New Construction vs. Pre-Owned: Which is right for you?
Is it better to buy new, or do homes, like wine, improve with time?
One of the first decisions that any prospective homebuyer needs to consider when shopping for a house is whether to buy a newly constructed house – or move into a pre-owned home. An age-old debate with no right or wrong answer. Only you can decide what will work best for you. However, as you consider the pros and cons of each option, here are five questions to ask yourself.
1. Do You Want to Get More Bang for Your Property Buck?
A brand-new home is a blank canvas ready for you to stamp your mark on, while a previously owned home often requires a little extra TLC, especially if the previous owners had a somewhat unique taste.
However, be prepared to pay for all the modern features that come with a new home. According to figures from the National Association of Realtors, in 2019, the median price for a new house in the United States was $329,750, while older homes came in at $245,000. That’s a difference of $85,000. You have to ask yourself if the new construction smell is really worth it.
And don’t just think about the initial price tag – new homes are built to the latest regulations and codes, which means that they are more energy-efficient. While you might save money on your initial old home purchase, your bills may eventually eat up that difference.
2. Do You Enjoy DIY and Home Renovation Projects?
Or to put it another way, does the idea of maintaining your home sound fun to you? All properties need maintenance sooner or later; with an older home, that sooner can come a lot quicker than you expect, and that’s including any planned renovation projects to bring aging kitchens and bathrooms kicking and screaming into the 21st-century.
If you’re looking for a project, then an old home could be a better bet and also get you a nice windfall when you move out. However, you may be working for months to get to the home sweet home point or paying experts to do the job for you. When it comes to selling up, you’ll also have to consider that buyers may be looking for mod cons your house doesn’t have – until you install them.
On the other hand, buying new construction pushes maintenance worries down the road. Everything is brand new, including HVAC and other pre-installed home systems, so you can all but guarantee wallet-killing Money Pit-style stories won’t be yours for up to a decade.
No matter which type of home you buy, it’s important to remember that some small repairs and maintenance will always be a part of owning a home. Something as simple as keeping an eye on your roof drains, clearing out your HVAC filters and so on won’t just ensure that everything’s running smoothly – it’ll also ensure that there are fewer issues present when the time comes to sell up.
3. How Risk Averse Are You When It Comes to Investing?
A home isn’t just a relaxing, private space away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. It’s also likely to be one of your biggest investments. With this in mind, an older home has one significant advantage over its newer counterpart: you can see exactly how much the price of the property has increased and may continue to in the future.
While a new home may have that box-fresh appeal, it is untested – while it may be worth more in the future, it could also halve in value, too. Unfortunately, there’s no crystal ball, but new homeowners can rest easier knowing that their homes will require much less work for curb appeal when it comes to selling up as new homes will be more likely to meet the market demand in terms of features.
4. What’s Your Personal Homebody Style?
Curb appeal isn’t the only factor when it comes to picking a home – interior design and features matter, too! Older properties often come with attractive period features and attention to detail that seems missing in some new homes, making them attractive to people who want to live in a place with a real history in its walls.
While a new build home might not have hardwood floors that speak through the ages, their light, breezy, and open design is perfect for people who love modern design. Throw in the latest technology and amenities, together with energy efficiency as standard, and suddenly those period features may not matter so much.
No matter which you buy, you can always stamp your own personality into those walls!
5. Are There Homes That Mix the Best of Old and New?
If you’re like most people, you probably wish there was a house out there that took the best of new and old to create the perfect home. While this house doesn’t yet exist, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find something close to it.
The catch? You will need to do some renovation. This solution simply involves buying an older home that has a solid foundation and structure. With some elbow grease – or the help of experts – you can start to create a modern home while retaining all of the benefits and features of an older one… including that to-die-for hardwood flooring and dazzling art deco fireplace.
Find your dream home at Château Élan Estates
At Château Élan Estates, we can help find your perfect home, whether that’s a custom-build new construction – check out our builders – or a stylish, timeless older home. We are a golf and country club community located in the sought after area of Braselton, just 45-minutes north of Atlanta. Our homes range from the $400’s to $3M+. Contact us to find out more about currently available properties.