You’re looking to purchase your first home and you’re debating new construction vs older homes. This is a common dilemma for many home buyers, so you’re not alone.
There are amazing homes with both options, but there are countless differences between the two when deciding.
You may prioritize home purchase costs, perhaps location, or even maintenance associated with the home. There are pros and cons for both, so we’ll help guide you through some of the considerations.
New and Old Home Purchase Costs
There are countless factors that go into the price of a home, but in general, new construction homes cost around 25% more per square foot than older homes. Don’t worry, you can still get a home loan for either.
Sure that may be off-putting to some, but don’t fret. You’ll be living in a brand new home making brand new memories!
However, home costs are one of the primary forces in many peoples’ decisions to purchase a home.
You can still get a lot of house – no, a lot of amazingly beautiful house – for a lot less. This is why we recommend taking into consideration numerous factors when looking to purchase a home and not just the cost.
Location Is a Huge Factor
Look around and you’ll notice you can find older homes in every corner of the city. Whereas with new builds you’ll either have to purchase land or limit your search to neighborhoods with active construction.
If location is the primary force driving your home-purchase decision, then an older home may be your best best. Whether the location is important for commuting reasons or school district zoning, you’re going to have more options with an older home.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t find new homes in great areas, they definitely exist. However, you may be limited to only a handful of areas where the builders are currently building. This may limit your options for schools, nearby shopping, or your commute to work.
While they say, location, location, location, it’s simply one factor of many when debating new construction vs older homes.
Keep in mind that a great Realtor will be able to inform you where all of the new developments are in your area.
Which Floorplan is Right For You?
As mentioned, there are older homes on the market which means more options when it comes to floorplans; however, with a new build, you may be able to dictate your floorplan.
Over the years different floorplans may have been in style. Keep in mind that homes built in the 60s will probably have vastly different layouts than homes built in the 2000s.
With older homes, you definitely get a variety of floorplans to choose from.
However, with new construction homes, you can either buy a home with a standard floorplan or opt to have one built with a different floorplan. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but it boils down to what you’re looking for. You’ll find that standard (or existing) floorplans are much more inexpensive than having a custom floorplan made.
All Homes Require Maintenance, Some Require More of It
Don’t assume because you purchased a new construction home that it comes without flaws. That’s simply not the case.
New homes often have their fair share of faults throughout, but in general, it’s due to poor craftsmanship as opposed to wear and tear.
The greatest advantage for new construction, however, is the builder often provides a warranty on their work. This is different than a home warranty from American Home Shield. This is the builder guaranteeing their craftsmanship.
Older homes, on the other hand, typically require maintenance for items that are at the end of their lifecycle or normal wear and tear. A cabinet hinge can only last so long and if it’s 30 years old, it might be at the end of its life. Don’t worry, though, a good home inspector can find a lot of this before you purchase.
You may also need to do various upgrades and improvements on older homes which can be costly and time-consuming. But the goodness is that you can make it your own with your own style and finishing touches.
Overall, you can expect to incur more (and different) maintenance costs for an older home as opposed to a newly constructed home.
As far as comparing new construction vs older homes, the choice is completely up to you. What factors do you prioritize the most? Is budget one of your key concerns? How about maintenance? If you have kids then location and proximity to certain schools may play a bigger role.
In the end, what is it that you want? Don’t think necessarily that new construction is better than older homes, it’s simply a matter of preference.
If you have any questions about the home-buying process, want to inquire about new homes in the Killeen and Harker Heights areas, I would love to chat with you about it. Give me a call, text, or even send me a quick email and we can schedule a time to check out some homes.