Old vs New: Which is the Better Home to Buy?

Old vs New: Which is the Better Home to Buy?

There are countless factors that may determine whether you end up purchasing an old house or a new one. It could be that you have a very strong preference for one or the other. Alternatively, it could be that other factors, such as a preferred neighborhood or a need for specific local amenities, are more important and will decide what type of house you ultimately purchase. That said, old and new homes naturally fair differently when out on the market, and that raises the question: is it better to invest in an older property or a new build? 

House value, and with that its chance of either increasing or decreasing in the future, is something that the age of a property will almost certainly influence. However, this is always in conjunction with many other factors, which can be either related or totally unrelated to the age. In order to make a proper assessment of these many and closely interrelated factors, the expertise of a professional real estate brokerage is essential. This is not something that can be gleaned from online property listings. It requires years of experience, an intimate knowledge of the market, and a professional assessment to truly tell how the age of a property is affecting its value at that point in time. 

For home buyers and sellers, Salt Lake City’s CityHome Collective says that an in-depth knowledge of the local housing market and the trends that are affecting house value are crucial. But more generally speaking, what is the rough effect of age on a home’s value? Can a single rule be formulated? And can we make a definitive statement, one way or the other, as to whether it is wise to invest in older properties or new builds? 

Defining Old and New 

So what do we mean when we say a property is old? Right away, it is easy to suggest the different things that could be implied. An “old” property could indicate that a property has suffered dereliction of some kind and could have lost a great deal of its value thanks to the style of the home being out of fashion or the home requiring a good deal of work to make it livable. But, in much the same way, an old home could refer to a home with prestige and pedigree, in a classic style that has never been demolished because of its beauty and therefore also highly sought after.  There are two kinds of “old”. 

Similarly, a “new build” could imply that a house is either a state-of-the-art property, with modern amenities and features giving it a real competitive edge on the market. Or it could refer to a hastily erected complex with a somewhat soulless character, built only to fill some municipal space. There is a positive and a negative dimension to “new” as well. 

Heating and Other Costs 

One thing that we can say for sure though is that older homes will incur extra costs that new homes will not. Foremost among these is heating, with new homes being much more efficient at retaining heat and thereby presenting new owners with significantly lower heating bills. Old homes can only achieve this with renovation, but then you can find an older property that has been recently renovated. 

Ultimately, although there are some general trends that might help you predict the value of an old or new home, the truth is that there are in fact many more complicating factors that could override this. The best strategy, then, might simply be to follow your own preferences, most importantly whether you prefer vintage or modern surroundings.

Real Estate