Property

Pros and Cons of an older home

When you’re deciding whether to buy an older home in the Penticton real estate market, there are many considerations to think through. You might like the idea of living in a home that has history. At the same time, you might worry about expensive repairs an older home might bring with it.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons when buying an older home.

Pros of buying an older home

Price

It’s not uncommon to pay more for a new home. Building materials and labor costs are expensive and are reflected in the price for newer homes. On average, new homes will cost somewhere in the range of 25% to 30% more than older homes.

Location can remove this savings for an older home, however. You’ll find that an older home might be more expensive because it’s located in a very desirable location. Taking away the location variable, though, newer homes are normally more expensive than their older counterparts.

Charm & Personality

Newer homes and their neighborhoods are often built without the personality you can find in older neighborhoods. Modern neighborhoods usually offer 3 or 4 different models.

On the other hand, older neighborhoods might have a greater variety in terms of style. Craftsman, Victorian and mid-century modern styles are just three options that offer additional warmth and charm that newer construction doesn’t offer. Older neighborhoods are fully developed in terms of trees and other vegetation. This lends itself to a feeling of completeness and connection.

Availability

An older home is ready for move-in day immediately after escrow closes. It’s not uncommon to wait a few weeks or even months for construction to come to completion so you can move in after purchasing a brand new home.

Outdoor space

Do you want a huge backyard to allow pets and children to run around in? It’s probably going to be easier to find this feature in an older home. Older homes tend to have plenty of mature trees and ample yard space because they are often sitting on larger lots.

There has been a trend with newer homes where homebuilders plan houses to sit on smaller lots. At the same time, however, they do maximize the square footage of these modern homes. This means larger homes with smaller yards that sit closer to the next house.

Cons of buying an older home

Maintenance issues might come sooner

It’s likely that any need for major repairs when buying a new home is years away. This isn’t the case with most older homes.

Here are a few of the large-ticket repairs your older home might need:

  • Piping replacement
  • Repairing or replacing the foundation
  • Rewiring
  • Termite or other pest repairs
  • Updating windows
  • Reroofing

Room size & comfort

As you start living in an older home, it’s possible that you feel the pinch in terms of room size. Overall square footage is usually smaller in older houses. Your kitchen, bathrooms and living room could be significantly smaller than if you had chosen a modern home.

Another area where older home charm wears thin is smaller closet space.

Energy efficiency

Newer homes are made with energy efficiency in mind. This wasn’t the case with older homes. An older home probably won’t have energy efficient windows, for example. Older homes might be lacking in terms of energy efficient heating & cooling systems, added insulation and energy efficient doors.

Potential safety & health issues

Older gas lines, fireplaces and knob and tube wiring bring with them potential dangers if they aren’t replaced, repaired or maintained properly. Some older homes might have asbestos issues or lead-based paint to worry about.

An older home probably isn’t going to come with interconnected alarms, fire sprinklers or security systems. New homes usually come standard with these types of features.

So what should you do? Use the above tips and then compile a list of what’s most important to you.

Do you value neighborhood charm over a larger home or lot? Do you have do-it-yourself repair skills and can easily cut down the costs of any needed repairs? Are you on a tighter budget and need to keep the overall purchase price down?

If so, then you might want to focus your time and attention on finding that perfect older home.