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Buying a House? Should You Buy Old or New?

Buying a house is such an exciting time! From attending open homes, scrolling the property listings online and meeting with the bank to arrange your lending, there is so much to do before you even consider making an offer. Then there’s the ultimate decision about which type of house is the right one for you. Is it better to buy an old or a new home? Such an important decision shouldn’t be rushed, so take your time in considering your options. To help you get started, we’ve put together some of the most important pros and cons for you to mull over.

Choosing Between New & Old When Buying a House

You are actively looking to buy a house. You’ve chosen your ideal location, identified your budget and decided how large the property must be. But before you head away to begin house shopping, you will need to pick between buying an old or a new house, and we’ve put together this collection of pros and cons to help you with this process.

The pros of buying an old house may include:

  • Adding value – there may be the possibility of adding value to the property through undertaking renovations such as adding another bedroom or installing a new kitchen.
  • Subdividing – if the existing house has a large quantity of land, subdividing and then selling part of the section.
  • Larger section – older properties tended to be built on larger sections. So, if you want space between your house and your neighbours, and a large section for the kids to play in, an existing house may be for you.

The cons of buying an old house can include:

  • Renovation costs – it could be expensive to renovate an older house and bring it to modern standards.
  • Darker and smaller – older homes tended to be smaller in size and have darker interiors. It is common to have fewer windows and a challenging floor plan to work with.
  • Surprise problems – expect the unexpected when buying an older house, such as rotten floorboards or pest infestations.

The pros of buying a new house include:

  • Move-in ready – many new homes are turnkey, and all you need to do is move in and enjoy your new house.
  • Energy efficient – new builds have the advantage of using the most up-to-date construction materials. These tend to use less energy and retain heat better than materials from years gone by.
  • Larger living areas – newer homes often have large open-plan living areas and a nice flowing floor plan. Often there is improved storage space too.
  • Deferred maintenance – there is peace of mind in knowing that large repair and maintenance work is likely to be many years away.

The cons of buying a new house include:

  • Location – as land is built upon, new builds are often located further from the city. This results in longer commute times and often less access to local amenities.
  • Higher cost – new homes often fetch a higher price than older houses, and sellers are often unwilling to reduce the purchase price in addition to possible hidden costs.
  • Smaller land area – due to the rising cost of land, new builds are often on smaller parcels of land. However, if you are not a gardener, you are in luck.

In the end, when buying a house, it will all come down to your preferences. Old or new, both types of houses make wonderful homes.

Infographic created by Chicago Real Estate Institute, Offering At-Home Real Estate Self Study Courses

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