Buy Old or New?

The average home in Portland dates back to the early 90’s, but Portland has recently seen a boom in new construction and expects to see more. This “boom” may have led you to ask the question of whether or not you should consider buying old or new.  For some of you the answer may be simple, but there are surprisingly a lot of variables to consider when making the right purchase. Here is a list of the potential pros and cons we came up with for you to consider:

  1. Due to rising costs of land and an increasing population, newer homes are closer together leaving less room for privacy, yard or even living square footage.
  2. There’s a potential lack of character due to cookie-cutter designs that the builder believes will appeal to broader variety of buyers.
  3. Older homes usually have mature landscaping, which adds to privacy and aesthetics. Mature landscaping also provides shade from the sun, protects the home from the wind, and even blocks out some traffic noise.
  4. Even though it is new, workmanship can still be questionable with builders scrambling to meet their bottom line
  5. Theoretically, newer homes require less repairs or updating
  6. If the home is so new it’s still being built, you can opt-for some customizations in floor plans or features.
  7. New homes may have more efficient appliances and weatherization. They may also be “healthier” with safer materials used.
  8. New homes generally land in a price range that is over the average household’s budget.
  9. Less need to “rush” waiting for a home to be built (which can take up to 5 months). Although, if you don’t have a temporary living situation, then this could also stand as a con.
  10. Awesome, community amenities come with some new developments like parks, gyms, pool etc.
  11. New construction homes- usually pop up in exurbia, where there’s more land that’s less expensive, if you’re working or “living it up” in the city it could add to your commute time
  12. We’re seeing that new homes generally have improved closet and bathroom sizes
  13. Some builders offer a buy-down rate. Interest rate buy-downs can save thousands of dollars off the mortgage over the life of the loan.
  14. New homes are untouched and clean which can appeal to the OCD in all of us…
  15. New homes are about 20% more expensive
  16. Homes in a new subdivision could have costly HOA fees
  17. If the whole subdivision is new, there’s the risk of an unknown neighborhood dynamic
  18. With new homes there’s sometimes construction nearby, which equals a noisy eye sore
  19. With new homes, property Values may be volatile
  20. Even though it’s an older house the previous owner may have added a lot of new upgrades
  21. Financing could be trickier with an existing home due to unpermiting and different loan requirements for the home.

It all boils down to preference, both old and new have their pros and cons it’s just a matter of which you personally care about.