While each offers its own style and charm, the difference usually boils down to two things:
1. How the home fits into the buyer’s lifestyle.
2. The condition of the property.
Homes that are 10 years old or less are generally better insulated – or have dual-glazed windows or thermal panes – which translate into lower heating and cooling bills. And, in today’s rising energy cost environment, these considerations are significant. Although there are some exceptions, homes that have been built with all-electric systems, generally have higher utility bills.
Homes that range between 15 and 20 years old may be in need of new water pipes, especially if the old ones were galvanized and if a water softener was used. Water softeners and galvanized pipe can be deadly and, after 15-20 years, re- plumbing is usually required. Have a plumber or general contractor inspect the pipes. Needless to say, it can be expensive to re-plumb an entire system. Check the built-in fixtures and appliances for any signs of damage.
Flush toilets, test all the water taps and the electrical sockets, open and shut the windows, and try all the lights.
A window that will not open may be a sign of a more significant problem-for example, a wall may have shifted, or worse yet, it could indicate a problem with the foundation itself.
It is also a good idea to ask the seller for copies of past utility bills. Examine them for some insight into what you can expect monthly gas and electric costs to be.
Although newer homes may be free of significant physical or structural problems, there are other things to consider in making your decision.
Generally, room size and yard size tend to be smaller in some newer homes. While, on the other hand, they usually offer the benefit of the latest building and design technology. Many new homes also have more windows and natural light incorporated into their design plan, allowing for a more spacious feel and efficient energy usage.