Buying an Old Home: Is It the Right Decision?

couple in their new home

Being forced to stay at home allowed millennials to spend time with their families. You got to know them better as you spent each day together. You got to know their attitudes and their quirks that you hadn’t noticed pre-pandemic. And most of all, you got to appreciate the lovely space that was your home.

But admit it or not, there were days when you also wished you had bought your own space. Being with your family the entire time this pandemic is wonderful. However, living alone would be an exciting idea, too.

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many millennials like you thought of moving out and buying their own homes, too. But, they are not just interested in purchasing any house. Millennials seem to be interested in buying old but cheaper homes. CheapOldHouses, a popular Instagram account that features old houses in America, recorded a spike in their followers this pandemic. Their regular followers doubled every week, most of whom were women aged 25 to 34.

This is not surprising at all. In 2018, millennials were the largest group of homebuyers, according to data from the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. This means millennials have the purchasing power in the housing market.

It may be possible that the interest in old houses during this pandemic is due to budget limitations. But is it wise to buy an old house instead of a newly constructed home? Is it cheaper to have it renovated than just to buy a new one?

The Sudden Boom in Buying Old Houses

Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that in 2020, there were 5.64 million existing homes sold in America. Some of these houses are old and dilapidated. They need either an extreme makeover or a massive concrete repair. Others need only a minor renovation. If you’re lucky, you might only need to fix the heating and air cooling systems.

Despite the need for repair, people are still interested in buying existing homes. Why was there a sudden boom in buying old houses during this pandemic? Here are some of the possible reasons:

1. It’s way cheaper.

This pandemic has seen housing prices go low this pandemic. A 27-year-old woman was able to buy an old but classy brick Victorian home in West Virginia for only $18,500. Not only did she score it at a meager price. She got to buy a very charming home that is made of solid wood and stone.

In August 2021, the median sales price of new houses was $390,900, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The recorded average sales price, meanwhile, was $443,200. Meanwhile, you get to save thousands of dollars when you buy an existing home.

Victorian house

2. Its beauty is charming.

There’s something about the nostalgic feels of an old home that gets the attention of anyone passing by. Its rustic beauty and antique features are its number one selling point. A beautiful historical façade is a warm welcome for every visitor. Its Dutch doors and fancy, intricate wall details never go out of style.

Yet, not all existing homes have the classy antique feels you’re looking for. Some of them are typical American houses that their owners have lived in for years but had to move out.

3. Older houses are more durable.

Old houses have stood the test of time. It has weathered storms and decades. Its hardwood floors and solid walls are testaments to the durability of older homes. Older houses built decades ago underwent good craftsmanship. This makes them more sturdy as time passes by.

A study also suggests that retrofitting older buildings is more environmental-friendly. If you buy an old house, you don’t only get a solid shelter. You also got to help fight climate change.

Buying an old house than a new one is always your decision. But be sure to assess if you can save more in repairs than in purchasing a brand-new house. Some old homes need a total makeover and repair.

It will be wise to have a home builder assess the structure before buying an old home. Compare the market value and see if the repair cost is lower than the amount you will be spending on buying a new home. Check also if the layout and design of the house are exactly what you’re looking for. You wouldn’t want to sacrifice your dream house just because you want to get a cheaper one. At the end of the day, it will be your first home, and you want to live in a home that feels exactly like home.

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