There is a general perception among potential homebuyers that newly built homes are in good condition. But, what if substandard materials or practices were used when the home was originally built? The age of the home has nothing to do with the quality of it. Both newer and older homes provide advantages for homeowners. It’s just a matter of what’s important to the homeowner and potential buyer. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages to both.
Four Advantages of Buying a Newer Home
Newly constructed homes have a slimmer chance of needing new roofs, electrical systems and plumbing materials. Because everything is new, chances are they will last a while.
In newer homes, many amenities are standard built-ins. This may include refrigerators, stoves, ovens, microwaves, dishwasher, deep freezers, even wine coolers. They come with master bedrooms that include master bathrooms. There are exercise areas, media rooms and networked wiring and computer systems.
3. Energy Efficiency
Many newly built homes come with solar panels installed. They are excellent for making a home more energy efficient, meaning they help homeowners use less power. The new, installed appliances are energy efficient appliances as well. The entire house is insulated, including the walls, ceilings, even the floors. They are equipped with dual pane windows, which help keep houses cool during the summertime and warmer in the winter.
4. Built per Newer Codes
Newer homes are built according to the current building codes at the time of their construction. As these codes change to improve safety, newer homes are built to keep up. Homeowners can feel confident that newly constructed homes are up to current standard building codes.
Four Advantages of Buying an Older Home
1. Stronger Construction
Older homes have stood the test of time. Some of them have made it through decades, even centuries of bad weather and other natural disasters, only to remain standing stronger than ever. They were built by dedicated professionals who were very meticulous about what they produced.
2. Yard Sizes
Older constructed homes were build at a time when land sold for much less. Builders were able to construct homes on much larger lots than those of today’s newer homes. These large lots accommodate larger homes, while leaving space for garages, front yards and backyards.
3. Established Neighborhood
Older homes are usually located in older, more established neighborhoods. The zoning laws have been in place since “forever”, and are not likely to change. The chances of a strip mall or night club being built in these areas are very slim.
4. Mature Trees and Vegetation
Trees and vegetation in older areas have been growing and cared for since the neighborhood was first established. After decades and centuries have passed, the “greeneries” continue to grow and stay strong. Older homes and their neighborhood streets and parks have been known to have one-hundred year old trees that provide an excellent of shade during hot, sunny days.
Do Your Own Inspection
When comparing the quality of a newer home versus an older home, a professional home inspection will be able to provide more definitive answers to help you make an educated decision with your home buying choices. If that’s not possible, there are some things you, personally, as a potential buyer can look for to judge the quality of a house.
Step back and look at the house from a distance. Check to see if the walls are smooth and flat. Cracks could mean problems with the foundation or the physical structure of the property.
You can usually get a decent view of the rooftop from the middle of the street and backyard. Make sure the roofing materials look neat and properly applied.
Make sure there are sufficient drainage pipes and downspouts for draining excess water and carrying it away from the structure. Be weary of water damage. Evidence of it can include brown spots on the ceiling, wet wood under cabinets, rusted water pipes, etc.
Be sure to turn on faucets and flush the toilets to ensure proper water pressure. Low water pressure could mean a leak somewhere, clogged pipes, inefficient faucets, etc.
Test the air conditioning systems, heating systems and furnaces. They should turn on within a minute. You should also start to feel the cold or warm air coming out within five minutes.
Check the piping. Fixture and heater pipes should be made of copper.
Take a really good luck at any stairways in the house. Tilted, crooked stairways are an indication of an unstable foundation. They also become more and more dangerous to use over time.
Look in the attic to ensure the insulation has been installed with quality workmanship. In moderate climates the recommendation is R-19 (6 inches of fiberglass).
Initially, the above list can provide enough information to avoid the costs of a house inspector. You can save yourself time and money by making sure the home is in good, quality condition before even giving the seller an offer. You’ll be proud of yourself in the long run.