If you're thinking about buying a house, one of the questions on your mind may be whether to opt for a new build or an older home. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The following guide from our real estate agents lays out the basics of what you need to consider before making your decision.
One of the most appealing benefits of a new build is that everything will be brand new. This means little to no time or money spent on maintenance. Compare this to an older house, which usually requires a fair bit of maintenance and upkeep, especially if it hasn't been kept up on by the previous owner. That's not to say that new homes never have problems, of course, but when problems do occur, they are often covered by a warranty.
- Energy efficiency:
Another factor to consider when choosing between newer and older South Bend homes for sale is the energy efficiency of the home. Newer homes are often built with this in mind, which means they have more energy-efficient windows, appliances, and insulation. Older homes have sometimes been updated to reflect these features, so you'll either need to look for what you want or plan to do some updates after taking possession.
- Floor plan:
Housing standards have changed over the years, and you'll find those changes reflected in new builds when compared with older homes. For instance, new homes tend to be larger, offer more closet and storage space, and feature more and bigger bathrooms. Older homes tend to have fewer bathrooms, smaller closets, and are often small in overall square footage, but make up for it in charm.
While there are a lot of advantages to buying a new home, this is one area where you can't beat an older home in an older neighborhood. When you buy a new home in a new neighborhood, often the landscaping is unfinished and will take some work to get where you want it. The rest of the neighborhood may look bare for a little while still, too. An older home, on the other hand, usually has fairly well-established landscaping with plenty of mature trees in the neighborhood.
There is something to be said for moving into an older home with a neighborhood that's already well established. Older neighborhoods are also less likely to have a homeowners association, with the rules and fees to go with it. A new neighborhood, on the other hand, will take time to get established and may require monthly HOA dues.
One of the major benefits of a new build is that if you go under contract before the home is built, you may be able to pick out things like materials and appliances. In an older home, on the other hand, you'll need to either find a home that has already been updated close to how you want it or pay to have a remodel done after closing.
As you might expect, a new home often costs more than an older home, although it's important to weigh that against everything you won't have to spend money on after closing, such as updates and repairs. An older home is often the more affordable option up front, though, and you can always do the updates and repairs over time to spread out the cost.
The choice of either a new build or an older home often comes down to personal preference or what makes more sense in your individual situation. Not sure which to choose? Contact us to discuss your options with one of our agents today.