Should you Buy a New or Used Home?

by : Martin Lukac

When looking to buy a home you have two options. You can buy new or used.

You can often save money by moving into an established neighborhood and improving an older home to your liking. Or you could buy a smaller new home. Your decision should be based on your preferences, as you will find that there are both new and used homes in every price range.

Some of the things you will have to consider include the new home and smaller space versus the older home and remodeling costs. In general, you can buy a much larger existing home for your money. However, you may be stuck with paying for new paint, carpet, cabinets and other aspects of the home that you do not like.

There are some advantages to older homes. You often find more amenities in an existing home. If you are lucky, the homeowners have updated the applicances over time. Many new homes start off with builder's grade appliances. Over time, homeowners upgrade to nicer appliances. You may even find hot tubs and swimming pools with older homes.

With an existing home, the neighborhood is well established. You don't have to guess what it will look like when complete. The landscaping for the home is already in place. The neighbors are already there. You know how the schools are and what the safety level is.

However, with new homes, you are often safer in the home itself. New homes are six times less likely to have a fatal fire than older homes. New homes often come equipped with smoke detectors on every floor. With central heating systems and good insulation, the risk of space heater caused fires is lessened. Electrical power systems are sufficient for the home.

With older homes, you often have to worry about asbestos, lead paint, urea-formaldehyde finishes and radon. With a newer home, these issues are virtually non-existant.

As far as energy efficiency goes, I believe that it depends on the home. I've been in very well built existing homes that use energy very well. I've been in new homes that are an energy drain. It all depends on the home.

With the remodeling of older homes, you often find that you will recover most of the costs when your resell the home. Most people never consider buying or building a new home. They simply look to homes that are used. When you improve your home, you are reaching out to the person who wants the feel of new without the cost.

You need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of new and used to make your decision. It's all up to you. Shop around and look at several new and several used homes. You may find that you fall in love with a certain area and are willing to purchase used just to live there. Or perhaps you want a home built to your desires. New is better for you. Either way you go, buying a home is a wise financial decision.