If you’re in the market for a new home, you may consider both older homes and brand-new construction. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, of course. Let’s examine the pros and cons of buying an older home to help you decide what’s best for your family.
Advantages of Buying an Older Home
1. Older Properties Have Character
One of the main advantages of buying an older home is that they often have more character than a new home. Older homes were built with craftsmanship and attention to detail which is not always evident in new construction. From beautiful moldings and arched doorways to hardwood floors and built-in bookcases, certain features are more common in older homes.
2. Buying an Older Home is Often More Affordable
In many markets, older homes are more affordable than brand-new construction, especially if you’re willing to do some updates yourself. If you have your heart set on a particular neighborhood but find that prices are out of reach, consider looking at older homes in the area. You may be surprised at what you can get for your money.
3. Larger Lot Sizes
Depending on the age of the home, older properties often come with more land. Lot sizes were larger compared to what you’ll find with modern, new-construction homes. An older home may be a good option if you’re looking for more space between you and your neighbors.
4. Better Quality Construction
Many builders cut corners to save money, but that wasn’t always the case. Homes built 50 or 100 years ago were designed to last, using high-quality construction practices and materials. An old house may not have all the bells and whistles of a new home. However, the building materials are likely to be of higher quality. Hardwood floors, authentic stone fireplaces, and natural wood cabinetry are built to last.
Disadvantages of Buying an Older Home
1. Necessary Updates and Repairs
One of the main disadvantages of buying an older home is that it will likely need some updates and repairs. Even if the previous owners have done some work, improvements may need to happen. Older properties could have outdated electrical systems, old plumbing, or even dangerous materials like lead-based paint or asbestos insulation.
Before making an offer on an older home, hire a home inspector to learn about the property’s condition. Make sure you factor in the cost of any necessary repairs or updates.
2. The Possibility of Hidden Problems
Everything should be in working order when you buy a new home, but that’s not always the case with an older home. The property may appear to be well cared for. However, hidden issues might exist. Talk to the seller to learn if there is an underground fuel oil tank. Learn about how well the home is insulated. Hire an inspector to look for signs of termites and other wood-destroying insects.
3. Difficulties Getting Financing
In some cases, financing an older home can be challenging because lenders may view them as high-risk investments. If you decide to buy an older home, talk to several different lenders beforehand to learn what mortgage options are available.
If you love the idea of owning a piece of history or appreciate the charm of vintage architecture, then an old home may be right for you. Factor in the cost of repairs and updates when making an offer. Hire a home inspector, and know what to expect before making such a significant investment.