Old vs. new: What kind of home is right for you?

Old House

Having a hard time choosing between an old house and a new construction? Allow us to break down the pros and cons for you.

Buying an old home

  • PRO: Location

    Older homes and communities are usually closer to the center of town. You can easily walk to local establishments for either work or leisure. Older residences in the suburbs also tend to be single-family homes. New constructions near downtown areas are more likely to be condominium or apartment units.

  • CON: Maintenance

    While it’s true that older homes are sturdier and better built, they still require special care. You’ll need to look into wiring, heating/cooling systems, and plumbing, for example, to make sure they remain efficient and up to code.

  • PRO: Pedigree

    There’s a reason an older property hasn’t been razed and a new structure built over it. Find out why. In the best cases, the property may be historic, or typify an architectural development significant to the community. If the home has pedigree and remains well maintained, it will tend to hold value through the years.

  • CON: Smaller spaces

    Will your furniture and appliances fit inside an older house? Common household items today are built larger than they used to be. Before sealing that deal, check whether the kitchen can accommodate your double oven or twin-door stainless steel fridge.

  • PRO: Lower price tags

    Pre-owned homes are cheaper on the market than new constructions. You can save up to 20% on an older property. Some sellers may also sweeten the deal by offering the home fully or partially furnished.

  • CON: Insurance may cost more

    When eyeing a pre-owned property that’s 50 years or older, consider the amount of extra insurance you’ll need to buy to cover hard-to-find material like reclaimed wood, antique doors, and the like, in case they’re seriously damaged. You may also want to factor in the greater risks posed by wood-burning ovens, as well as older wiring and plumbing.

Buying a new home

  • PRO: Personalization

    Even if you’ve chosen a layout from a menu of design plans offered by a developer, you can still work with production builders to personalize your new home. You can select colors, finishes, appliances, cabinets, countertops, and flooring even if you can’t change the layout of rooms or square footage of the house.

  • CON: Delayed gratification

    You can’t move in immediately if the home is still in construction – which can still be a good thing. You can spend the time getting ready for the move. Make sure your paperwork and finances are in order, and that you’ve sorted through your stuff.

  • PRO: Latest features and materials

    You can be sure you’ll be getting a home built with the latest features, based on current construction codes or regulations. These may include smarthome features, security systems, and materials that ensure energy efficiency.

  • CON: Smaller lots

    Space comes at a premium in today’s market, so contemporary single-family homes are usually built on smaller lots. Older properties are more spacious with bigger backyards that can accommodate swimming pools, patios, or children’s play areas.

  • PRO: Better storage

    While new constructions tend to be built on smaller lots, they are equipped with better storage features. Walk-in closets and in-wall storage spaces are common features of the modern home, addressing a common practical need among today’s homeowners.

  • CON: Early moves are not ideal

    Moving into a community where everyone is a “new neighbor” to each other seems exciting, but that’s not always the case. If you happen to be among the very first to move in, you might find it lonely for a while. If homes in the community are still under construction, you may be inconvenienced by noise, dust, and the frequent movement of people and equipment.