Many young families just starting out want to settle down in one place and buy a home. The main question they face is whether to buy a new or used home. With pros and cons for either choice, here are some things to consider.

Cost

Most new homes for sale are more expensive to buy than older properties due to the rising prices of building materials, land, and fixtures. But an older home that costs less up front may require significant updates or repairs that will make the final cost closer to that of a new home. The advantage to purchasing a just-built house is that you won’t have to worry about major repairs like a roof or HVAC system for years. The benefits of renovating an older home are that you can make it just the way you want it to be.

Upkeep

A new home may require more upkeep for amenities like a pool, extra rooms, or landscaping to keep the place looking its best. New furnishings should be cleaned, polished, and protected to maintain their value. An older home, on the other hand, will likely have fewer expensive aspects to maintain if you can find similar older features to use, such as handrails from a lumberyard or light fixtures of an earlier era that can be found in thrift shops. Newer home features may require special or annual upkeep that can be costly, such as a new patio or deck.

Insurance and Taxes

Depending on a property’s size and location, the homeowner’s insurance premiums and property taxes can vary. A new property of higher value often comes with a heftier insurance policy and property tax bill. But an older home that is large or that sits in an expensive neighborhood could also have high price tags on these things. The family should carefully compare costs when deciding whether to buy a new or used residence.

Utilities

Newer homes might be equipped with smart-controlled utilities or eco-friendly appliances. These may have lower utility costs attached. Older homes with aging equipment like a furnace or outdated electricity could result in higher utility bills. Check with the realtor or builder for information about the utility costs of a new home vs. an older one.

Young families can find their dream home by comparing costs and deciding options. They may want a house in move-in condition that comes with minimal up-front expenses or one that they are willing to invest time and money in.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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