When buying a home, you have to ask yourself the age old question: new vs. old?
New homes have the appeal of a shiny new Schiwnn bicycle with a big red bow. A new home is a blank canvas, ready for you to paint, decorate, and break in; and the best part is that no one has lived in it before you.
Older homes have the charm of a vintage automobile that’s just been detailed. They have a traceable history that can tell you how reliable the construction is; they also tend to have a homier, lived-in quality that is hard to achieve with the stark new dry wall of a new home.
Besides the ambiance, new and old homes can vary in value. New homes are typically built in new subdivisions that may be some distance away from amenities to give the community room for growth. If you’re counting on appreciating value over time, a new home might be a risky investment. It’s a toss up as to whether or not the area will develop and if people will invest in the surrounding homes.
Old homes are a bit more of a secure investment. There is typically a pattern to the ebb and flow of the local real estate market, which can help you decide on which neighborhoods are best for your needs. You also have the benefit of speaking with neighbors and researching past tax trends to keep yourself abreast of any potential issues.
It used to be a common expectation that older homes were cheaper than newer homes, but after the dramatic fluctuations in today’s real estate market, that reality has changed. Neighborhoods with an abundance of foreclosures or bank-owed properties are akin to red flags for some homebuyers, which might stifle future investments in the area. A real estate agent can help you determine what the best course of action is…and also help you decide if you’d rather drive a Schwinn bicycle or a vintage car.