You have a list a mile long of what you want. So does your spouse. Add some kids in the mix and the list grows longer. At first, you set out to get everything on your list and assume that new construction or a newer home is going to do the best job at giving you what you want.
But once you start looking, reality stares you in the face. The newer homes not only don’t have everything on your list, but the ones that come close are way beyond your budget.
You have a choice.
You can stretch your budget to the max to purchase the newer home. Many families go this route. It results in financial struggles for the next 30 years. Choosing a home that is beyond your budget will give your family a life of stress in what should have been a haven from stress.
But there is another way to buy a home that results in less stress and more freedom.
You could purchase an older home.
Often times older homes are smaller than newer construction. This is not a bad thing. Smaller homes mean smaller mortgages which means more room in your budget to go on big vacations, give your daughter a beautiful wedding, or be able to give to others in times of need. It means you could get a shorter term mortgage which means loads more money in your pocket because you are paying less interest over time. A smaller home means less clutter which means less to clean, less to maintain, and more time doing what you love with your family.
Older homes in the Triangle area were built before the population boom and are closer to downtown which means you can freely participate in the happenings in your community. If you work in town or in the city, you will have a shorter commute for both work and running errands. You may even be able to walk to attractions, stores, and sites.
Older homes make up unique communities. They have mature trees in the landscaping and your landscaping won’t look exactly the same as your neighbor. Neither will the houses themselves. They have character. In a newer community, you look out your window and the houses look about the same. Even if they are not cookie cutter, they have all been built by the same builder at the same time with a small range of design features. Many of them have hefty HOA fees and restrictive rules, too.
Older homes are in established communities. Everyone has lived there different amounts of time. There is the older couple that has lived there 60 years, middle-aged couples that have been there for 25, and the newbies that have been there for 5. The variety of ages make the community feel like family. There is already an unofficial “mayor” –the guy who knows everyone welcomes everyone and watches out for his neighbors. In a newer home, everyone has moved there the same time and often times the families all are about the same age.
Many, but not all, older homes are in better shape than newer homes. A lot of sellers of an older home make improvements right before they put a house on the market like new roofs or new HVAC. The systems that are in place in the home have stood the test of time. Newer construction is not always as well-built as older construction. If you are one of the first owners, you are the ones who will be testing out the quality of the home. “New house” does not mean “no problems.”
If an older home on the market does need a lot of work, you are likely to get an excellent deal.
If you are handy, you can do some repairs yourself and save your family a lot of money. Plus you can fix up the home exactly how you want it. Get the whole family together to work on the house and make memories that last a lifetime.
In the Triangle area, there are a variety of older homes for sale spanning anywhere from the 1990s to 1900. Each boasts a variety of shapes and sizes. Older homes from the 1960s and 1970s tend to be ranch homes which are perfect for baby boomers looking for no stairs and first-floor master bedrooms. Bigger families should consider homes from the 1900s. Some of them have 4 or 5 bedrooms for a much lower price than modern day 4 or 5 bedroom homes.
If you are buying a home in the Triangle area, broaden your search to include older homes. There are treasures there awaiting your family! Don’t get stuck in your search because you cannot afford a brand new home. Make a choice that results in more money in your pocket and more freedom in your schedule.