then there’s the “nothing like being the first owner” feeling.
However, new homes in the same neighborhood or other neighborhoods built by the same builder, have the same floor plans. The cookie-cutter look may be nice, but there’s not as much character. The landscaping is sparser and smaller. Unless you’re building on a wooded lot and your builder is careful about how many trees are taken down, there will be no trees, except saplings newly planted.
Now, see which appeals to you more, and go with it!