As you prepare to purchase a new home to settle down in, you may have a lengthy list of must-have items that you are looking for in your next home. You may also have an additional list of features that you strongly desire or prefer. Making these types of lists is an excellent way to define what you are looking for before you begin shortlisting homes, but there may be one property factor that you have not yet considered. The age of the home impacts many aspects of your living experience in the house that you select. While buying an older home is one option that many buyers choose, many other buyers are drawn to a new builds. There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with a new build that you should consider before you determine your preference.
It is easy to assume that energy expenses would be roughly similar between a new build and an older home with equivalent space. However, this is not usually the case. As homes age, insulation in the walls may begin to deteriorate. Gaps develop in window and door seals as well as in other areas of the exterior. The HVAC system may be older and less energy efficient. The aging HVAC system combines with deteriorating insulation and seals, and this results in a substantial difference in energy consumption needed to heat and cool the home. Appliances may also use more energy because of their older design. Be aware that an older home may have recently been renovated to touch on each of these factors, but many older homes have only received moderate cosmetic updates. Major improvements to the energy efficiency of an older home have not yet been made. With this in mind, it is reasonable to expect that energy efficiency in a new build is enhanced in comparison to many older homes that you may be considering.
There are numerous features that affect residential water consumption. The speed and overall function of the boiler, the efficiency of the water-based appliances, the presence of low-flow faucets and toilets and even the landscaping. Newer homes are usually constructed with water-saving features, but some older homes may have been updated with these features. If you consider buying an older home, review the age and efficiency of the water features. Landscaping is also a major aspect of residential water consumption. The watering needs of the landscape vary by property. In some cases, new vegetation will require more water initially to get established. However, when mature landscaping is abundant, it may also have substantial hydration needs. The type of vegetation and the size of the yard are two factors that play a major role in landscaping-related water consumption. When you are interested in an older home, it may be helpful to ask the seller for a history of the water expense for the previous year.
The Environmental Impact
Water and energy consumption in a home are two critical components to the environmental impact that your living experience will have once you move in. You can see that buying a newer home is generally more advantageous in these areas, but these are not the only factors that impact the environment. For example, the type of materials that are used in the construction efforts may be more environmentally-friendly in a newer home. This includes the overall carbon footprint associated with building and living in the home. It may also include indoor air pollution and other environmental concerns. Your builder may also have more substantial information about the types of materials used in construction than what a typical seller of an existing home may have.
The Ability to Customise the Décor
If you decide to purchase a new build while it is still under construction, the builder will usually allow you to choose some of the decorative finishes. This may include the colour of paint on the walls or the type of flooring throughout the home. The earlier in the construction process that you indicate your interest, the more design choices you may be able to make. Some buyers are not eager to take on the task of choosing interior design elements, and they prefer the home to be completely finished when they move in. However, be aware that many older homes with completed décor may have outdated décor. This means that you may need to renovate the home in order to make the space modern and attractive. It may be possible to find a home that is perfectly decorated based on your preferences, but it may be easier to choose a new build and to select the elements that you prefer. After all, a renovation can be inconvenient, stressful, time-consuming and expensive.
Reduced Repair Costs
Repair issues can develop on any property at any time. Many significant components or systems in the home will eventually reach the end of their useful life and will require an expensive replacement. If you intend to purchase an older home, review the age, condition and remaining life in major components. This includes the heating system, the roof, the appliances and more. In contrast, all of the features in a new home are usually new. They may have fewer repair issues because of their age, and some of them may be under warranty. This means that if they are damaged, the repair or replacement expense may be covered by the warranty plan. This benefit will decline dramatically with each passing year as the new home ages.
Fewer Maintenance Needs Initially
Home maintenance is an essential aspect of property ownership. Keeping your home well-maintained delays or prevents some expensive repair issues, could keep energy costs lower, promotes a higher property value and more. Because all of the features in a new build are new, maintenance needs are minimised. Remember that many newer items, such as appliances, may also be manufactured so that they require less maintenance work overall throughout their life. While these are notable advantages, some buyers who purchase a new build avoid maintaining their property at all during the first few years with the assumption that no maintenance is needed. This mindset could result in a home that is in very poor condition within a few years despite the fact that it may only be a couple of years old. All homes require some level of regular maintenance, and this includes new homes.
Enhanced Security and Safety
Your safety and security in your new home are paramount. You may assume that security and safety are linked directly to the presence of a security system, but this is not necessarily the case. Consider that some modern homes are constructed with materials that are heat or fire-resistant, and this is a true benefit in comparison to the many highly-combustible materials found in older homes. Many newer homes have carbon monoxide detectors and more fire or smoke detectors. Some have a modern security system installed that has the latest features available. Door locks may be higher in quality and in better condition. Some windows may be more difficult to shatter or bypass because of a protective film. Older homes may have been updated with some of these security and safety features, but most new homes have these as standard features. Regardless of the age of the homes that you decide to focus your attention on, pay attention to the security and safety features in them.
Competitive Buying Structures
The overall deal that you can structure on an existing or older home may be much different than what you can structure on a new home. Many builders offer great incentives on a new home that you usually cannot find through a seller of an existing and older home. These may be steep discounts on sales prices, the addition of special features free of cost, free appliances, reduced or no closing costs and even the opportunity to sell your existing home to the builder so that you do not need to deal with the time or stress required. None of these financial benefits are usually present when you buy an existing home.
Some home buyers love the charm associated with older homes, and they may find the relative newness of a recently-built home to be too stark for their preferences. They may enjoy the maturity of landscaping in an established neighbourhood and the closeness of neighbors. These are features that are not associated with a new home in a relatively young community. If these factors are not concerns for you or if they rank low on your list of priorities, you may find that a newer home is a preferred option for you to consider. A smart idea is to closely compare both options. As you do, keep these exceptional benefits of a newer home in mind, and ask sellers about major updates or improvements that older homes have received. By taking these steps and focusing on these factors, you can potentially make an informed residential buying decision.