Home Shopping: Should You Buy an Old House (But in Good Condition) or a Newly Built Home?

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As you shop for a new home, you have a couple of options. You can go for a property in new home developments, which are popular everywhere from St. George, Utah to Long Island, New York. You can also buy a home that’s been built a while back, whether a fixer-upper or an old house in good condition.

But which one of these options is better? Should you buy a new home or an old home that’s good enough?

There’s no single answer that fits in all situations, and quite honestly, there are many specific benefits to both. To help you figure out which suits you better, here’s a quick discussion on both old and new homes.

A Matter of Budget

One thing that will undoubtedly be different when it comes to old and new homes are the prices. Newly-built houses come with amazing features, but unfortunately, they do come with hefty price tags. The median values of both old and new homes are vastly different. For example, old dwellings (also known as existing homes) have a median value of about $240,500. On the other hand, new homes have a median cost of $320,700.

When you want to buy a brand new home, you’ll be paying at least 30% more. That’s a lot of money to be coughing up. Imagine having to pay $100,000 more just to purchase a new home. Then again, when you purchase an existing home, you’ll probably need to spend quite a bit more than the deal price to remodel or repair existing issues.

Older homes also tend to be somewhat less efficient when it comes to energy, which means you will likely be spending more to cool and heat your home each month. Indeed, there are tradeoffs in each situation.

Maintenance Needs

man with a magnifying glass looks at a house with a crack

Another thing that you will notice when it comes to the difference between existing homes and newer houses is the amount of maintenance that you will have to do. Maintaining your home is necessary to keep it in good condition for as long as you own it. However, existing homes will have some repair issues that perhaps the previous owners had not addressed, which, of course, you will eventually have to deal with.

Property Value

Your home’s value will depend on a ton of factors, not just on its actual selling price. It can increase or decrease in value depending on where it’s located, its current condition, its finishings and furnishings, and more. However, newer homes do tend to have more modern finishings and better designs that can drive up their value. Plus, they are guaranteed almost to be in fantastic condition.

You can still increase the value of an existing home, but it comes with a price. After all, though remodeling or adding a patio or backyard pool can boost your old home’s value, it isn’t an inexpensive upgrade.

The decision to buy a home depends entirely on your preferences — and your budget. Weigh the tradeoffs and the unique benefits of each so that you can make a decision on which property best suits your needs.

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