How to Decide: Old House vs New House

Nov 14, 2022


When you’re buying a home, there are several factors that you have to consider. One of those is whether or not you should buy an older or a new construction home.

Now, you might think this question is going to be an easy one to answer. But you could already be leaning in one direction. 

However, you must consider more than a few things when deciding between an older home and a newer one.

The Benefits of New Construction Homes

They Need Fewer Repairs

The best part of buying a new home is that you won’t be making many repairs for the first few years you live in it. 

Less money will come out of your wallet, and less time and effort to maintain your new home.

New Real Estate Properties are Great Investment Properties 

When it’s your time to sell, you will likely do it at a profit. Homebuyers value newer homes rather than older ones, especially if they have favorable features and amenities.

New Homes Sometimes Come with Amenities

More and more neighborhoods are being built with amenities such as pools and gyms for the whole community. And since you’re a homeowner in the area, you’re free to use them!

The Downsides of New Construction Homes

Some New Homes Come with HOA Fees

If your new neighborhood does have a pool or gym, you will be required to pay monthly or annual HOA fees to support the amenities’ upkeep.

Home Owner Associations also control how you design your home’s exterior. But remember, you have the right to address the organization with complaints.

Built on Smaller Plots of Land

Newer homes tend to be built on smaller plots of land. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. 

One of them is that newer homes are larger than older ones. Another reason is that homebuilders have less land to work with, particularly in growing suburbs.

Newer Homes are Further Away from City Centers

Most existing neighborhoods have already taken advantage of the best spots in American cities. So when you become part of a new neighborhood, you risk your ability to be close to city centers and shopping centers.

Newer Homes Take Longer to Move Into

That’s right. The homebuilders might be finishing construction, or the real estate property is undergoing various inspections. Either way, moving into your new home might take a bit longer.

The Benefits of Older Homes

Older Homes Have More Land

Land used to be a lot more affordable, and as such, homebuilders were able to use cheap land to their advantage. As a result, older homes are typically on big plots of land that the homeowner can utilize.

It’s great news for anyone who likes a big lawn, wants space for a garden, or homeowners with outdoor pets.

Older Real Estate Properties Tend to be Closer to City Centers

Since homebuilders had more land, they could build homes closer to the city and shopping centers. 

While you still might find new neighborhoods only a short drive away from the nearest grocery store, the number of new communities close to city centers and shopping centers is steadily decreasing.

Older Homes Have More Variety

Older homes have different layouts and floor plans that will differ from new homes. However, older homes all tend to have a historic, traditional character, making them ideal for anyone who wants a traditional-style home.

Older Homes Can Be Brought For Lower Prices

Older homes can be brought at lower prices, and homebuyers have a greater chance of lowering the cost of a resale home than a new construction home.

The Downsides of Older Homes

The Housing Market Favors Newer Homes

Older homes increase in value slower than newer homes do. The reason is that older homes only have some of the modern features that more recent homes have.

As such, homebuyers will tend to look at more contemporary homes that will increase in value over time.

Less Space in the Home

In the decades prior, people didn’t own as much stuff as we do now. They had less clothing and fewer personal items. That’s why square footage holds two different meanings for homes built in the 2000s and built in the 1980s. Older homes tend to have less square footage overall.

Older Real Estate Properties Require More Repairs

The trade-off for getting an older home for a lower price is that they require repairs more often than their newer counterparts.

Older Homes are Less Energy-Efficient

Since they don’t have the latest appliances, older insulation, and windows, you might be spending a little extra on your power bill.

Which’s One Better?

Ultimately, that depends on your personal preference. For example, if you prefer a more traditional home with a large plot of land, you might choose an older one. 

On the other hand, if you want a home with the latest features and a neighborhood with amenities, look at newer homes.