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Editor’s Note:  This post was written by Our Small Hours contributor Donna Fitzgerald.  To find out more about Donna visit our Current Contributor’s page.

Should You Buy an Old Home or a New Home?

Whether you’re starting a family or find that your little family is expanding, a new home may be in your near future. House hunting can be a fun adventure for some, but also a dreaded task for those who are prone to indecision or stress (buying a new home is far from stress-free). There are so many things to consider when looking at homes and one main concern, that may often be overlooked, is whether or not your new place is safe for your family’s health, particularly if you’re looking at an older home.

Did you find that charming Victorian dream house or the modern minimalist rambler you’ve always wanted? Before you choose, compare and contrast and focus on the pros and cons:

The Pros and Cons of New vs Old Homes

You may appreciate the intricate architecture of a home built in the 1920’s, but don’t want to live in a home “with a past” or maybe you love the idea of brand new home, but don’t like the price tag. Choosing an older or newer home all depends on what you need out of a home and if you and your family will be comfortable and safe living in the space you choose.

New Homes: A new home is a house that has been purchased during the pre-construction phase or a house that has never been lived in.

  • Pros: New homes are more likely to have an open floor plan, large bathrooms, and plenty of storage space. Many new homes are equipped with new technology, appliances, be more energy efficient, and will need no updates or repairs for a substantial amount of time. Basically, new homes are pretty much ready to move in and don’t require much work from home buyers.
  • Cons: Despite all the amenities and “ready to move in” features, new homes may be significantly more expensive than older homes, some experts say up to 20% more. Additionally, new homes are rarely built in existing and established neighborhoods that are close to or part of a community or other necessities. Another thing, if you love the look of a boulevard full of old trees, a new home will not offer that sort of landscape.

Old Homes: An older home is one that is pre-owned and a majority of existing homes on the market were built between the 1920s and 1970s.

  • Pros: There’s a lot of charm to an older home from the original woodwork to the history of the home itself. Many homeowners who choose an older property over a new one enjoy living in a neighborhood close to shops, restaurants, and even neighbors. Another plus to moving into an older home is finding treasures of the past, such as perennials planted in a garden by the previous owner. Older homes are generally cheaper as long as there’s not a lot of work to do on the home.
  • Cons: If you find an older home with updates, you’re in luck, but many older homes have a reasonable price tag for a reason. If you aren’t concerned about having state of the art technology or new appliances, an older home may be for you. Additionally, old homes have smaller bathrooms and lack storage space.

Although old homes can be full of historic and breathtaking architecture sometimes hazardous material, such as asbestos, can lurk beneath the floorboards, behind the walls or in the ceilings. In older homes, asbestos can be located anywhere throughout your house and may be a danger to your health if it’s not in good condition. For this reason, it’s always important to have a professional home inspection to make sure there’s no hazardous material in your soon-to-be home.

Now that you’ve considered the pros and cons of new vs. old, choose your home wisely so that the home you choose for you and your family can be a “forever home” filled with health, happiness, and good memories.

Is it Safe to Buy an Old House

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