Overall, in my experience, 'new' always outsells 'old'. BUT, 'new' also includes buying an older, architecturally beautiful home and rehabilitating the interior. I've been reading for the last two years now that mega-mansions are on their way out, polls published say that most buyers want smaller and more intimate, not bigger and more sterile. We can definitely get by with less square footage and bigger yards.
I like the idea of buying a beautiful home on large lot and completely rehabbing the interior. I think a buyer that has good taste and appreciates a renovation done well, will know this when it's time for you to sell. Make sure you max out your kitchen with high end appliances if possible. Viking, Miele, Wolf, Fisher Paykel are all top brands to install.
GOOD LUCK and let us know which home you wind up buying!
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
Go for the lot size!
As an investor and home owner, I've always been a fan of buying the biggest lot possible with a home that has good 'bones'...meaning the structure is sound and the layout is functional for your planned use and for tomorrow's homebuyer.
If you're up for the challenges of a renovation, then that would be my recommendation on Key Biscayne. As you know there's no 'new' land or home developments on key biscayne and that's what's really of high value...and will continue to be highly valued in the future.
The house can be done to suit you're tastes and take into account design and home buyer trends (thinking of resale) and not buy something that will have to remodeled anyway to make it marketable 5+ years down the road.
If you need any help locating, negotiating, rehabbing, or marketing a property on the Key, please email or call me at your convenience.
What I would look at first is the location of the two homes. Are the locations comparable, or is one in a better location?
I would also consider whether a home is "overimproved" for its surrounding neighborhood. If that's the case, the lower-priced homes nearby could drag your property value down.
If the locations are comparable, and the home is not a "white elephant", then I'd probably go with the older home on the bigger lot, since, as you say, you can renovate (or restore) the older home.
One added note here. Trulia recently reported the results of a survey of home Buyers that showed people moving away from the big McMansions and toward smaller homes. Just something to keep in mind, since you should always consider resale when you buy.
Of course, a large part of a decision like this is personal preference. I grew up in a 1910 house on a large lot, and I have always liked older homes and bigger lots. But that's just me. The real question is "What do YOU like?"
Buying a house is a bit like falling in love. When you find the right one, you'll know it. Good luck with your home search.
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
Watson Realty Corp.
The reality of purchasing an older home and renovating it is that after it's all said and done and you have invested tens of thousands of dollars, you still hav an older home.....one that still has many of the older home characteristice, lower ceilings, floor plans, etc. and they are more expensive to insure.
Our recommendation is to seek a newer home in a community the features larger lots and enjoy the best of all worlds.