Weighing the Pros and Cons of Older and Newer Homes

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There are advantages and disadvantages to owning old and new homes. Some may seem pretty obvious, but others might surprise you. Before you begin your search for your dream home, be sure to take these points into consideration:

Advantages of Older Homes

Some people love the idea of living in a historic home. The old saying “they don’t make them like this anymore” comes to mind when it comes to homes from days gone by. Even if the home you are considering isn’t technically listed as “historic,” homes built in the late decades of the 20th century can still offer some advantages.

  • Good Construction – Older homes have stood the test of time.
  • Bigger Lots – You’ll generally find more spacious yards and privacy when it comes to older homes.
  • Established Neighborhood – Older homes are typically found in older neighborhoods, which means mature trees, longer-term neighbors and possibly a tighter-knit community.
  • Tax Incentives – If your home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, you may be qualified for certain tax benefits, especially if you plan to use the home for rental property. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, income-producing properties listed in the National Register qualify for federal tax credits, in order to help offset the cost of rehabilitating.

Disadvantages of Older Homes

  • Expensive – Older homes have become quite popular in the market, especially if they have been restored and well-maintained. It takes a lot to take care of an older home, so expect to pay a lot.
  • Maintenance – Older homes typically require several updates; however, the sellers might have done a lot of that initial work for you. Even so, it will take money and TLC to maintain your older home.
  • Minimal Storage Space – The need for walk-in closets and two-car garages is relatively new. Expect to see smaller closets, bathrooms and garages in homes built prior to 1990.

2Advantages of Newer Homes

  • Newer Construction – Naturally, newer materials and appliances will prevent you from having to do replacements or updates any time soon.
  • Modern Conveniences – His and her sinks, walk-in closets, laminate floors, track lighting… You won’t find these things in old homes, unless the previous owner has added them.
  • Emotional Factor/Novelty – Like a blank slate, a brand new home can offer a sense of freedom when it comes to decorating, and it also can add a sense of pride and security, knowing that you are the very fist people to ever live in the home.

Disadvantages of Newer Homes

  • Undeveloped Neighborhood – Mature trees and vegetation, a tight-knit community… These are things you might not get with a newer home.
  • Longer Distance to City/Downtown – Newer homes are usually built in suburban areas. If you work or play downtown, this could be a big drawback.
  • Cheaper Construction – While most builders are reputable and use quality materials, anything from walls to counter tops can be inferior to what you might find in an older home.

Lisa is a cost-cutting, money-saving, life-simplifying guru, ready to share her secrets and the tricks up her sleeve. As a mother to a teenager and a twenty-something, avid surfer, and world traveler, Lisa knows how to live the good life on a budget. She covers topics that help us let go of wasteful and costly habits, and embrace those that do our wallets, our bodies, our families, and our planet some good!

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