Buying a House – Old Vs New

Are you contemplating buying a house? If a real estate purchase is high on your list of priorities in the near future you might be asking yourself; should I buy a new house or an older house? That’s not necessarily as simple a question to answer as you might think, there are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing a home, new or old. As an experienced realtor I’d like to offer a little advice to help you understand some of the differences between the two.

Most people have a picture in mind when they imagine what their house should look like. You might dream of curling up in front of a big wood-burning fireplace in a grand old heritage house on a cold winter day. Hopefully your partner isn’t dreaming about gazing out at sparkling city lights from a brand new penthouse condo! Having similar tastes in real estate is really helpful when your property search begins.

Regardless of what type of house you end up buying you will likely discover that home ownership is very rewarding, bringing you and your family a sense of security, confidence and comfort. In today’s real estate market, incentive programs, low interest rates and a surfeit of available properties make home ownership an attainable goal for many.

Your house selection will be determined by a number of factors including the need for space (lots of kids or pets?), your desired location and of course your budget. It’s pretty much always a matter of compromise. You may find an old house with the character you adore that needs a ton of renovation, but if it doesn’t fit into your budget or you can’t do the work yourself it just might not be a good choice. Likewise, you might have your heart set on a new house, but keep in mind that you may need to spend more money on things like window coverings, landscaping and fencing that are often already included with an old house.

Benefits of Buying an Older House

In general, buying an old house means you can see what you are getting – any major structural faults will have become apparent over time (and hopefully been corrected!). The neighborhood is likely well established so you know what you’re getting there too. You will often find lovely mature landscaping that offers more privacy than in a new neighborhood. The house will probably come with basic chattels such as drapes, blinds and light fixtures, and may also offer appliances, saving on after purchase costs.

Benefits of Buying a New House

If you decide to buy a new house you might be able to have a hand in customizing the finishings (flooring, paint, even cabinets and countertops). If you are having a custom house built for you there is no limit (except maybe budgetary) to the choices you can make, starting with the basic design of the house. New homes usually have much more storage space and bigger rooms, as well as being plumbed and wired for all the latest gadgets and technology (home theatre anyone?). Usually, land values increase as the neighborhood develops so you may gain equity if you build in a new subdivision as it nears completion.

Whether you end up buying an old house or a new house depends on you, but discussing your inclinations with your realtor can help you come to an informed decision about the types of properties you want to look at. An experienced realtor can guide you through the entire home buying process so that you find the home that best suits you and your family.