Articles Tagged "Buying a home"

Donna's Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Buy a Home | 4 Posts
Home Improvement | 12 Posts
Homeowners | 3 Posts
Sell a House | 4 Posts
Tuscaloosa, AL | 21 Posts

The Differences Between Buying An Old vs New House

Choosing between an old or new home can be a tough decision. Here's how to decide.

Old vs. new house: which should you buy? Fact is, each one has some positives and negatives. If you haven't made up your mind which you prefer to buy from Tuscaloosa homes for sale, then allow us to be of assistance. Our real estate agents can help you make the best choice for your situation.

With fewer homes available just now, and prices up, some home buyers will be looking at older homes as a more affordable choice. Yes, they're likely to need updating, but that can be done over time with the savings you get from purchasing an older home.

Here are some tips worth studying as you weigh buying a new home or an older one. Happy house hunting!

Pros of a New Home

  1. Bigger, better layout
    Older homes were, in general, constructed to be smaller, with smaller rooms and fewer bathrooms. Today's homes have bigger rooms, more storage and closet space, more bathrooms, plus a family room that likely connects with the kitchen.

  2. Fewer or no renovations
    A new home likely needs little in the way of renovations or reconstructions unless it's just some feature you can't live without in an otherwise satisfactory home. With an old home, you may be buying it "as is" and will need to make some updates and renovations.

  3. New appliances
    The appliances — HVAC, fridge, washer and dryer, water heater, and dishwasher — are all new and should work well starting out. Be sure your new home warranty covers costs if they break down during the first few years of operation.

  4. Just the right amenities
    If you're shopping for a new home, then you're going to want to find one with the amenities you desire — be it a swimming pool, a gym, a pet cleanup area, outdoor cooking or entertaining space, large kitchen island, spacious cabinets, and more. Older homes often don't have these features or else no place to locate them.

Pros of an Old Home

  1. Vintage charm
    Well, not every older home can be considered "vintage," but you know what we mean. Older homes have character that is often missing in new home construction, where there may be a cookie-cutter effect going on to save money. Older homes are often unique in a neighborhood, having been constructed individually rather than as part of a development. They also may be built of quality materials that are missing in the marketplace today. Further, houses may be on bigger lots, farther apart, than the houses in many new developments with near zero lotline construction.

  2. Closer to the hub of town
    New home construction often takes place on the edge or out of town to save money on land costs when developing a housing community, so that you can reckon on driving farther to get to work or perhaps to take the kids to school or to events.

  3. Throwing shade
    Ever notice that bald, scraped look of new home construction? You'll be waiting decades for that single tree out front to develop shade. Older homes often have a generous growth of tree canopy (that is, shade), shrubbery, and even established gardens.

  4. Older homes with "good bones": ripe for renovation
    You may pay far less for an older home that was well built of quality materials — described as having"good bones" — than you would for a new home, but you can use the savings to renovate and update the house with all the amenities you might find only in a new home.

New or old, your dream home is out there waiting for you, and we can help you find it. Contact us today.


Make Sure You Do This Before Making An Offer On A House

Before sealing the deal on your dream home, you want to check these tasks off your to-do list.

You've been shopping Tuscaloosa homes for sale and likely found one or two exciting prospects. The temptation will be strong to slap your down payment on the table and sign on the dotted line, but we say: Not so fast! Of course, our real estate agents are in business to sell homes, but we want to be sure our clients find just the right home. There are some things you need to do before you make an offer.

Myriad factors are at play that can affect the negotiation outcome, so consider these tips before you offer to buy a home.

  1. Pre-owned homes have a history. Find out what it is.
    Every home that's been lived in has a history, and before you buy, you need to track it down. Your real estate agent can help; agents know how to access records for information you need, such as the pricing history. Were reductions made? Was the property under contract and then came back on the market? Your real estate agent can contact the listing agent and perhaps find the reason for selling. Myriad reasons can prompt a sale, including job loss, down- or upsizing, elective move from the area, divorce, death, or family situation change.

  2. Go fishing for past ownership information.
    Confirm who owns the property, also noting when was the last purchase, and if there's a mortgage or additional loans taken out on the property. This information is available from tax, property appraiser, and court records. How much the seller owes on the property can affect the flexibility of the seller.

  3. Check out past permits.
    The idea is to see if claims made to bolster the selling price — new roof, major plumbing, or electrical upgrade — are backed up by a permit with the county or city. Be on the lookout for claims regarding a cooled/heated addition when there are no permits. Could be the seller is basing an asking price on square footage that would not be counted by an appraiser because there is no permit for the addition.

  4. Research additional factors regarding the house and neighborhood.
    In addition to information about the home's history and how many days it's been on the market, you should check out these things: the home's neighborhood, schools, property taxes, an estimate of utilities, and comparable sales. It's also wise to take a walk through the neighborhood, talk to the people who live there, and ask how they like it. If you find someone who's forthcoming, ask for the positives and negatives. Also, ask if there are frequent power outages.

  5. Research the inventory of homes in the area.
    Are there many homes for sale in the area? If so, it could be a buyer's market — that is, a place where the seller might be more willing to negotiate.

  6. Get your financials in order.
    While you may not need to go as high as 20 percent for a down payment, you'll need a substantial sum to get your cash together, whether that involves consolidating savings from various accounts or selling investments. You will also need money for closing costs.

  7. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
    Unless you have enough money to buy a home outright, you'll need a mortgage. Get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. This will signal that you're making a legitimate offer.

  8. Research how much, beyond your mortgage, it will cost you to live in a house.
    Find out approximately how much you will have to pay in taxes, home owner association fees, home insurance, and upkeep.

Do you have other questions about buying or selling a Tuscaloosa home? Contact us today.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder