Buying an Older House vs. a Newer House
Different people have a different preference toward an older house or a newer construction house. If you are not familiar with pros and cons of both types of homes, you may wonder, “Why would I want to buy an older house if I can buy a new construction with the same amount of money?” It’s a perfectly legitimate question to have. After reading below, if you still feel the same way, then you would be happier in a newer construction home rather than an older home.
First, let me start out by pointing most homes are older homes built prior to 1980’s. Most smaller bungalow homes in inner city Portland are even older, usually dating back to 1930’s. You will see more newer homes in a suburb in a planned subdivision development. In the city, you will see new construction homes occasionally after tearing down old homes on the lot. Newer homes look nice and modern and as a homeowner, you don’t need to worry about updating or repairing anything for a long time.
However, due to rising costs of land and increasing population, newer homes are being built on smaller and smaller lots newer they get. Because of that reason, homes are closer to each other and you may not have enough privacy in the backyard if you have one at all. Additionally, your house will look about 90% same as your neighbors on the block and may even have HOA fees to keep that cookie cutter look. You may feel like living in an apartment complex all over again receiving mails from the HOA telling you to pull weed out of your front lawn.
Older homes on the other hand are very charming with own special characters. They also sit on larger lots with beautiful and mature landscaping that may provide a lot of privacy and backyard fun for the family. However, older homes can be a money pit since the house itself is old and may require a lot of updating. Every year, you may want to set aside money to upgrade things like kitchen, bathroom, vanity items, and appliances as well as repairing issues such as roof, plumbing, furnace, concrete cracks and squeaky floor. Some may call it an investment and others call it a never-ending project. Some people prefer to learn and do things themselves. The idea of fixing a home for your family is romantic, but after watching 50 YouTube videos and over $500 spent at Home Depot just for tools, you may have a serious resentment.
If you like a charming older home, you need to set a serious expectation on your own abilities versus how much you can afford to hire people to get things done. Also, you will pay close attention to your home inspection report and will also run into a situation where you may want to back out because the home has too many issues that are over your head. Your real estate buyer’s agent will be asking the home seller all the issues that the seller knows but inspection will reveal a lot more than what the seller knows so sometimes you just have to pay for the inspection to find out but still back out unfortunately.
Whether you want a newer house or an older house, you need to define your own limit and boundary of what you want and what you want to compromise for your ultimate happiness and peace of mind at your new home. This may require looking at lots of property listings and realizing what you want and can afford before and after buying the house.