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Pros and Cons of Buying a New House Versus Buying an Old House

Should you buy a new house versus buying an old house?

This is one of the first questions that prospective homebuyers often ask themselves and it’s a great place to start. Buying a home can be a very exciting and emotional experience and before getting started it is important to think about what it is, exactly, that you’re looking for. Are you looking for a home in a specific location with a certain reputation? or are you looking for a new more modern home that possibly affords more conveniences in a newer community? When considering any major investment it is important to weigh the pros and cons and get clear on what you want and why. With home-shopping this becomes even more important as for many people their home purchase is the largest investment of their life. So, you want to get it right. In this article we will weigh the pros and cons of a buying a newly built home versus buying a formerly owned home highlighting the merits and drawbacks of both. So, let’s begin.

Buying a New House. The Importance of Quality Construction
When people think of buying a new home, they think of a home that is in pristine condition and one that is worry free. One of the great things about buying a new home is that often everything is brand new and therefore in extremely good condition. Sometimes there are even ultra-modern amenities that come standard in a home. However, a new home does not necessarily mean that the home won’t cause you any headaches, or even worse, any nightmares. What would be the source of potential problems? The main cause of most grief experienced by a new home buyer  Buying-an-Old-House has to do with faulty construction. For this reason, when looking at newly built homes, it’s important to make sure that the home was constructed by a qualified, certified builder with a track record and a good reputation.

Faulty new home construction is usually the result of builders cutting corners in an effort to complete construction projects quickly. While builders who do this are the exception rather than the rule, it is best to check your builder out ahead of time in order to ensure that you won’t experience problems in the future. Common problems include issues such as uneven walls or flooring, poor plumbing and faulty electrical wiring but problems can also be worse. You can begin learning about your prospective home’s builder by making sure the builder is licensed. At first, this information may not seem easy to find, however, start with your state’s government offices. In the State of California, you can check with the Contractor State Licensing Board.The purpose of California’s Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) is to regulate contractors. Not only can homeowners file a complaint with the CSLB, but you can find a host of educational materials in addition to being able to check the status of a contractor’s license. Besides visiting the CSLB’s website, it’s a good idea to visit homes that have been sold in the development or area you are considering and speak with the owners. Ask questions like, “Do you like your home? Have you experienced any issues or problems? You might also ask a current homeowner, “If you have friends looking for a home, would you recommend this development? and why or why not?” And don’t forget, you can also check out the developer at the Better Business Bureau.

Buying an Old House
I have to admit that buying an old house or an older house, sometimes gets a bad rap, but one thing is for certain: While it is true that older houses can have greater needs in terms of repair, think about it: if an older home is in good condition, you can almost guarantee that the construction is most likely pretty solid. While buying a home that has been previously owned can sometimes mean that you will have to deal with issues related to the age of the home, more often than not, any problems that you see will have more to do with deferred maintenance than the quality of the home itself. The truth is that these problems can always be identified and rectified upfront. For instance, the leaky roof that should have been replaced five years ago or the leak beneath the sink that should have long been repaired. One of the main benefits of buying an older home is undeniable: a house that has been around for a while has obviously with stood the test of time.

Another benefit that drives the majority of people toward buying an old house is price. Simply put, existing homes tend to be less expensive than newly built homes. So buyers generally will need to weigh the benefits of buying a new house against the difference in cost. However, the cost savings in buying an old house is just one of many reasons that people might prefer to buy an existing home. For many people, buying in an established community is also important. These communities have a track record that can be reviewed in terms of school performance, recreation, other amenities and most of all their general reputation. Often the price of buying an old house coupled with the character of a more established community are very attractive to home buyers.

Most of the time buying an old house or buying a new house is just a matter of preference. If you do not have a distinct preference, then the most important question you can ask yourself is, “How can I ensure that I am purchasing a home, whether it be new or older, with few problems–a home that I can enjoy and grow old in should I choose? While there are no promises in life, there are two specific actions you can take to minimize the risk of problems arising and they are clear and simple: Get a home warranty to cover the appliances in the home and hire a qualified home inspector to perform a home inspection. Your real estate purchase agreement will provide you with a period within which you must perform these inspections and a good home inspector will identify potential structural problems as well as any issues with wood destroying and other pests. A home warranty will protect you for a year after the purchase in the event any major appliances experience problems or breakdown.

In short, whether you are buying an old house or buying a new house, focus on buying a well built quality home. If you are buying a new home, you can do this by making sure you are dealing with a reputable, licensed home builder, and regardless of the type of home you are buying, make sure that you purchase a home warranty and have the home inspected by a licensed home inspector before you buy.

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