Friday, July 23, 2021 / by Ray Lumenario
Old house vs. new house: If you’re buying a place to live, this may be one of your primary decisions. Personal preference is everything, and what suits a buyer or family might be unacceptable for another. Cost, size, location, maintenance, and character are just a few of the many factors homebuyers care about.
Advantages Of Buying An Older Home
Old-World Construction: Older houses have stood for decades, some for centuries, and have weathered many storms. Some have been handcrafted by real artisans with great attention to detail. The old adage "They don't make them like they used to"
Larger Yards: When the land was cheaper, builders built larger plots and left space for garages in alleys and larger sides, front and back yards.
Established Neighborhoods: Zoning changes are unlikely in older areas, so older homes have a more predictable environment. Older neighbourhoods can even be considered historic, with high conservation value.
Mature Trees and Vegetation: On older lots, it's not uncommon to see 50 to 100-year-old trees forming canopies on patios and boulevards, or rose bushes that have been tended for generations.
Centrally Located: Older residential areas are usually closer to city centers, so residents can walk to local cafes, antique shops, and restaurants.
Disadvantages Of Buying An Older Home
More Maintenance. Ageing construction means there's always something to fix. You might want to check the wood floorings, stone foundations etc.
Plumbing Failures: Galvanized pipes were used in older homes, which, unlike modern copper pipes, are prone to rust and eventually decompose. Expanding tree roots also break pipes. Cesspools can overflow in homes built in front of sewer systems.
Electrical Safety: Many older houses were not built to modern safety standards. Sensitive electronic components require wiring to be grounded, and Romex (a type of non-metallic coated wire) cannot be mixed with buttons and tubing. Aluminum is often dangerous.
Smaller Spaces: Before the current “bigger is better” concept, people had fewer clothes, fewer personal items and rarely more than one vehicle. As a result, closets, cupboards, garages, and other storage spaces tended to be smaller.
Appliance Updates: Functional or modern upgrades can include expensive kitchen and bathroom remodelling.
It's More Expensive: You pay an extra charge for an urban location and also for the charm that classic and old houses bring with it.
Advantages to Buying a Newer Home
Less Maintenance: New constructions are meant to outlast the warranty, so homeowners shouldn't expect to install a new roof, replace the water heater, or fix fixtures for 10-20 years.
Modern Conveniences: Many amenities are now standard, such as built-in dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves and wine coolers. Newer homes often have master suite bathrooms, multimedia and training rooms, and networked cabling systems.
Energy Efficiency: New devices use less energy. The walls, ceilings and floors of newer houses are insulated. Double-glazed windows keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Many new houses are even being built with solar panels.
More Affordable: If the new home is not custom-built it will likely cost a lot less per square foot than an older home in the same location.
Disadvantages Of Buying a Newer Home
Immature Vegetation: Trees can take years to grow, so newer homes often use shrubs, cacti, or other quickly repairable landscaping.
Unpredictable House Settling: All houses settle on their foundations after a while (it happens anywhere regardless of the ground), but older houses have already done so. When buying a new home, you need to prepare for the change. Settlement can cause cracks in foundations, walls and door frames.
Longer Commutes: The newer houses are mostly built in the suburbs. If you want to be in the middle of the action downtown, or if you want to avoid commuting to work in rush hour city traffic, the distance to downtown can make a difference for you.