New homes versus pre-owned homes, what’s the difference?

The entire Temecula – Murrieta housing market seemed to spring up from nowhere about 10 years ago. Traveling from Hemet along Winchester road the first sign of civilization was the French Valley Airport while the only full time occupants in what is now French Valley were the herds of cattle that grazed on the rolling hillsides. I remember before this time if any of the handfuls of local residents felt the need to go to a mall, then Hemet was the closest option with other alternatives available at either the Tyler Mall in Riverside or the mall in Escondido (which has since changed ownership and names).

Times have changed and due to all of the new housing that was constructed before the crash in the economy in the latter part of the last decade. New tracts of homes seemed to sprout up so quickly, that I would joke that all you had to do was invest in a box of toothpicks and plant them in a field and new houses would magically grow. Well, it appears as if there are new boxes of toothpicks being planted as new housing is once again rising from the once rolling hillsides of Southwest Riverside County.

The question is – Why buy a new home when there is such great inventory of pre-owned homes?

Buying a home is one of the most personal decisions you’ll ever make and deciding between new and current inventory is one that you must answer for yourself. Some want nothing more than brand new and being the ‘first’ to occupy a new house while others want the charm with the character and history of a home built years before. Of course there are other factors at work as well, including price, location, lot size just to name a few. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of buying new or previously owned housing.

Advantages of pre-owned homes

Availability – Negotiate a purchase, close escrow and move in – typically not much more than that. You can be in your new home in as little as 30 days after you first walk through it.

Style – There are many styles of current housing inventory available in a relatively small area. One, two and even three story homes are available today in Temecula.

History – Every homeowner selling a home knows the history and as a matter of law every defect and issue must be fully disclosed.

Craftsmanship – Not that there are many mid-century and older homes in the region, but regardless of the exact age, most older homes were built with timbers from old growth forests and the people who built them were old school craftsman who built a home to last.

Mature Landscape – The older the home, typically the more mature the landscape. It’s pretty hard to move into a new home and expect a shade tree to filter out the afternoon sun from beating down on your home.

Established Neighborhoods – In an established neighborhood, it’s pretty much what you see is what you get. You don’t have to worry about the new home salespersons vision of this wonderful utopia becoming fulfilled in your lifetime. It’s not likely that zoning changes will take place.

Disadvantages of pre-owned homes

Maintenance – In older homes the unforeseen is bound to happen. Systems are outdated and wear out. They just require more effort (and budget) for regular and unforeseen maintenance.

Need Updating – The older the home the more likely you’ll end up updating the plumbing, electrical or HVAC systems. Many of the older systems in homes just are not compatible with the technology available today.

Remodel – Many times the new homeowner wants to modernize some of the features, such as the kitchen and baths – this can be very expensive.

Energy Efficiency – In today’s age, the cost of electricity continues to increase, there is a draught and water shortage and older homes often fall short when it comes to energy efficiency.

Storage – Most older homes don’t have walk-in closets and there is limited storage throughout. Even the garages are smaller.

Price – In some cases older homes will cost more. Add in the value of being close to schools, shopping and cultural centers and even public transportation and easy freeway access and you can understand why newer larger homes in outlying areas will cost less.

Size Matters – Most older homes are going to be smaller than the colossal homes being built today

Advantages of new homes

Make it Unique – There are many options (most with a price tag) that new home buyers get to choose from flooring, cabinets, counter tops, electrical and plumbing fixtures right down to the color of the wall paint.

Energy Efficiency – New homes today are built to the latest UBC building standards that mandate the efficiency levels of all phases of construction.

Low Maintenance – The material used in homes today, such as composite woods on the exterior, are engineered to reduce maintenance.

Wear and Tear – New homes won’t have any problems with the wear and tear the previous owners put the house through. Why? Because it’s new!

Modern Features – New homes will typically all be built with the features today’s homeowner wants

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