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Old 09-15-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
1,705 posts, read 1,530,845 times
Reputation: 1046
There is no right or wrong answer to this one....it is all about your tastes. I see so many couples passing on homes on HGTV because the kitchens did not have stainless appliances and granite counter tops. So many of my friends who purchased new in the last 10 years or less have remodeled kitchens just to have stainless and granite. I think a lot people want things shiny and new and do not want to put in sweat equity.

There was a time where the thought was if you buy existing you are getting a home with landscaping, garage door openers, and many of the things someone has already paid for at a lower price than new.

Me, I would rather have purchased and existing home for a lower price and lower payments and remodel as I go. Those stainless appliances, granite and flooring upgrades that come with new construction as upgrades will boost that final price a lot higher. I am lucky that we are very handy and with the exception of putting on a roof we have the ability to do the work. I do have some friends that putting in wood flooring or tile would send them over the edge if they had to do it, heck even painting intimidates them. With people like this new is most like the best bet
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Nesconset, NY
1,240 posts, read 1,339,967 times
Reputation: 935
Quote:
Originally Posted by From_LV View Post
Thank you guys for your input. I really appreciate it. I'm really looking for which one makes more financial sense. Of course I do like a brand new house because I like the floor plan. The price of an existing homes are in the same area as the new one. My worries is that I would end up spending as much if not more for an existing home due to fixing. This is going to be my first home, so I don't know what I'm dealing with as far as the costs of fixing things around the house.
Financially, a pre-WWII house is the better way for a first time home buyer to be introduced to home ownership. You'll get much more for your money and you can be sure it was well constructed. There's nothing about an old home that can go wrong that isn't also true for a newly constructed home.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 30,895,242 times
Reputation: 11756
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIGuy1202 View Post
Financially, a pre-WWII house is the better way for a first time home buyer to be introduced to home ownership. You'll get much more for your money and you can be sure it was well constructed. There's nothing about an old home that can go wrong that isn't also true for a newly constructed home.
That is mostly true. However some issues have been eliminated by improved technology. You will not find a new home with galvinized plumbing that has corroded shut. Nor will you find a new home with only one outlet per room, or a non-grounded electrical system (which really is not a big deal for most people). On the other hand you will not discover that a 50 year old home had a hole the workers used as a toilet and then just covered it over leaving all kinds of bad things to grow out of their poo (happened to a friend of mine), nor are you likely to discover a 50 year old home was built on improperlty graded land or even built over organic material like a dead cow carcass. Those things may have happened, but after 50 years, the problems have been discovered and corrected. You are not likely to have structural failures in an older home because the lumber was crummy.

There are quite a few problems you may find with older homes you will not have with new homes and quite a few problems with new homes you will not find with older homes. There is a gamble either way.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:02 AM
 
1,679 posts, read 2,085,207 times
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At least the old home issues you mentioned and any possible others (plumbing, fewer outlets per room, electrical issue) -- some, if not all of them, should can be pointed out in a home inspection. So at least in part you know what you're getting into.

The new home issues (the hole workers used as a toilet and covered), grading so your front yard becomes a swimming pool if it rains....you won't know at all until you smell that funny smell and can't figure out what the heck it is, or your yard has a sink home one day.

I can only imagine -- actually don't want to -- the utter shock of the people who bought those smelly Chinese drywall houses...talk about a mess....you can't live in the house, you have to sue the builder, who doesn't want to fix it, because he's suing the CHINESE drywall company.....a NIGHTMARE! .... oh yeah, and of course the mortgage company doesn't care about any of it, ....It still wants payment....for a house you can't even live in.

I don't think I'm ever going to need to buy another house... but if I did....No new construction for me.
It may be my bias, but new homes for me are much more of an unknown. I'm just too wary.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 30,895,242 times
Reputation: 11756
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
At least the old home issues you mentioned and any possible others (plumbing, fewer outlets per room, electrical issue) -- some, if not all of them, should can be pointed out in a home inspection. So at least in part you know what you're getting into.

The new home issues (the hole workers used as a toilet and covered), grading so your front yard becomes a swimming pool if it rains....you won't know at all until you smell that funny smell and can't figure out what the heck it is, or your yard has a sink home one day.

I can only imagine -- actually don't want to -- the utter shock of the people who bought those smelly Chinese drywall houses...talk about a mess....you can't live in the house, you have to sue the builder, who doesn't want to fix it, because he's suing the CHINESE drywall company.....a NIGHTMARE! .... oh yeah, and of course the mortgage company doesn't care about any of it, ....It still wants payment....for a house you can't even live in.

I don't think I'm ever going to need to buy another house... but if I did....No new construction for me.
It may be my bias, but new homes for me are much more of an unknown. I'm just too wary.
Yes. You are correct. People get all kinds of crazy nasty surprises with some new homes. Once in a while a few even just collapse. Of course that is not likely to happen with a ten year old home, or it woudl have already collapsed and would not be there. It has probably happened with a ten year old home, but i have never heard of it. The ones I know of collapsed in a few months. I do not know what the percentages are. Major problems probably occur in less than 10 % of new homes. Minor problems probably occur in substantially more than 50%.

Personally i would not want anyhting made after 1940, but the OP was comparing a ten year old house and a new house.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
1,330 posts, read 1,887,108 times
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I don't know if my observation is for my area (Boston suburbs), but I've noticed that house built in the 80's and early 90's just look 'cheap'. What I see is cheap carpet thru-out, low ceilings, no or very few ceiling lights, cheap cabinets and countertops, etc.

Then late 90's to after 2000, builders start to put back in pretty things again- hardwood floors, trim molding, better looking kitchen and bath, lots more lighting, etc.

So if the 80's era house look cheap on the outside, wonder how minimal is the rest of the construction.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:48 AM
 
1,286 posts, read 2,449,079 times
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Everyone has an opinion, some are good, some are worthless. Most are based upon what is happening in their local market and houses that they've seen.

It comes down to what its worth to you, and what you think of the house that you're looking at vs the new constrution and what is offered for the price you wree quoted.

my area- we don't have $150K houses, new used, purple blue whatever. housing starts at 300K and up, and no, that isn't new nor is it very nice. So, I don't know what you're getting for your money in the new market, or otherwise. In general, I don't think the quality of construction has increased or decreased over the last 10 years.

So it really comes down to how well the older house is built, compared to the newer one. Do you see examples of the builder's work now? and older developments? possibly clients from 3-5 years ago? Does the price you mentioned on new construciton include all the extras you are going for? or is the price going to be inflated from there? does the older house have the same nice layout that the newer one does? are the finishes nice? yes they are replacable, but you can easily blow the price difference between the two on a new kitchen, or bathroom, or hardwood, or any combination of things.

not to say affordability doesn't mattter, it does, but it is definately cheaper to buy the newer house at that price if it has everything you want in it, vs upgrading the existing house if it needs upgrading to make it "nice" and all that is rolled into your mortgage, instead of doing it out of pocket when you are cash strapped from buying a house. I've done the remodel thing, and its fun, and hard, and costly and in my opinion, you need to save a bundle on the purchase to make it worth it. to me, 10-30K is not enough.

there are definately some things that in new construction you have to do that you MIGHT not in existing construction, blinds, curtain rods, closet shelves and organizers, landscaping, garage door openers etc. On the other hand there are plenty of things that you MIGHT have to do in existing construction that you won't in new construction, paint, refinishing floors, new carpet, removing overgrown landscaping, repairing siding/trim etc. and that is assuming all systems and everything else are in full working order.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:18 PM
 
1,679 posts, read 2,085,207 times
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chris327 adds good insight....but how often is the new house EXACTLY what you want, either. It will have granite, but not the color you like, or it will have carpeting but not the right color. So a person can buy new/newer and still put money into personal cosmetic things.

Of course if it's built from the ground up and/or you buy from a developer early enough in the process to get what you want -- you pay for the granite and hardwood you want -- but those upgrades may still cost you. You pay either way. The issue is how to get what you want for the LEAST cost. Which of course LOCATION will also play a part in.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
17,153 posts, read 17,859,157 times
Reputation: 19780
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
3) Granted a seller can lie like a rug -- but I do think that with previously owned houses in established neighborhoods you can at least get a BIT of a background on the house to know what you MIGHT be getting into. You can get an insurance claim history on the house, and also ask neighbors and others in the neighborhood.
Paying a reputable home inspector goes a long way. We have always had to get a home inspection when purchasing.


Rich
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
17,153 posts, read 17,859,157 times
Reputation: 19780
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmyk72 View Post
built in the 80's and early 90's just look 'cheap'. What I see is cheap carpet thru-out, low ceilings, no or very few ceiling lights, cheap cabinets and countertops, etc.
Well, 30+ year old carpet needs to go anyway.

Eight foot high ceilings have been standard since before the 50's. Yes, we have 10 and 12 foot ceilings in some newer homes. Our 1990 home in the Southwest has 10 foot ceilings, ceiling lights, skylights, track lighting, ceiling fans with wall controls... Depends on where you buy many times.
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