As you begin searching for your next home, you may refine the scope of your search based on the age of the property as well as a few other important factors. While some people have a natural preference for a newer home, others find older homes to be more appealing. The reality is that there are pros and cons to consider for both options. Before you decide whether to focus on older or newer homes for your search, consider these important factors related to the home’s age.
If you are looking at older or newer homes located in neighborhood communities rather than in rural areas, the local area should be considered. Older communities generally have fewer or no modern amenities, such as a neighborhood swimming pool, hiking trails and more. However, they may have mature landscaping, wide streets and longtime owners in many cases. With an older, established community, you can see how well property owners have taken care of their properties over the years. Some older homes may have even been renovated and modernized, but others may appear to be rundown if they were not well-maintained. Newer communities, on the other hand, may have modern infrastructure and amenities. Because the entire neighborhood may be newer, the community may be in great condition overall.
The Home’s Character
Both older and newer homes can have character, but this character may be portrayed in different ways. For example, historic homes may have beautiful architectural details and period-specific traits. Some features may be original, and this can add considerable charm to the home. With a newer home, character may be present through a custom design, the builder’s selection of materials and more. Character is not necessarily associated with a specific age of a property, but you may find that age can contribute to a property’s charm if the property has been well-maintained over the years.
The Age and Condition of Fixtures
If you are like many buyers, you may be searching for a home that is in good or great condition and that has few or no major repair projects that require your attention. Each property is unique, so it is not reasonable to make a blanket assumption about property condition based solely on age. If you decide to buy an older home, pay attention to the age and condition of appliances, plumbing features, the HVAC system and other components. Understand how much life may remain in them, and learn how well they have been maintained over the years. This can help you to determine if an older home is right for you and which older home may be more well-suited for you. If you purchase an older home with older features and equipment, ensure that you have the financial means to replace these items as needed.
Today’s new construction homes are generally designed with energy efficiency in mind, but the type of insulation, quality of windows and other factors do vary. Older homes are often assumed to be less energy-efficient. However, if a previous owner has taken steps to replace or seal doors or windows, to update the insulation and to replace the HVAC system recently, there is a good chance that an older home may be comparably energy-efficient as a new home. Because of this, assumptions about energy efficiency based on a property’s age may be false.
When selecting on older or a newer home, you can see how important it is to take a closer look at specific features and characteristics of each property rather than to make broad assumptions. These are some of the more important factors to consider when making a home selection. Consider ordering a property inspection and energy audit on any home regardless of its age to make an informed property selection.