Home Buying in Norfolk>Question Details

Elizabeth Do…, Home Buyer in 90230

Is it better to buy new construction or an older established house?

Asked by Elizabeth Dover, 90230 Sun Aug 9, 2009

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Hi Elizabeth. Looking at your question, I kept remembering what Erma Bombeck used to say: "One size fits all is an incomplete statement!" The question I would have for you is "Better in what way?" When you buy a new home in a new home neighborhood, one of the difficulties is knowing how the homes will do value-wise when they become (as all new homes eventually become) resale homes. Sometimes, new homes come with a price tag but without the benefit of proven value over the long-term. With our market a little "squishy" now, some new homes sites have actually had to lower the prices on the remaining homes after the first few have sold to get them to sell. This means that the buyers who bought the new houses first would have overpaid for their new homes. So, valuewise, new homes have the risk that they will not hold their value since they do not have an established neighborhood sales record.
Older homes in more established neighborhoods can usually look to their own neighborhood history to predict what prices will hold. And while it is true that newer homes have fewer repair issues than older homes, a good agent will help a buyer have the home inspected by a competent independent party to uncover any undisclosed defects in an older home. Also, if the sellers won't purchase the buyers a home warranty, home buyers can purchase then now--which can help a buyer buy with more confidence.
Some of the "better" comes down to preference. If you like impeccable carpet and swoon at the thought of picking out your own linoleum, a new home might be just the ticket. If you fancy yourself a makeover miracle worker, and older house might have it's appeal.
INHO, the REAL "better" is knowing that you got a quality product worthy of the amount that your paid, whether that is old or new. A competenet realtor can help you look at the cost of the house you want compared to other, similar houses in the same area. THings like the upgrades and even the number of foreclosed homes in the neighborhood can affect the price a home can command.
In case you're wondering, my own house is 80 years old, but the house across the street from me is less than five years old. As a real estate broker, I help my clients buy the house of THEIR dreams, not mine!
Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 26, 2009
Do you like working on home infrastructure and spending money on poorly functioning items like the HVAC?

Or do you prefer to probably, but not definately, spend more money up front on your mortgage?

IMO, this is usually more of a location/neighboorhood decision. Old is convenient and close, new is further out and a huge commute.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 26, 2009
Personally, I think it depends on what you really want out of the home. A new home is going to allow you to move in with everything built and painted to your specifications. You pick color choices, finishes, appliances and the sort. You do have the luxuary of being able to see your home built from the ground up or at least get in on picking out what you want. I like that part. However, older homes can be built better. Today's quality lumber is not a good as years gone by. In an older/established home, you may have maintenance issues from day 1. You will probably want to take what they have and make it what you want. If you can find something close enough to what you want then, the same kinds of things to make it uniquely yours will have to be done--paint, carpet, finishes, appliances, etc. Have an agent show you new construction and older homes in your price range and see which one feels more like home when you walk through the door. You may surprise yourself with which one you actually choose.

If you need an agent, call me. 757-237-0494 or email yourprofessionalagent@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
There are advantages and disadvantages to purchasing both newer construction and an older established home.

Newer homes should require less up keep and maintainence and should be built to the highest level of the building codes. You might also enjoy a manufacturer's warranty that protects the owner from paying for repairs early in the ownership of the property.

Purchasing an older more established could bring greater savings in the initial cost of purchase as well as more established neighborhoods with larger trees and mature landscaping. Older established communities can also provide owners(at times) the benefit of being more conveniently located the enlarged community amenities.

The bottom line is the purchase of a home is more than new vs. older..........it needs to meet your personal criteria and feel right for your individual/family needs.

Best wishes,
The Eckler Team
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
You may want to research/Google the area you are considering to buy.

There are many local stimulas programs to help the local economies and the building industry. For example, in California, there's a $10K tax credit incentive for first time home buyers to buy "new" homes. This incentive helps the building industry to move excess inventory.

The CA's state/city incentive is in addition to the the Federal stimulas program which provides the first time home buyer up to $8,000 tax credit which can be used as a down payment. This money does not have to be repaid. The home purchase can be new or existing.

So the total tax credit for California first time home buyer is up to $18,000, subject to meeting all the programs guidelines.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 9, 2009

80 years old, oh my.

You better have checked out the place for LBP, ACM, lead solder/piping and PB piping.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 27, 2009
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