Which is a better deal in the long run?

Asked by HomeFinder, 08536 Wed Feb 15, 2012

I have 2 options of either buying a 30 year old home in a very good school district vs buying a brand new construction home in a not so excellent school district. Which would be a better deal in terms of investment?

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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Feb 21, 2012
Remember the "location, location, location" rule - you can change the house but not the location. New is so appealing and definitely ranks high among the buyers I work with. But the quality of schools trumps that for many. You need to decide for yourself what is most important to you - new construction or quality of schools. As for longer term, if you are looking in areas that attract families with school age children, then schools will likely remain an important criteria.

Buying a home involves compromise - you'll figure this out - for now, focus most on what is the best fit for you.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
1 vote
Trupti Gandhi, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Mon Jun 3, 2013
Of course the better school district! It'll hold value for your investment in the long run.

Let me know if you have more questions.
0 votes
Trupti Gandhi, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Mon Jun 3, 2013
Of course the better school district! It'll hold value for your investment in the long run.

Let me know if you have more questions.
0 votes
S, , Princeton, NJ
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Hi Home Finder Plainsboro,

It is all about the location.
Plainsboro has blue ribbon school district; close proximity to NYC & Philly transportation; variety stores, which is a good incentive for the home buyers.
For the 55+ Adult community, the close proximity to Princeton Hospital and healthcare helps the home values.

Best Wishes,
Tel: 609-606-5077
Email: sweta_ganai@yahoo.com
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Tue Feb 21, 2012
If you have kids what do they think? Whenever you want to get to the bottom line ask a 6 year old what they would do. Some of the info in a recent post may help, see the link below. Good luck,
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Tue Feb 21, 2012
The #1 rule of real estate is location, location, location. Go with the best location it will always serve you the best in the end.
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Feb 15, 2012

That depends on what the houses are worth versus what you'd be paying for them. It also depends on the rental income that could be generated from each.

From a rental standpoint, assuming the two are both fairly priced and that the income from each covers the same percentage of mortgage, I'd go with the older home.

If you're planning on living there, then it's not an investment. In that case, weigh the factors that are important to you. Just one thing to keep in mind--and I'm saying this as a parent of a child who recently was in the public school system: The individual school counts for a lot. My son went to a supposedly excellent elementary school in what is generally considered a very good quality school district. It was a horrible experience. After elementary school, he went to a secondary school in the same school district. The secondary school has a good reputation, but not the sparkling, outstanding reputation of the elementary school. From my son's perspective (and from ours), that school was absolutely terrific. So while you certainly should consider the school district (using whatever parameters you consider important), do NOT let that be your sole criterion.

As for specific properties, room layout, traffic flow, usable area are all important. And let me tell you a little secret: In 10 years, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances will date a house just as surely as avacado appliances or butcher block laminate do.

And while you may be concerned about old versus new construction, you probably have it backwards: Old construction likely is a heck of a lot better than most of what's being put up today.

Finally, you ask about "the long run." Today, one house is new and one is 30 years old. In the long run--say 20 years from now, one house will be 20 years old and one will be 50. That new house won't be new any longer.

So, as an investment, run the numbers. That's all that counts.

As a home to live in, consider the house. Consider the neighborhood. Consider proximity to shopping, jobs, etc.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Abu Musa, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Feb 15, 2012
You may consider all kind of investments element to make such a big investment. You may talk to a consultant.Good luck.
0 votes
Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Wed Feb 15, 2012
I can't speak to what is a "good" school district or not - so I'll leave that part of the equation alone.

The way your question is stated, makes it sound you perceive the 30 year old home as a negative you are willing to accept as the compromise for the school district. The answer to your question is going to depend on the A. the condition of the 30 year old home, and B. what it's going to cost to remedy any issues with the older home, compared to the cost of the new construction.

If you are worried about the condition of a home because of its age, you'll most likely have a inspection contingency in your sales contract that will allow you to cancel if there are any issues with the condition of the home, or if the seller refuses to remedy those issues. "30 years" is terribly "old" as far as houses go.......I would take the "age" of the homes out of the equation and base your decision on which property and area YOU will be happier with.

Hope that helps!
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