We are often asked, “Which is the better buy, a newer or older home?” Our answer: It all depends on your needs and personal preferences. We decided to put together a list of the six biggest differences between newer and older homes:
Surprisingly, one of the biggest factors in choosing a new home isn’t the property itself, but rather the surrounding neighborhood. While new homes occasionally spring up in established communities, most are built in new developments. The settings are quite different, each with their own unique benefits.
Older neighborhoods often feature tree-lined streets; larger property lots; a wide array of architectural styles; easy walking access to mass transportation, restaurants and local shops; and more established relationships among neighbors.
New developments are better known for wider streets and quiet cul-de-sacs; controlled development; fewer above ground utilities; more parks; and often newer public facilities (schools, libraries, pools, etc.). There are typically more children in newer communities, as well.
Consider your daily work commute, too. While not always true, older neighborhoods tend to be closer to major employment centers, mass transportation and multiple car routes (neighborhood arterials, highways and freeways).
Design and layout
If you like Victorian, Craftsman or Cape Cod style homes, it used to be that you would have to buy an older home from the appropriate era. But with new-home builders now offering modern takes on those classic designs, that’s no longer the case. There are even modern log homes available.
Have you given much thought to your floor plans? If you have your heart set on a family room, an entertainment kitchen, a home office and walk-in closets, you’ll likely want to buy a newer home—or plan to do some heavy remodeling of an older home. Unless they’ve already been remodeled, most older homes feature more basic layouts.
If you have a specific home-décor style in mind, you’ll want to take that into consideration, as well. Professional designers say it’s best if the style and era of your furnishings match the style and era of your house. But if you are willing to adapt, then the options are wide open.
Materials and craftsmanship
Homes built before material and labor costs spiked in the late 1950s have a reputation for higher-grade lumber and old-world craftsmanship (hardwood floors, old-growth timber supports, ornate siding, artistic molding, etc.).
However, newer homes have the benefit of modern materials and more advanced building codes (copper or polyurethane plumbing, better insulation, double-pane windows, modern electrical wiring, earthquake/ windstorm supports, etc.).
The condition of a home for sale is always a top consideration for any buyer. However, age is a factor here, as well. For example, if the exterior of a newer home needs repainting, it’s a relatively easy task to determine the cost. But if it’s a home built before the 1970s, you have to also consider the fact that the underlying paint is most likely lead based, and that the wood siding may have rot or other structural issues that need to be addressed before it can be recoated.
On the flip side, the mechanicals in older homes (lights, heating systems, sump pump, etc.) tend to be better built and last longer.
One of the great things about older homes is that they usually come with mature tress and bushes already in place. Buyers of new homes may have to wait years for ornamental trees, fruit trees, roses, ferns, cacti and other long-term vegetation to fill in a yard, create shade, provide privacy, and develop into an inviting outdoor space. However, maybe you’re one of the many homeowners who prefer the wide-open, low-maintenance benefits of a lightly planted yard.
Like it or not, most of us are extremely dependent on our cars for daily transportation. And here again, you’ll find a big difference between newer and older homes. Newer homes almost always feature ample off-street parking: usually a two-care garage and a wide driveway. An older home, depending on just how old it is, may not offer a garage—and if it does, there’s often only enough space for one car. For people who don’t feel comfortable leaving their car on the street, this alone can be a determining factor.
Finalizing your decision
While the differences between older and newer homes are striking, there’s certainly no right or wrong answer. It is a matter of personal taste, and what is available in your desired area. To quickly determine which direction your taste trends, use the information above to make a list of your most desired features, then categorize those according to the type of house in which they’re most likely to be found. The results can often be telling.
If you have questions about newer versus older homes, or are looking for an agent in your area we have professionals that can help you. Contact us here.
This stunning 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home at 7214 Fort Morgan Drive in Fort Collins sits on a large lot in Ridgewood Hills boasts a wide-open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, separate living, dining and family rooms along with a main level office. All bedrooms are on the upper level and feature a huge loft, large master suite and 1 bedroom with a private bath. Large back yard with a patio and mature trees set against a greenbelt. This home has a new roof, new furnace, new AC, new carpet, newly finished hardwood and more! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
This beautiful home at 1026 Pinnacle Place in the heart of South Fort Collins welcomes you with 20 foot ceilings, palatial staircase, and plenty of room. Gourmet kitchen, formal dining, two offices, and downstairs wet bar. The backyard features mature landscaping, large deck for entertaining, two story waterfall, and garden boxes. Enjoy Fossil Creek Park and take advantage of the trails, dog park and tennis courts! Contact Chris Guillan at (970) 310-9357 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
Terrific home in the popular Windsor Village neighborhood! 140 Ivy Court is located on a quite cul-de-sac, this home features an updated kitchen and functional floor plan. Relax in the large, private back yard with mature trees and landscaping. Extra space for parking a camper or your toys. Close to shopping and schools. New roof and furnace to be installed prior to closing. No HOA! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
This custom ranch style home at 3302 Buteos Court features an updated gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Luxurious 5 piece main floor master suite. Bright and open great room with custom built ins, hardwood floors, 2 fireplaces, walkout basement, wet bar and mature landscaping. Enjoy the Colorado lifestyle with private lake access, pool and clubhouse! Contact Lindsey Crisanti or Chris Guillan for your private showing at (970) 420-4498 or (970) 310-9357 for more information or click the link below for more details.
Enchanting luxury home situated on 1.08 acres of mature landscaping at 7513 Blue Water Court in Fort Collins. Escape to the lavish master suite, complete with a gas fireplace, 5- piece bath with jetted tub, steam-shower and walk-in closet. The gourmet kitchen is complimented by the 750-bottle wine cellar. Surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of trees for added privacy. At the end of the day, enjoy your evenings with a gorgeous view of the Colorado sunset. Contact Kyle Basnar for your private showing at (970) 481-5689 for more information or click the link below for more details.
This adorable brick ranch at 906 Heather Dr offers plenty of space and a large yard with mature trees. The main floor has beautiful original hardwood floors, 3 bedrooms, and a large covered deck right off of the dining area. Both the main floor and the basement have wood burning fireplaces and full bathrooms. The basement has 2 bedrooms, one is non-conforming, and a large family room. Newer roof and ready to move into. Contact Meagan Griesel for your private showing at 970-691-0056 for more information or click the link below for more details.
This spacious 4 bedroom home at 454 Elliott St in Longmont offers mature landscaping and a large back yard. The upper level features 2 bedrooms, new laminate flooring, and an open floor plan-great for entertaining or family time. The lower level has a large entertainment room and an additional 2 bedrooms. The fenced in back yard is complete with a concrete patio, storage shed, and raised garden beds! Contact Meagan Griesel for your private showing at 970-691-0056 for more information or click the link below for more details.
This move in ready home at 2821 W Redbud Dr is a must see! Updated in all the right areas! The large family room opens to a bright dining room and kitchen. Laminate hardwood ﬂoors throughout living areas. Additional formal living area and large heated sun-room. Beautiful professionally landscaped fully fenced backyard features a covered patio, pond, large shade trees, sprinkler system, storage shed and large RV parking area. Contact Kelly Swift for your private showing at 970-310-4876 for more information or click the link below for more details.
936 Ptarmigan Circle at the end of the cul-de-sac in Northeast Loveland this home features a newer furnace, AC, water heater, and roof. Kitchen and bathrooms remodeled a couple of years ago. Fully ﬁnished basement features an entertainment room and a large bedroom suite. The backyard comes with a covered porch, horseshoe pit, large & beautiful chicken coop, mature landscaping, and NO HOA! Contact Meagan Griesel for your private showing at 970-691-0056 for more information or click the link below for more details.