Historic Homes vs New-Builds

When you buy a home, there are a dizzying amount of choices to make. A major one to consider is whether a new home or a historic home is right for you. There are plenty of pros and cons to consider:

Historic Homes:
The Pros
  • Larger yard: Years ago, when land was cheaper, builders built on larger lot sizes. Builders in today’s day and age try to maximize the most amount of square footage on the smallest lots to maximize the amount of homes that can be built.
  • More character and charm
  • Established neighborhoods
The Cons
  • More maintenance: Because of their age, historic homes are typically costlier to fix and renovate than newer homes. You may find that generations of homeowners have made repairs and additions with varying levels of expertise, and old walls can hide some big surprises.
  • Expensive to replace wiring and plumbing
  • Smaller closets, storage space, garages: Before today’s concept of “bigger is better,” people had less clothing, fewer personal items to store, and only one vehicle. A large majority of historic homes do not have the luxury of a garage.
  • Smaller square footage on average: With the exception of estates, many older homes are smaller in size, even though family sizes were larger when they were built. Times sure do change!
Newer Homes:
The Pros
  • Little maintenance: New construction is meant to last for a while, so new homeowners are not likely to install a new roof or replace the water heater. At least not for 10 to 20 years.
  • Modern conveniences: Many items are standard such as built-in dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, and wine coolers. The homes can feature master suite baths, workout and media rooms.
  • Built to code: Code regulations change all the time. Consumer safety issues are continually addressed in new construction and conform to current building codes.
The Cons
  • Tract homes have similar floor plans
  • Newer homes may lack character, hence the term “cookie cutter home”
  • Immature vegetation: It can take years for trees to grow and mature.
  • Longer commuting distances to downtown: If you want to be where the action is in a metropolitan downtown area or avoid the drive to work in rush-hour city traffic, the distance from downtown might make a difference to you.
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