Home Buying in Murfreesboro>Question Details

John, Home Buyer in Murfreesboro, TN

New construction with upgrades vs. older home with more sq. footage

Asked by John, Murfreesboro, TN Tue Feb 16, 2010

Should I buy a 1616 sq. foot home that has only been occupied for six months, built by Ole South, or an older brick home near downtown that is nearly 1000 sq. feet larger? The older home is a short sale. I'm worried about the cost of upkeep and utilities. However, Ole South builds homes in 3 months or less, and the quality concerns me.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello everyone - we decided on the newer, smaller home that has only been occupied for a few months. The hassle of going through a short sale with a bank that is notorious for dragging them out is not to appealing. Also, we are already purchasing in the top of our price range, and we don't want to end up in a short sale situation ourselves because we stretch ourselves too far. Utilities would be much higher in the older one as we have found out, and the home we are purchasing has several energy efficient features. Not too mention, we love the floorplan, and the older home would have been too much space - it's just the two of us right now! Thanks for the advice everyone.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Congratulations!!! We are so happy for you-- your insurance should be cheaper too, so that's another plus! Hope it works out for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
John, You did the right thing by buying the newer home because short sales take time and patience and sometimes they never take place.In th mean time you would have lost out on this home.
.Newer homes have more closet space and most of the systems have manufacturers warranty and the builder also gives warranty often.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Very very smart decisions John. Congratulations
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
Hello John
This is a question only you can answer after getting more information about the two properties. If you have a buyers agent he or she should be able to provide enough information to make an informed decision. If you don't have a buyers agent call me and lets talk.
Web Reference: http://BarrySoard.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
A brick or concrete house has one big advantage. Termites do not eat them. I think that is an issue in your area.
Older, what does that mean? 1725? 2002? 1980?

Is the older house insulated? That can make a lot of difference in utilities cost.

A house can be built fast and well. Although not all are. A house inspector can pick your pocket and give you an idea of the condition of either house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
Most good builders can get a home done in 3 months and the quality is quite good.The codes department in the "Boro" does an excellent job inspecting along the way, most of the time. And I have sold lots of Ole South Homes to very happy customers and don't forget the warranty you will get with the new one. I am not only an agent but also a general contractor/builder myself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
I understand your problem here. Lots of old homes have lots of old problems and some new homes are going to have lots of future problems. I've been in many of both types and seen the problems first hand. In my experience, I would recommend finding a quality builder that will listen to you and your concerns. They are out there, just a little tough to find sometimes. If you're concerned about builder quality, check out some of the homes they are currently building. If you feel uncomfortable about things you see, trust your instinct and move on. Home buying is a very important decision, and you want to be happy. Don't fall for the cheap or quick route. Go with quality first!
Gregory Goff
Web Reference: http://www.GregoryGoff.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
Both are great deals because Rates are low and prices are down but, I think the downtown area has alot to offer. With proximity close to MTSU you could always rent it later. I would check basics like age of HVAC, Elec panel upgrades, Roof age, Settling, water pipes, Windows etc. I bet depending on the age it has hardwood floors. That could be a big deciding factor. I live in a house close to downtown and pay big utility bills but it worth it!
Good Luck,
Shelby Hunton


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 16, 2010
Hi John,
You should be able to get the utility usage from the elec company so that you can at least have that bit of info. I personally would go with the bigger, brick home because of the potential resale value. You did say it is a short sale though, so you may want to make sure that the listing agent on that home has their ducks in a row and knows how to do short sales. If the agent doesn't know how to complete one or the seller is uncooperative, that house may never even be a real option for you.

Good luck in your search and feel free to ask me anything!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 16, 2010
The larger square footage may in fact have more value, especially if this home is in greater demand than the new construction choice, and if the deferred maintenance is not too expensive. It being a short sale may deter other competition for you, especially if your schedule allows you to wait for the bank’s responses (other may not have that luxury).

How do the two properties compare to the recent sales and the direction of the market demand?

Kevin Pellatiro
Hoping to help you take advantage of the market – when you are ready.
(615)714-7918 | kpellatiro@realtracs.com | http://signswemustobserve.blogspot.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 16, 2010
Hi John-If you are worried about the upkeep and the cost of utilites on the older home, I would say to look into purchasing the new home. Most new constructions especially in the south are constructed in less than 2 months. Make sure that you get a home inspection at the min. You may also want to get a structural eng. to check the home out. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 16, 2010
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