When it comes to the decision of buying an old house vs new house, there are so many things that are taken into consideration. Aside from the obvious things like how much you can afford to pay for the place and the area you want to live in, there’s also the question of whether you’d like to have a newer build or an older home.
There are definite upsides and downsides to each option and there’s certainly no right or wrong answer – and ultimately the answer will depend on various factors that are personal to you and your family, so if you’re having trouble deciding which to go for, then we’re hoping we can make it a bit easier for you by adding some clear pros and cons for each option below – whilst some of these will be things you’re already aware of, there are others you may not have considered, and even if you have, then it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded if it’s something that’s going to make your decision that bit easier.
Old house pros:
- They’re often full of character – Older houses are typically full of charm and character with many of their original features retained from the times when they were built or restored at least to reflect that time period, and this can definitely be a big benefit to owning an older house since new houses just aren’t built that way anymore.
- They often come with a lot of land or are bigger – Older houses were often built within their own land, and depending on when they were built, then this land can usually be pretty generous in size. Often older houses are bigger on the inside as well since they were typically built in times when families were bigger than they are today.
- They can be much cheaper to buy – Older houses, although not in all cases, can definitely be cheaper to buy. Of course, they can still require a fair amount of work once you actually own the place, but if you’re looking for a good priced property that you can take on as a renovation project, then an older place could be just the way to do that.
Old house cons:
- They can have a lot of problems – Older houses, depending on when they were built will often come with some older materials and internal things like pipes and electrical systems that can be considered unsafe. Things like lead paint, which is actually required to be removed in some places if you’re going to be having children living in the property, asbestos, which can cause major health issues if you come into contact with it, and even old pipes that just may not be up to today’s standards are all things that older houses may bring along with them, and you should definitely consider these before buying a place – or at least know ahead of time if this is something you want to deal with and how you’ll be approaching the issue of getting rid of them if needed.
- They may need a lot of renovations or upgrades – As mentioned in the point above, once you know that your older house has some things that need dealing with, the decision as to whether you want to deal with them or not is on you, but you should know that these renovations and upgrades are not small things and will often require a lot of work and time from professionals like plumbers and even companies like Universal Windows Direct, and these definitely won’t be cheap – nor should they be since they’re important things that will save you money in the future and that are essential for the health and safety within your house.
- They can be more expensive to run – When buying an older house, they’re often available to purchase a lot cheaper than a newer place would be, but the downside of this is that the actual ongoing costs to run the place are generally going to be more expensive, and although it may not seem like much at first, it can absolutely mount up pretty fast. Whether this is monthly electrical and heating costs or bigger renovation costs, older houses are generally going to require a bit more in the way of maintenance, so it’s important that you’re aware of this before going ahead and buying one.
- They can be located far away from places – Of course, this isn’t the case with all older houses, since some are located in the center of cities, but very often older houses are going to be located in more rural areas. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, and is more often than not actually a good thing for many people when looking for a new house, but the downside of being in a rural area is that you’re often going to be far away from the things you usually find convenient to access on a daily basis, such as public transport, doctor offices, banks, and grocery stores, so if you don’t drive or need the convenience of a bigger town or city, then this is something to take into consideration when considering the location of your new house and if you want an older house or newer build.
New house pros:
- They’re often ready to move in to – If you’re simply looking for a shiny new place that doesn’t require anything done to it and that you can just move your furniture into on moving day then a new build is often the perfect way to achieve just that. Modern builds are designed for convenience and to suit modern life, so they’re setting out with the goal to help you move in with as little hassle as possible and this often includes things like fitted kitchens, bathrooms, and even storage solutions.
- They often have everything brand new and completely modern – As mentioned above, since new builds are often ready to move into, they will include the latest and most modern technology, including brand new fitted kitchens, bathroom, appliances, electrical systems, and everything else that a brand new house in modern times would be expected to have.
- They’re usually in good neighborhoods – This is definitely not a rule, and there are other factors that come into play with this, but for the most part, a newer build, depending on when it was actually built will often tend to be in a nicer area of a town or city and this can be in a completely new area that’s been established just to build a collection of houses or apartments to attract a certain type of buyer – families or young professionals, for example, so if the area you live in is important and you’re looking for a specific type of environment, then a newer build is certainly something worth considering.
- They can be cheaper to run – Since newer build homes are built with the latest standards in mind, then they’re often cheaper to run since they focus on being energy efficient and as green as possible. Of course, this is not to say that every new build will automatically be cheaper to run than an older house. There are various factors that will come into play when determining this, and one of these will be how energy efficient you are as a family and how much money you spend on things like heating, electric, and other things, but it’s definitely worth considering that a newer build can be cheaper to run than an older house if you get the right place and take more care over how much energy and heating you’re using.
New house cons:
- They sometimes lack some character and charm – Unlike older houses, newer houses are built en masse and so they all look pretty similar. This is not to say they’re not beautiful or don’t have their own nice features, but they certainly won’t have the individual aspects that make many older houses very appealing.
- They are often very expensive to buy – Newer build houses are generally pretty expensive to buy, but of course, this also depends on certain things, and the location is always going to determine the price of property above anything else. However, if you’re looking to live close to a bigger town or city, then it could be worth considering that you may pay more for a newer build place than you would for an older place and also not get as much for your money either in terms of space.
- They don’t have a lot of land with them usually – One of the great things about older homes is that they often come with a lot of lands you can use. Whether you want to build on this land and extend the house or just use it for things like a garden, it’s just nice to have the option available, and the downside of a newer build is that they typically don’t come with this land added on since newer builds are built together and each house is allocated a certain plot and amount of space, so even though they might have a garden, they don’t have much beyond that, and will often be right next to or overlooking another couple of houses.
Our thanks to our contributor for this article. It does make some great points and give us some things to consider.