"NEWER IS BETTER" is mantra of many of Northern Virginia Home Buyers.
Northern Virginia home buyers are concern about purchasing an older home. Is it a good investment to buy an older home over a newer home is better?
Well, let's understand what is a "old"? Depending on
the area. If you are purchasing inside the beltway in the Fairfax
county area, old can be early 1900 homes, further away you go old can be
80s home. OR if you are in Ashburn (Loudoun county VA) 90s home can be
old compared to new construction available in the area. Depending on
your purchasing power and location, "old" can be defined.
What are the disadvantages of buying an older home in Northern Virginia?
If hypothetically we take a home that was built in 70s or 80s as old, let's layout what are the disadvantages of purchasing an older home in Fairfax county.
I think that is a biggest draw back for the home buyers who are looking
for open floor plans. The layout of older homes may be bit enclosed and
rooms are more defined and divided compared to newer homes.
2. Lifestyle Limitation-
What it means, is back in days we did not shop extensive at wholesale
box stores like Costco or Sams Club. The pantry & cabinet spaces are
small, kitchen is quaint, no luxurious mater suite with huge walk in
closet space, master bathroom may not have large soaking tub and
separate showers. These features can me found in new homes that were
built may be late 90s and 2000 onwards.
3. Height on ceilings:
Newer or new construction will offer stunning 2 story foyers, 9+ feet
of ceiling heights and so on. The older home may not have these
options. Infact basement ceilings can be very low for people who are
above average tall.
4. Smell- Many
of the home buyers feel the basement or in the older home have musky
smell or dampness. This may be due to egress basement with out exit or
windows. You can definitely run a dehumidifier if that helps.
5. Basements- Some
older homes may not have entire basement excavated. Builders did not
have room under the family room so it may be bit smaller and in some
other cases no exit from the basements or have no windows in the
basement. So if you want a "man cave" think about it....
Many of the homes major systems/features like HVAC, water heater, roof
and window may have been updated since it has been 30+ years. On the
other hand I have seen home with original heating system with baseboard
heating. Even if some of the homes have updates done in early 90s, the
home may be ready for another round of updates.
6. Community Amenities- Older communities did not lavish fine community amenities that today's community in Loudoun can offer. Example they may not have gym, pool or walking trails.
7. Higher Utility cost- Older homes may not be energy efficient as newer homes built today.
8. Budget Repair or unknown cost- If
you do end up purchasing an older home and plan to remodel budget the
cost higher than you anticipate because you never know what to expect
once you open that can of worm.
What are the advantages of buying an older home in Northern Virginia?
Then, is it worth the hassle of buying older home? Yes, it is here are the reasons why it is advantage to buy an older home?
Northern Virginia traffic is rated in 10 worst commuter traffic in the
country. Also, you all know Location, Location, Location is the key in
real estate. Having an older home with a convenient location for commute
can beat that!
2. Low HOA Dues- Yes, we don't have fancy pools or amenities however this also means low HOA dues.
3. Yard- Older
home has biggest advantage compared to newer home is yard size.
Builders where generous when it came out to yard size. Plus trees
planted in that era are full bloom and you may have matured treed
4. Potential Expansion- If
you are a homebuyers with a budget and can who looks beyond short fall
than older home may be your cup of tea. If you have a yard, you can add
addition and remodel just like you have seen on those TV shows.
If the home owners have lived their lives in the home they may have
more room to negotiate than a newer home owner who have spend fortunate
purchasing the home. Many of the home sellers are downsizing and/or
retiring so they are very motivated to sell.
6. Character- Some of the older homes may have character and details that cookie cutter newer home may not fill the appetite for home buyer..
7. Schools Zoning- If you are living in Loudoun County particulary in Ashburn, Chantilly or Alide area you
know amount of time the area has gone through rezoning. On the other
hand older establish communities may not have major rezoning of schools
in near future. You know the rating and zoning of the schools prior to
purchasing in the area.