These days, the cost of buying a new home isn’t necessarily more than that of an old home. Home lot sizes have reduced, and construction has become cheaper due to changes in building materials. For example, pine is used in place of redwood.
Older homes near downtown Houston usually have larger lots and cost more compared to the newly built houses on the outskirts of the city. Many of these older homes are situated in historical neighborhoods that are being restored.
Here are some factors you should consider before deciding to buy a newer or older home in Houston:
Advantages of Buying an Older Home
- Old world construction – Older homes have their own charm and have proven to be sturdily built throughout the years, and withstood all kinds of weather.
- Larger yard – Lot sizes used to be larger before due to cheaper land, and there is more space for garages.
- More character – Several styles of bungalows are popular from the 1800s, like Tudor, Victorian, Colonial, and Greek Revival. They have unique architectural features to offer.
- Historical neighborhoods – These neighborhoods usually have mature trees that provide shade in the streets and have beautiful, close-knit communities. You can expect walking trails, nice parks, and friendly neighbors.
Drawbacks of Buying an Older Home
- More maintenance – Something always keeps coming up that needs fixing, like chimneys or sloping floors.
- Replacing wiring and plumbing is expensive – Sewer pipes might be badly rusted, or could be damaged by tree roots. Grounded wiring is more complicated to install.
- Smaller garages, storage space, and closets – Since people used to have fewer belongings and just one car before, less storage space was needed.
- Might require updates – Depending on your preferences, remodeling and installing trendy kitchens might be required, not to mention installing HVAC systems.
- Often more expensive – Older homes are mostly costlier since they are located closer to basic facilities. The average size is also smaller, except for estates.
Advantages of Buying a Newer Home
- Little maintenance – Newly constructed houses will function smoothly for some years before requiring repairs or replacement.
- Modern conveniences – New homes are already equipped with most modern amenities like microwaves, dishwashers, and interconnected wiring systems.
- Builder's warranty – Reputable builders are required to provide a warranty on the structure for 10 years, and most do a “bumper to bumper” for the first year.
- Energy efficient – Houses are now being developed with solar panels and insulated structures, which helps save on energy.
- Built to code – Newer homes are constructed according to safety and building regulations.
- The emotional factor of newness – Everyone feels proud owning something brand new or built just for you.
- Less expensive – New homes usually cost less than old ones situated in the city - particularly the more desireable areas!
- Greater average square footage – An older home of 1,000 square feet can sell for the same price as a new double story home of 2,500 square feet outside the city.
Drawbacks of Buying a Newer Home
- Tract homes have similar floor plans – Some people prefer to live in a house that looks unique instead of having a home identical to your neighbor’s.
- Immature vegetation – Trees take many years to fully grow. Some homeowners have barren lawns because due to a lack of landscaping.
- House settling – No matter what kind of soil lies underneath, house settling occurs everywhere. This leads to cracks in the walls and foundations.
- Longer commuting distances to downtown – Newer houses are built in the suburbs, farther away from downtown. Traffic and travel time is problematic at rush hours if you work near downtown.
- Selling within 3-5 years – If similar homes are still being built, you may not be able to compete and sell with the new ones on the market nearby.
The great thing about the Houston housing market is that we have it all! Newer, older, bigger, smaller, weird, quiet, urban, the suburbs, the list goes on and on. If you want to talk serious home searching business, contact us for a free list of homes you'll love. What's the best part about this list? It's a list of 1-day listings! Homes that went on the market, today.