Pro: Buying an Older Home Costs Less
Buyers may look for older homes if they are trying to save money. In general, you’ll find that a new construction home costs more than a house that was built decades ago. If you are constrained to a budget that is on the lower end of what homes are worth in your area, open your search up to include older homes.
Con: Older Homes Need More Repairs
While new homes aren’t perfect, it is to be expected that an older home will need more repairs and replacements. Older homes have been lived in by multiple families over time and undergone years of wear and tear.
You may spend less on the initial investment when you buy an older home, but be prepared to set money aside for replacements like a new roof, HVAC system, and other repairs. When buying a home, refer to the inspection report to get an idea of when you’ll need to upgrade these systems.
Pro: Buying an Older Home in a Central Location
If location and convenience are important to you, you’ll have more options when looking at older homes. When city centers were established, homes were first built near the downtown area before spreading out into the suburbs. The most centrally located houses likely date back to around the time the town was just becoming settled, which could have been over a century ago.
Con: Older Homes May Have Unsafe Materials
One thing you don’t have to worry about in a newer home is the possibility of unsafe building materials containing lead and asbestos. Also, aluminum electrical wiring and polybutylene piping are no longer used because of their high likelihood of malfunction. When buying an older home, be aware of these potential risks and order testing or an inspection.
Pro: Unique and Charming Characteristics
Homebuilders today generally construct homes that are very similar to one another. You won’t find many decorative features unless you are building a custom home and specifically request them. In older homes, you are likely to find ornate carved wood accents, stained glass windows, decorative columns, pocket doors, and telephone nooks. Also, most new homes have gas fireplaces, so if you prefer a wood-burning one, look for an older home.
Cons: Outdated Decor
Sometimes the decor in older homes isn’t so charming and will need to be updated. Old shag carpeting, loud wallpaper, and pastel-colored sinks and bathtubs are no longer appealing to homeowners. You might encounter features like these in an older home and spend money to have them replaced.