Are you one of the many wondering where all the "good" houses are? Asking why hasn't anything hit the market? Are your friends and family saying things like " I can't believe you haven't found a house yet"? Is the countdown to your baby's arrival or your wedding day coming? Maybe your place is just too small or you want a bigger yard for your dog? It's easy to get confused about what type of house is right for you when you don't have a lot of options. You start to wonder if you are being too picky or you have unrealistic expectations. Sometimes having someone you can trust reassure you the right house is coming can mean the difference between you making a giant mistake or getting the deal of the century.
Often when a market place has such limited inventory as we do north shore/northern mass/seacost mass people who were only considering a brand new home will start to consider whether to buy a resale property that has been owned by someone else and vice versa.
Over the years my clients who never thought of themselves as "new house" buyers whether it be for lack of old world character or price point can often be swayed to the brand new lots when they realize how much goes into owning someone else's property BUT I've also experienced having clients come to me dreaming of a brand new never lived in house that smells like fresh paint and new carpet stop into an open house and text me frantically about a 100 year old victorian home. It's not at all uncommon to flip flop, the key is having some guidance and real world knowledge so you make smart choices.
To do a comparison and come up with a real result you need to know what's important to you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if aren't quite sure what makes the most sense.
Do you dream of having an established neighborhood with lots of neighbors? If so older may be better. If you are ok with construction being done around you and wouldn't dream of living next to a house that wasn't planned to fit with yours then new is the way to go.
Do you feel like renovating a kitchen or bathrooms would be exciting? Then older may be better for you as you pay a premium for brand new. If you aren't handy, don't know what you like or where to start when thinking about picking materials an existing home makes more sense.
When you envision moving day are you picking your paint palette and cleaning or replacing flooring ? Or are friends strolling in about 6 with dinner at 7? If you aren't the handy flexible sort then new construction is the way to go as most of the time the property is completed prior to closing.
When considering a previously owned home an inspection is a must with a qualified home inspector so you have an accurate idea of the age and future of the expensive systems like heat, hot water, roof, siding and windows. Pay close attention to the age of the appliances and kitchen quality and be sure to consider the electrical and plumbing systems. At face value an existing home may make the most sense but only if the big ticket items in the near future are taken into consideration.
This home received 5 offers in 48 hours and sold WAY above list price -
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If you were to pay $450,000 for a nice but maintenance needing home and ultimately end up replacing the roof, siding and windows at an average of about $45,000 the $550,000 new home may have been a safer long term investment.
If you were comparing a $550,000 new house with a house that had been priced at $350,000 though that has the potential to be a $500,000 house when renovated the previously owned house makes far better sense financially and you end up with exactly what you wanted without needing to work within builder specifications or allowances.
Other components to consider are whether the house has town water, town sewer, natural gas or propane/oil, how old the insulation, windows and roof are. If the roof, windows, heat are older heating costs will be higher. Talk to National grid about an energy audit to find ways to save on heating and cooling. Speak to the appropriate technicians to determine if the existing systems can be made more efficient and definitely consider solar whenever possible.
Many new homes don't have town sewer or natural gas due to the locations. The idea of septic, propane or oil shouldn't be a deal breaker but again they are costs to consider when comparing new vs older.
When working to find your perfect house it's really important to have someone on your side that you trust to handle your search, protect your best interests and negotiate on your behalf throughout the sale. Many think that once you have submitted an offer and reached an agreement it's smooth sailing. Experts recognize negotiations take place right up until the closing in one way or another so be sure to hire the person best suited to represent you.
If you are north shore, northern mass I am happy to meet with you, learn about your goals and your future and help you decide what makes the most sense for your unique situation. Call me at 978 457 3406 today so that we can get started.