Is there any specific reason why buyers look at newer homes to buy instead of older homes that could have had a lot of work done to them.?

Asked by Bierman.mark, Belleville, IL Wed Jan 30, 2013

I have a home that was built in 1928 that has a lot of work that was done to it over the past 6 years that my wife and I have lived there. We have had 50% of the house completely remodeled (new drywall, trim, insulation, vapor barrier, lighting fixtures, wiring (romex), doors, paint, and carpeting). The other 50% of the house has had new paint and all new floors installed. It seems to me that a lot of home buyers shy away from older houses when they are shopping for houses to buy today. Let me know your thoughts.

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Paul Walker’s answer
Paul Walker, Agent, OFallon, IL
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Hi Mark,

That's a great question, because you are getting a number of responses. Overall or generally speaking buyers are wanting a good neighborhood feel, surrounded by homes with like home values or greater and every home showing pride in ownership that is nearby them. Being on a busy street can detrimental. Newer homes are usually in a subdivision with wider streets, homes tend to have like home values, perhaps a little more stable at least in the minds of buyers. If you are priced too high you will tend to drive potential home buyers to those newer homes, though they may have less square footage, but more likely to have a one or two car attached garage, vs a detached garage.

Every buyer is different and there are some home buyers that appreciate the character of the older homes, Home buyers never want to "overpay" for a home and especially in this slower "buyers market". They will compare what their money will buy, try to stay within their comfort zones, they will usually try to get a home that fits comfortable, certainly not too small, but not always the very largest either (they think about heating/cooling bills), but they also usually want to try to grow into the home a little bit (unless they are downsizing). And with all of that said they will perhaps give up a basement for an attached garage, they will give up space for "move in ready", If their are young children or one on the way, they will want bedrooms to be near the master bedroom.

Every house is different and unique and buyers are too! There is nothing 100% written in stone, and of course your question is meant to get different answers or opinions. I would say the one thing that I mentioned above "Buyers never want to overpay" is the one thing that really doesn't change, but when the market is red hot and home prices are going up very very quickly, they are certainly willing to drive up home prices as needed to meet market demand, and get the right home for themselves, especially when the asking price seems more fair than other listings they have reviewed and rejected.

I hope all goes well with your sale and your next home search.
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Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Wed Jan 30, 2013
I find younger buyers especially like newer, but there is some charm of older homes with more craftsman mouldings, etc. that newer homes can never have. Often it is a matter of taste.

However, in most older homes, the open floor plan does not exist. Often because that was the design of the times, the rooms are smaller and more compartmentalized, unless they have been remodeled. Newer homes are more open. Many buyers like that. I find that buyers like the charming features of some older homes but some often want that in a newer home.

Also, some people think older home - more can go wrong. There are ways to list and show the home that accentuate the quality workmanship and features you have now. There can be a happy medium and it is up to you and your agent to market that aspect to buyers.
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Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
I think among some people there is a mentality the "new is better". I knew a fellow who preferred a new trailer to an older (but good ) home. This is not something I subscribe to. I find new home are taxed higher than an older home of equal value. It often takes time for charm to be acquired in a home. I look at the whole picture, the area, the setting, the condition, the price.... On a new home, you should not have maintenance issues for a few years: that's important to some folks. But after a few years, you bet you will, just like any other home.

It boils down to "different strokes for different folks". If we all liked the same thing, that house would be sold over and over for higher and higher prices and nothing else would sell. It sounds as if you will need to wait for someone who wants what you have to offer. Some agents are better tapped into the kind of folks who want older home, just as some areas seem to attract more of one type of buyer than another.
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Don Marshall, Agent, Joliet, IL
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Unfortunately, a lot of buyers don't understand the difference in quality of the"typical" older home versus newer construction. All they see is newer features are $ per sq. ft.
As a RE broker, appraiser, home inspector and general contractor, I find it flustrating. However, there are still some buyers around that understand. Hopefully, you will find one of them.
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Kelly Wyatt-…, Agent, Belleville, IL
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Mark, that's a great question. I think most buyer's don't realize the difference between the houses built years ago and the new construction.
If you are selling an older home with many updates, you have to point those things out to a buyer. I personally love the older homes.
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Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Wed Jan 30, 2013
I think it's all about personal preference. Some people like older homes for the "charm" and the neighborhood. These people understand that older homes may require more maintenance and upkeep, but would rather have a unique home in an older, established neighborhood.

Others don't want to do any work, and want a newer home, even though it may be in a newer "cookie cutter" type neighborhood.
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