It’s a dilemma because the final choice involves a series of trade-offs. Is a one-of-a-kind Victorian home in a quaint Naples neighborhood better than a modern home with all the amenities?
Older homes are more attractive to people with less to spend. On the other hand, newer homes usually have more amenities and cost less to maintain. Fewer than three in ten old houses have two or more full bathrooms, but two complete baths can be found in about nine out of every ten new homes.
Only two of every ten older homes nationwide have central air-conditioning, but central air can be found in eight out of ten new homes. Of course, these are national figures, and I suspect there are more Naples homes with central air than there are up north.
Older homes are in established neighborhoods, which can be good or bad depending on how well the area has maintained its value. New subdivisions are farther out and may come with a longer, more expensive commute. Older homes usually cost less per square foot. Home ownership costs are more predictable in a new home. And sellers of older homes are more willing to negotiate the sales price.
Buying an unfinished new home means waiting. However, many existing homes are ready for occupancy. Buyers of new homes are more likely to find they have things in common with their neighbors while older neighborhoods offer more diversity.
Buyers generally receive more home for the money when they buy an older house. With a new house, you can pick your color scheme, cabinets and appliances. An older home reflects the tastes of a previous owner.
Older homes come with design details rarely duplicated in new homes, but new homes offer better fire safety and security features. On other hand, mature landscaping is a bonus with an older home.
Newer homes are more energy efficient and generate lower energy bills. While newer neighborhoods offer all manner of outdoor amenities, older homes usually have better access to urban shopping and restaurants.
Whether you choose a new or existing home or a Naples Fixer-Upper, it’s always a good idea to consider future resale potential. You may be a buyer today, but ask yourself this question: how easily will the home sell tomorrow?