While all homes are different, there are a couple of key things that separate buying an older home from buying a newer home. The primary difference is in the physicality of the home. You almost always can tell when a home was built in the mid-1900’s or before just by looking at it. These physical differences include everything from a historical architecture to small imperfections that contribute to the overall ambiance of an old place. They just feel different.
Older homes often have more imperfections in the way that they were built. You can almost always find small quirks like non-straight lines, slanted floors, crooked walls, or drafty doors and windows. If you look hard enough, you’ll discover these non-level surfaces. This kind of just adds to the character of the place. Older homes give you a lived-in feeling, not to be confused with a used feeling. Lived in homes tell a story. Through the home, you can see and feel the history of the place. Lived in homes have a different seasoned and stories presence.
Although older homes are positively unique in the feeling that they can give, they also come with their fair share of concerns. Older homes automatically must undergo more inspections for harmful substances like asbestos and lead. Any homes built before 1978 must undergo a lead-based paint inspection. Homes built before 1976 must be inspected for asbestos. Older homes also automatically raise concerns about the state of old electrical, pest issues, and structure/foundation.
Newer homes come equipped with some amazing perks. Newer homes tend to be more energy efficient than older homes, because of better air sealing. Older doors and windows are often drafty which makes heating and cooling systems must work harder to counteract drafts from outdoors. This obviously only increases the home energy usage. In the age of climate change awareness, home appliances are made to be much more energy efficient. Newer homes also obviously have fewer repairs. Depending on how recent your home is, you shouldn’t have to worry about big repairs like the roof or even smaller repairs like your water heater. Newer homes, in general, are engineered to survive better. This means better fire safety, use of materials that aim to minimize maintenance. Newer homes offer a clean slate. Though they may not offer a storied past just yet, in time they will become storied and historical fixtures. In the future when we look back at newer homes of today, they will reflect the times. Real estate is a capsule of time and society. What kind of home would you prefer?
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