There may come a time in your life when you will want to stop paying for rent or living with your family or friends and become a home owner. One of the most basic dilemmas that most people who are looking into home ownership have is whether to buy an existing home or a new home. Finding the answer to this dilemma is surprisingly difficult because there are many factors that you will have to take into consideration when buying a home. Both choices have plenty of advantages and a few disadvantages, which should be carefully looked into before deciding which way to go.
Advantages to Buying an Existing Home
Buying an existing home may not seem that beneficial for you at first glance, when compared to buying a new home or building your own. But there are some clear pros to buying an existing home and they shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are the most important:
- Location. Existing homes are most likely built closer to major metropolitan areas, which will make your work commute and shopping significantly less difficult and cheap. Many new homes are built at the edge of the city or town, so your commute will be longer, which means that you will be spending more gas and time on the road every day. Check out the most expensive housing markets as well as the least expensive housing markets to help make your decision.
- Build quality. Both construction materials and labor were less expensive in the past, which means that even if the home is a few years older, it’s very likely that it was built stronger and with better materials than a home built recently.
- Appliances. Many existing homes are sold with included appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, or even television sets. Buying a new home or building means that you may have to buy all or some of these appliances which can end up being quite expensive.
- Better curb appeal. Most existing homes have mature trees around them and landscaping. You probably won’t get that with a new home, and, depending on which area the new home is built in, you may have to wait years until your home’s surroundings will be complete with mature foliage and finished construction projects.
- The neighborhood. Most existing homes are located in already established neighborhoods, so it will be easy for you to find out if you are moving into a good or a bad neighborhood. You can also find out what your neighbors are like before buying the home. When buying or building a new home in an unknown area, you can end up having some unwanted developments built right next to your home.
Advantages to Buying a New Home
Buying a newly built home or building your own home also has plenty of advantages and, depending on your situation, might be the better choice. Here are the pros to buying a new home:
- Location. While this can also be considered a disadvantage, living on the outskirts of a city, where new houses are often built, can also be a blessing for those who want to live away from the noise and agitation of a large city. If you’re looking at rural areas, you can potentially apply for a USDA mortgage loan.
- Less maintenance. A newly built home will need repairs and maintenance much less than an existing, older home. Many parts of the home may even be covered by a few years of warranty. Serious and expensive repairs to things like the roof or the electrical system will be much cheaper or even free if they are covered by a warranty.
- More modern. People’s taste in homes changes over time, which means that you will probably like a new home, with bigger rooms and a more modern design. On the other hand, older homes may have certain unique architectural elements that you my like.
- More energy efficient. Because new homes are made with newer materials, they may be better insulated, making your energy and heating bills much lower. Existing homes usually cost more to heat or cool, but it generally depends on the age of the construction.
- Amenities. Many new homes may offer amenities that are not usually offered when moving into an existing home. These amenities can include a swimming pool, jogging trails, or playgrounds for your children.
Buying an existing home or buying a new home may seem like an easy decision, but it is actually a very serious and difficult decision. Whatever your budget and requirements are, you should not dismiss either option before taking a closer look at what each has to offer. Additionally, renting a home may be an option to consider. You might be set on buying or building a new home, only to find that it will be much cheaper and convenient to buy an existing home that will satisfy all your needs. Alternatively, you may also find that buying a new home over an existing home can be more beneficial for your situation.