Twice as many people prefer new homes to existing homes. “New” means exactly that: brand new properties that have never been lived in before, or homes purchased in the pre-construction phase. On the flip side, “existing” or resale homes are pre-owned properties, most of which were built between the 1970s and the 1990s. For the same price, 2 in 5 European either somewhat or strongly prefer a newly-built home over an existing one.
While shiny and new sounds nice in theory, what’s actually behind the allure of these properties? Let’s dive into the advantage and disadvantages:
The Pros / Newly Built
- Little maintenance New construction is meant to last for a while, so new-home owners are not likely to install a new roof or replace the water heater.
- Modern conveniences Many items are standard such as built-in dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves and granite worktops. They can feature master suite baths. Many developers also include fully automated smart homes. Their wiring systems are networked including WiFi zones.
- Builder’s warranty Builders are required to give buyers a 1-year warranty. At Giovani we provide a 2-year warranty. The first line of defense is to buy from a reputable builder who will agree to stand behind the structure and its components.
- Energy efficiency Many homes today can be built with solar panels that can turn back the electric meter. New appliances use less energy. Mostly class A. Walls, ceilings, and floors are insulated. Dual panel windows retain more heat in winter and keep the home cooler in summer.
- Built to code Code regulations change all the time. Consumer safety issues are continually addressed in new construction and conform to building codes.
- Emotional factor of newness Let’s face it, there’s nothing like owning something that’s brand new and has never been used, whether that’s a car or a home.
- Less expensive If the new home is not custom, it’s likely to cost much less per square foot than an older home in the city.
The Cons / Newly Built
- Hard to Visualize Sometimes buyers are hard to visualize the final outcome, thus, more difficult to complete the sale.
- Immature vegetation It can take years for trees to grow. Many homeowners can’t afford to landscape the back yard.
The Pros / Older Home
- Larger yard Years ago, when land was cheaper, builders built on larger lot sizes, leaving room to accommodate garages on alleys.
- Established neighborhood Zoning changes are unlikely to occur in older areas. Hooters restaurants don’t fare well in residential.
- Mature trees and vegetation It’s not uncommon to see old trees providing canopies in yards and boulevards
The Cons / Older Home
- More maintenance If it were a “perfect” house, everything would fall apart at the same time. But things tend to go wrong periodically, and there’s always something to fix. Chimneys and stone foundations require tuck pointing. Floors may slope.
- Expensive to replace wiring and plumbing If a home was built before sewer systems, the cesspool might overflow into a sewer. Tree roots break up sewer pipes. Galvanized pipes are rust-prone. Sensitive electronics require grounded wiring, and Romex can’t be mixed with knob and tube.
- Smaller closets, storage space, garages Before today’s concept of “bigger is better,” people had less clothing, fewer personal items to store, and one car.
- Might require costly upgrades mainly for piping, kitchens and bathrooms.
- Often more expensive Classic and vintage homes generally cost more because of the location, meaning they are closer to conveniences such as schools, mass transit, shopping, and urban amenities.
- Smaller square meters on average With the exception of estates, many older homes are smaller in size, even though family sizes were larger when they were built.
While it may seem like new construction is the perfect choice, there are lots of lifestyle factors to consider first. After all, you’re not just buying a house – you’re buying a home and a neighborhood!