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Home > Home Buying Tips > Should You Buy a New or Old House

Should You Buy a New or Old House?

One of the biggest decisions that a prospective home buyer must make is the decision of whether to buy a new home or an old home. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision will be affected by the buyer's personal circumstances.

Buy an old home

On the one hand, an older house is likely to need at least some repairs. Things like the roof, septic system, carpet, woodwork and other items may need to be replaced now or soon in the future. On the other hand, construction quality on a well built older home is often better than it is on a comparable new home.

Of course, it pays to have any home thoroughly examined by a certified home inspector prior to purchase. Even a new home can have problems, and a good, thorough inspection is definitely a must whether you are buying a new or old house. Be sure to get any problems found put in writing immediately and presented to the seller of the home. The problems uncovered by a home inspection can be used as negotiating points when settling on the purchase price of the home. If the seller agrees to repair the items uncovered by the home inspection prior to purchase, be sure to get those promises in writing and to follow up with the seller prior to the closing date.

Buying an old house can allow the home buyer, especially a first time home buyer, to purchase a larger or more luxurious home than he or she may be able to purchase new. In addition, many buyers prefer the distinct character and storied history of an old house to the cookie cutter approach of many new homes.

If you decide to purchase an old house in a historic district, however, there may be local ordinances which limit what you can do to the home. Owners of historic homes are often restricted from changing the outside appearance of the home, including such things as painting, window styles and certain landscaping. A good real estate agent will be able to apprise you of any restrictions that come with your old house.

Buy a new house

If you decide that a new home is the right move, it is imperative to examine the history and reputation of builder and the developer. If you are buying a new home in an existing development, talk to the homeowners who already live their and get their feedback. Honest feedback is your best tool when searching for a new home. If the home you are considering is in a brand new development, seek out other developments that the builder has done. Talk to those homeowners and get their views on the quality of the construction and the nature of the neighborhood. This type of information can be of great assistance when seeking your new home.

Whether you decide to buy a new home or an old house, the decision to purchase a home in the first place is the most important decision of all. A home is a great investment as well as a roof over your head. Finding the best home at the best price will ensure that your investment continues to appreciate year after year.



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