While the decision to buy a home is an important one, there is one irreconcilable fact about the home purchasing exercise: the age of your home. Real estate agents are really good at framing ‘weathered’ homes as being vintage and new flimsy constructions as being untouched. In truth there is something to be said for both the sturdy old-world construction of days gone by and the relative newness of un-rotted wood and fresh foundation. You need to be careful when you are buying a home as you, and not the realtor, are going to be the one who has to deal with the hardships which both styles of home afford. Before you make a final decision on whether or not to buy a newer construction or an older home, there are three things you should consider.
Old Construction vs. New Construction: The construction on older homes has stood the tests of time. Many older homes have stood through years of all possible weather events and have made it to the other side unscathed. Still, there is something to be said for new construction; the potential for problems may be less. Maybe. You should find out what the foundation looks like in both homes, what type of wood was used in construction, and how the homes have withstood regular weather events. I’m always amazed when the homebuyer of the home on the incline in Southern California never thinks to ask if the home has moved during rains! Or if the home buyer of an older New England home doesn’t think to wonder how the basement insulation has stood the tests of time. more often than not the home buyers will get their answer during first frost!
Old Character vs. New Amenities: Older homes are ‘nicer.’ Newer homes are very similar or cookie-cutter. We’ve all heard the arguments. So what is more important to you? A new untouched home which you can create many memories at yourself? Or a richly maintained home which has impeccable character. Older homes are also built on larger lots (generally) where newer homes have more cramped setups.
Cost of maintenance vs. Energy Efficiency: This is a big one; you have to know how much it costs to run your home. many of the new homes on the west coast; in Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California are now partially or fully solar. Using the generally always present solar energy, some newer homes are able to be a lot more cost effective because of the savings.
Of course there are those intangibles which go into the home purchase decision; the magic of first opening the door to your future living room on a still and sun swept autumn afternoon, the nice neighbor who happened by and said a kind word, the extra room for your art studio in what feels like ‘found space.’ All these things lead into how people buy homes; if buying a home is even the right decision for you at all!