If you buy an existing home: A major perk of older homes is mature landscaping with large trees and established plantings. That may not seem like a big deal until you consider that the U.S. Forest Service estimates that strategically placed mature trees can add tens of thousands of dollars to a property’s value and save up to 56% on annual air-conditioning costs.
If you build a new home: Builders often do little or no landscaping to new construction. It may take thousands of dollars—and many years—to get the yard you want. For instance, one 6- to 7-foot-tall red maple will cost about $99.95 (if you plant it yourself), which will then grow 2 to 3 feet a year. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of adding completely new landscaping ranges from $1,400 to $5,700-plus.
If you buy an existing home: The latest U.S. Census found the median age of American houses to be 46 years old as of 2020. Older construction means dated windows and appliances—dollars flying out the window on wasted energy expense.
If you build your own home: Recent construction almost always beats older homes in energy efficiency, says Kyle Alfriend of the Alfriend Real Estate Group Re/Max in Ohio. Homes built after 2000 consume on average 21% less energy for heating than older homes, mainly because of their increased efficiency of heating equipment and building materials. This translates into reduced energy expense every month, even with the higher square footage in many newer homes.
“However, often the regulatory requirements on new construction are stricter than existing buildings,” says Hale. “This can mean you enjoy better energy efficiency, but these requirements can also drive up the price of new homes and mean that they take longer to build.”
If you buy an existing home: The nice thing about old homes is that there’s context to your purchase: You can research the home’s previous sale prices, as well as prices of similar homes in the area (known as comparables, or comps) to get a feel for whether prices are rising or falling in your area. If the prices for your home and others in the area have been steadily rising, odds are decent that the trend will continue, which bodes well for you if you decide to sell later on.
If you build a new home: New house construction, particularly in up-and-coming neighborhoods, can be more of a gamble. Without a proven track record of lots of comps, there just aren’t enough data points to really know what could happen down the line. However, some buyers in hot markets are seeing incredibly quick jumps in their new-construction property value.
**Post from Realtor.com by Margaret Heidenry 9/10/2021