Old home or new home – what’s right for you?

When beginning the process of home purchase, the age and architectural style of a house can be a big consideration. There are a lot of other factors to consider – and, indeed, are probably more important – than the age of the house you buy. But in New Mexico we are blessed with historical homes, some hundreds of years old, that some readers may find irresistible. Here are some other factors to ponder if you are trying to decide between an old home and a new one.

Depending on the city, older homes may be closer to the city’s political and commercial center. That might mean a shorter commute to downtown, access to more amenities, or a higher home value. Or it might mean more noise and tourists. This isn’t always the case and in some cities, like Albuquerque, new construction sits right next to 300-year-old homes in the downtown sector of the city.

Older homes, even if they are not close to the city center, are also often located in well-established neighborhoods, which means you might find older plant growth and trees. Some folks think older neighborhoods have more character which, of course, is totally a matter of opinion. If contemporary architecture is your style, maybe a new home will have more character for you. But if tree-lined streets and vine-covered brick walls are your thing, you are more likely to find that atmosphere in an older neighborhood with older homes.

Older New Mexican homes often have adobe walls, wooden windows, and are built with more traditional materials. Because these walls are thicker, some folks seem to think they insulate better which is often not the case. New insulation and window technology can save homeowners an immense amount of money over the time an owner spends in their home. So, if energy efficiency and low utility costs are high on your list, look for a newer home.

Also, try to become aware of antiquated (and possibly now illegal) materials that were traditionally used in home construction. Lead paint, asbestos, and pumice were once common building materials that science has found to be absolutely harmful to your health. Mitigation can be expensive, so if you put an offer down, make sure your inspector is looking for those materials.

By contrast, new homes tend to be built where there is room on site, which can often be on the existing outer edge of town. That may not be walking distance to your nearest bar but it could be closer to trails, nature, or a newer school better built to serve that neighborhood.

New homes built by Homewise are constructed with the utmost quality and make use of the most important energy efficiency solutions available that still allow for a livable home at a reasonable price. If a new, energy-efficient place is what you are looking for, peruse our homes in Santa Fe at Oshara VillageEl Camino Crossing, and Tessera. In Albuquerque we are remodeling old homes for new occupants constantly. But you don’t have to buy a Homewise home to use our lending services! If you find a home you want to buy anywhere in the state of New Mexico, let us know and we’ll help to make it yours!

About the Author:
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Homewise helps create successful homeowners and strengthen neighborhoods in New Mexico. We do this through our comprehensive real estate and lending services designed to support working families and individuals. We are a nonprofit lender, also known as a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI).

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