Of the 6 million homes purchased in the United States this year, nearly 90% of those homes will be existing home and a significant amount of those will be older than 40 years old. Newer homes have a large set of benefits that are attractive to today’s buyers, but older homes have an equal amount that attract buyers of all ages and price ranges.
Here is a list of the benefits for newer and older homes to consider if you are in the market for a home.
Older homes were designed very differently than houses designed in the few decades. The homes tended to be smaller with smaller rooms. Bathrooms in particular were usually much smaller and it was rare to have a bathroom in the master bedroom. Kitchens had a much different function and as a result they were also smaller with less amenities and no islands. Additionally, rooms were separated with walls creating enclosed spaces.
Today, design is focused more on an open floorplan with rooms separated by half walls or not being separated at all. This allows for easier entertaining and better room flow. However if you like having rooms separated with more privacy in each room, an older home might fit your needs. Additionally if you are not in need of so much additional space which can cost more to furnish and to heat and cool, an older house might be a better option for you.
Older homes tend to have larger lots on average. Many older homes were built in cities that were expanding and space was not at a premium then. As a result you can find older homes on quarter and even half acre lots are common. And with smaller homes having been built there is much more space for a pool while still having a yard for the kids and for entertaining.
Today many new homes are built in sub-divisions where they are part of a development of dozens of homes. The lots are small and tend to be barely wide enough to accommodate the home. If there is a pool, it will often back right up to the home with little additional room. For outside furniture or entertaining.
Home Construction Elements
Older were built with hardwood or old growth wood framing. This sturdy wood lasts for decades and settles well creating a firm and unmoving foundation for the home. However replacing the frame requires a lot of effort and can be costly. Similarly with the home wiring and plumbing. Although these systems were definitely built sturdier, they were less modular. This also extends to a home’s windows. They are typically single paned which are not the best for efficient heating and AC.
The walls in most new homes however are thinner and less effective at maintaining air temperature. Overall, materials can be expected to wear out faster and not work as well. But the way the homes are built, materials are easier to replace.
Price and Purchase
Older homes will typically more than 15% cheaper than a comparable new home. If you fall in love with an older home “as is”, you can save yourself quite a bit of money.
However, new home owners can usually count on having many years of occupancy without the cost of repairs, maintenance, and remodeling that an owner of an older home may not have.
Overall, it comes down to what you find appealing and your specific needs. An older home can be a great purchase if its qualities fit your exact needs. However if you plan on doing extensive remodeling you might be better off purchasing a new home that has the things you need already.