Old House vs. New House: Which Is The Better Investment?

Topics: Reading time: 4 minutes

Buying a home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Whether you’re buying your first home or your third, you probably have a lot of questions. Today, we explore the question of old house vs. new house. So, is it best to buy an older established house or a brand new house?

While old homes used to be the norm, especially with the popularity of DIY home renovation shows, there are a lot of new homes being built across Australia that come with a number of benefits. With the average home loan size in Australia reaching $397,300, you want to be sure you’re making a smart investment when you close on your property.

Previously, new homes were notoriously more expensive than old homes. This made the decision much clearer for both new and experienced buyers. Today, however, the tides are turning.

It’s no longer true that new homes are more expensive, and they might even be a better value when it comes down to your overall investment. In this guide, we’ll break down the differences between buying an old house vs. new house, as well as which is best for you.

Why Buy an Old House?

If you’re like most homebuyers, you’ve probably had a particular vision of the home you want. It might be a charming Victorian home with the classic white picket fence or a modern marvel. Either way, it’s probably chock full of charm, something that is characteristic of an older home.

Old homes are known for their old-world construction, and that means they’ve weathered many storms. As the phrase goes: “They don’t make ‘em like they used to.” Is that true? In some ways, yes. Many older homes were built by genuine craftsmen.

Yet, some older homes haven’t aged well. They might be in various states of disrepair or in desperate need of an upgrade. Thanks to the rise in home renovation shows, these upgrades seem as simple as throwing on a fresh coat of paint, right? Think again. These shows might produce impressive results, a DIY repair is no easy job.

Benefits of an Older Home:

  • Larger Yards – Most older homes were built when land was cheaper, and this means you’re more likely to find a larger yard space, garage, or extra green space.
  • Character – We all love that special “character” old homes seem to have, whether it’s a special building style or unique window shape.
  • Established Neighborhood – Old homes are built in established neighborhoods, often with homes that have been passed down for generations.
  • Location – Many older neighborhoods are located near downtown or the best entertainment.
  • Craftsmanship – Old homes are generally built to last, though this varies.

Drawbacks of an Older Home:

  • Maintenance – Older homes come with more repair problems. Nothing lasts forever, and you might find yourself with an expensive problem.
  • Lack of Storage – Older homes notoriously come with a lack of storage. Expect fewer closets, garages, or extra space for your things.
  • Updates – Those special characters come at a cost—you’ll likely need to invest in some modern updates and upgrades.
  • Expensive – Becuase older homes are more likely to be in established, in-demand neighborhoods, they’re usually more pricey.

Why Buy a New House?

Buying a new home is cheaper than ever before. New builders and developers are popping up across Australia to meet the demand for new homes of all shapes and sizes. Not only will you have more customization options when crafting your home, but you’re the first person to ever live in the property. That means you’re less likely to need pricey repairs or modern upgrades.

Another perk of a new home is that these homes are built with more environmental concerns in mind. Homes today are greener than ever, and that might save you some extra money on utility costs throughout the year. If you’re worried about cost, a new home might end up being the most affordable choice when you crunch all of the numbers.

Benefits of a New Home:

  • Less Maintenance – Because the home is new, it’s less likely to need any new repairs for a while. If you’re working with a builder, you might even have a warranty on the property.
  • Modern – While those special old touches are unique, it’s always nice to have modern conveniences. Things like built-in dishwashers, media rooms, and network wiring are all standard in many new homes, and this is a major perk.
  • Energy Efficiency – Modern homes are built for our new green-driven society, with things like solar panels, low-energy appliances, and insulated walls.
  • Less expensive – Depending on your customizations, your new home is likely to cost less per square foot than an older home, and that’s before you factor in the lack of repairs.

Drawbacks of a New Home:

  • Cookie-Cutter – Many new developments feature cookie-cutter floor plans which lack those special touches.
  • Location – New homes are often built further from downtown and entertainment areas. This might mean a longer commute or less dining and shopping options nearby.
  • Smaller Lot – You’re less likely to have a large yard or lot since space is limited for new homes.
  • House Settling – Finally, new houses need to settle into the foundation. No matter the type of soil or construction, settling will cause things like cracks in the foundation which need to be repaired.

So, old house vs. new house?

Ultimately, the better investment will come down to your unique goals. If you plan to use the home as an investment property, updating an older home with modern conveniences will likely pay off more when you sell your home. On the other hand, if you plan to live in the home long-term, a new construction will cost you less over time and will be in a good state when it’s time to sell.

Like most decisions, it comes down to what you value. If those small character touches mean a lot to you, it can be worth paying more for an older home in an established neighborhood. If you’d rather have a home full of modern conveniences, it’s more value-friendly to opt for a new house.

Because buying a home is such a big financial decision, be sure to speak with all the right professionals. A specialist at Debt Busters can make sure your finances and debts are taken care of so that you can choose the best between old house vs. new house and price range for your budget. Contact an expert today on 1300 368 322 to achieve your dream of buying a home.

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