Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

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brianH
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by brianH » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:54 pm

A major factor in my decision to buy 'used' (1980 build), is to avoid an HOA. All new construction is required to form an HOA to manage common area maintenance, snow plowing, etc. In addition to HOA dues, new construction often takes what is effectively a loan out to run infrastructure (sewer/gas) that the new owners have to pay for for decades. Not to mention the higher taxes, as the tax assessment is often much lower than the true market value for older homes (for new ones it's pretty close.)

As others have said, you also can't find any new construction around here that has anything larger than a postage-stamp sized yard. The houses basically consume every square foot of yard area inside the mandatory setbacks.

Overall, I think our ~40 year old house is the perfect compromise. It's new enough to have no issues with lead/aluminum wiring/asbestos and to have decent building construction like 16"OC 2x10 joists for 13ft spans. The previous owners took good care of it, and upgraded many areas of the house, using quality contractors, in the late 90s. A roughly equivalent new construction house would be nearly double the cost, and it would still be unlikely to have as large of a yard.

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tomwood
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:58 pm

brianH wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:54 pm
A major factor in my decision to buy 'used' (1980 build), is to avoid an HOA. All new construction is required to form an HOA to manage common area maintenance, snow plowing, etc. In addition to HOA dues, new construction often takes what is effectively a loan out to run infrastructure (sewer/gas) that the new owners have to pay for for decades. Not to mention the higher taxes, as the tax assessment is often much lower than the true market value for older homes (for new ones it's pretty close.)

As others have said, you also can't find any new construction around here that has anything larger than a postage-stamp sized yard. The houses basically consume every square foot of yard area inside the mandatory setbacks.

Overall, I think our ~40 year old house is the perfect compromise. It's new enough to have no issues with lead/aluminum wiring/asbestos and to have decent building construction like 16"OC 2x10 joists for 13ft spans. The previous owners took good care of it, and upgraded many areas of the house, using quality contractors, in the late 90s. A roughly equivalent new construction house would be nearly double the cost, and it would still be unlikely to have as large of a yard.
I’m glad to know your 40 year old home was well cared for. If I buy a home build in 1980, are there any key items I should keep an eye out for?

Lee_WSP
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by Lee_WSP » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:02 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:58 pm
brianH wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:54 pm
A major factor in my decision to buy 'used' (1980 build), is to avoid an HOA. All new construction is required to form an HOA to manage common area maintenance, snow plowing, etc. In addition to HOA dues, new construction often takes what is effectively a loan out to run infrastructure (sewer/gas) that the new owners have to pay for for decades. Not to mention the higher taxes, as the tax assessment is often much lower than the true market value for older homes (for new ones it's pretty close.)

As others have said, you also can't find any new construction around here that has anything larger than a postage-stamp sized yard. The houses basically consume every square foot of yard area inside the mandatory setbacks.

Overall, I think our ~40 year old house is the perfect compromise. It's new enough to have no issues with lead/aluminum wiring/asbestos and to have decent building construction like 16"OC 2x10 joists for 13ft spans. The previous owners took good care of it, and upgraded many areas of the house, using quality contractors, in the late 90s. A roughly equivalent new construction house would be nearly double the cost, and it would still be unlikely to have as large of a yard.
I’m glad to know your 40 year old home was well cared for. If I buy a home build in 1980, are there any key items I should keep an eye out for?
Read through these:
https://www.nachi.org/home-inspection-r ... amples.htm

jharkin
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by jharkin » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 am

While I would suspect buying a used home, as with many used products, offers the most ‘bang for the buck’, is there an exception for home buying? A new home would have a new HVAC system, a new roof, and any other items which might need to be replaced in a few years after a used home purchase, while the new home will allow for a couple decades before these bigger costs are due. I would further suspect a stick build offers more bang for the buck, to use that phrase again, than a custom build.
My experience, having lived in homes built in the late 1700s, mid 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.. (not in that order) is completely the opposite. I find that older homes in general are a better value than new construction as the craftsmanship and materials used for the basic structure where of far better quality. In modern construction there seems to be a race to the bottom to make everything as cheap and quick as possible. Add to that older homes tend to have larger lots sited in better locations, where new construction builds farther and farther out from downtown areas in tighter lots with the houses almost on top of each other. ANd the trees! It makes me want to scream when they clearcut lots for new construction and neighbors can look out their window and stare right into the next house!!!! :oops: Whatever happened to shade and privacy...


Prefab plastic, OSB and staples may be fast, but your never going to convince me its more durable and longer lasting than old growth timber and mortised joints.

Having said that... there are ups and downs. Certain periods like the 70s are particularly bad and some things are done a bit better today. However, as many conveniences as it has there are sill aspects of my current 1990s built house that make me miss my previous 1790s built house. Everything in the new place just feels so light and flimsy compared to the old house with its massive stone chimneys, heavy doors that closed solid and kept out noise, and all hte wonderful detail/character of ornamental moulding and built ins that new houses lack, etc.

jharkin
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by jharkin » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:41 pm

6Pack wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:05 pm

Put it this way, a 2x4 isn’t actually 2”x4” anymore - they are actually 1.5”x3.5”. Back in the 1950s a 2x4 was actually 2”x4”.

Lead paint isn’t really a problem as long as it isn’t chipping (which is usually from water intrusion). I’d rather have copper pipes with soldered connections than PVC with glued connections.

Keep an eye out for aluminum wiring: it wasn’t used widely until 1965 or so, but it may show up in older homes.
Its not quite as cut and dried as that. The modern standards for "finished" lumber originated from the mid 1960s. Before that there was a lot of variation between rough saw (actual 2x4, 2x6) and finished dimensional lumber. Once you get back beyond late 1800s and before the introduction of balloon framing things get even more different as the common 2x nominal sizes we have today where not even used at all... all kids of odd sizes where in place and the houses I have lived in from the 1700s/1800s had hand cut 6x6 or 8x8 (typically hardwood) frame timbers and typically something like 3x5 (actual) sawmill rough cut for floor joists. These might also be hardwood.

Also, lead paint is not guaranteed to exist in an old house. It may have been previously remediated. It may be painted over and encapsulated with many layers of non-lead paint. It may even not have been there in the first place - its an urban legend that ALL paint was lead in old times. In the 1800s typically only exterior paint and interior trim paint was lead based. Walls would be Whitewashed ( a simple mix of lime and water) and ceilings where typically covered in Calcimime (lime whitewash + glue). Stained woodwork would be varnished with Boiled Linseed Oil, again this contained zero lead. Go back to the 1700s and even some interior trim might be painted with hand mixed milk paint usual local natural pigments (the "red" in colonial oxblood red paint was... ox blood ;) ) and that is also lead free.

On the pipes - "glued PVC" is NOT code approved for domestic water supply (I think CPVC may be?? be but Ive never seen it) . If you see plastic supply pipes they are most likely PEX and used crimped connections. Glued PVC is only approved for drains and vents, which used to be lead soldered cast iron. BTW, cast iron drain pipes are a fabulous thing to have in a house, its muffles all the "bathroom noise" :)

Aluminum wiring for interior was only popular for a roughly 10 year period in the 1960s and 1970s. If you find it it is good practice to replace it. Ive never seen it in any of the houses I have lived in...

Lee_WSP
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by Lee_WSP » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:58 pm

Old houses probably have better bones but may need massive updates to feel modern.

I also surmise that there is some sort of natural selection going on. Shoddier older homes would be torn down or burned down whereas the higher end stuff is passed on from generation to generation.

Brand New homes come with issues, but do not include any deferred maintenance issues.

brianH
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by brianH » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:21 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:58 pm
I’m glad to know your 40 year old home was well cared for. If I buy a home build in 1980, are there any key items I should keep an eye out for?
Probably the two most important things are structure and water damage. Ideally, the basement and attic would be unfinished and easily accessible to an inspector to look for signs of past water intrusion and/or rot and wood-destroying insects. Being able to see floor joists and plumbing/electrical runs in the basement (or crawlspace) can also tell you a bunch about the original build quality and any poorly-done or sloppy DIYer handyman jobs that should raise red flags about what else is hiding.

Beyond that, you just want to get an idea of the condition of the major systems of the house: plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, chimney, and sewer/septic. None of these are showstoppers like a crumbling foundation or rotted exterior sheathing, but can be costly. Listen to your general inspector, and if he recommends that you bring in another professional to look at something he flagged (e.g. HVAC guy, plumber, electrician), consider doing so.

brianH
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by brianH » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:35 pm

jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:41 pm
On the pipes - "glued PVC" is NOT code approved for domestic water supply (I think CPVC may be?? be but Ive never seen it) . If you see plastic supply pipes they are most likely PEX and used crimped connections.
In some areas, I believe PVC (no 'C') is still allowed for COLD water supply (never hot), though CPVC is (almost universally) allowed for hot and cold supply. Before PEX became ubiquitous, CPVC was actually a popular choice due to the price of copper. It also works well in areas that have certain water contaminants that tend to cause pinhole leaks in copper pipes.

PEX can be crimped, clamped, or expansion type. It's usually the first choice now due to how easy it is to work with and how fast connections can be made.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:56 pm

The builder of our current house was well-known in our area, and well-respected. He built a few homes each year, mostly spec.

Although our home was finished, he had other homes in various stages of construction. So we were able to see how his homes were built.

Before we bought, my father went through everything, and came away impressed. The builder, now in his 80ties just sold the company. Over the years we have used him for various projects, and we will use his company for our bathroom remodel.

I cannot remember anything left over from the punch list, he was a stickler when it came to quality.

Our home was built in 1988, we bought in 1999. Our home has been rock-solid, thus far.

Some friends bought an old bungalow (money pit), it is now completely restored, but ouch! It is beautiful now, but oh the pain!

I would only consider new stock if we were to buy another home.

Now if I were handy, I might consider a rehab/used home, but I'm not handy.

New homes only, along with new vehicles for me.

Worth every penny to me.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

JediMisty
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by JediMisty » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:08 pm

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 am
Is there a way to estimate the best monetary choice for someone moving into a new home? As best I can tell, there are 3 basic choices: buy an existing home, buy a new stick-build home, or buy a new custom home?

While I would suspect buying a used home, as with many used products, offers the most ‘bang for the buck’, is there an exception for home buying? A new home would have a new HVAC system, a new roof, and any other items which might need to be replaced in a few years after a used home purchase, while the new home will allow for a couple decades before these bigger costs are due. I would further suspect a stick build offers more bang for the buck, to use that phrase again, than a custom build.

I know a new home, for the same square footage, will cost more per square foot on the initial mortgage, but over a 5-10-20+ year period, is the life of the home cheaper with a new build? This will likely be our forever-home, or at least the next 20 years until we are empty nesters. Though it’s possible life/work could force a change sooner, this home will be purchased with the size needed and in the school district of choice so a move is unlikely.

Are there other costs or factors we should be considering before we purchase this home? Please advise
I had no real problems with my new build in 1999. BUT, so much was not included: window treatments, towel paper holders, medicine cabinets, deck, mantel piece, garage door openers, and on and on. All the light fixtures and faucets were cheap quality. The kitchen linoleum floor which was an upgrade always looked shabby. The paint was all one color. There was no quarter round, only flimsy baseboard. The closets had crummy metal shelves. The new home I assumed would be a free ride required so many upgrades and updates. Yes, cheaper than the huge remodeling I had done on the old home I had bought before that, but still plenty of costs. The mortgage is only part of the cost rather you buy new or old. Twenty years later, there are many upgrades in place that I love, but now there are roof and other maintenance issues that crop up. Anything you look at will have it's drawbacks. Take your time and choose an area. Then you can see what's available and start studying new and used option in that area. You can do preliminary checking on the internet. Only experienced construction folks can accurately estimate remodeling costs. But if you can live in something while fixing it up, that keeps costs down. As others have discussed, there are different issues with various decades of building, so narrowing down your location first helps a lot....happy hunting...

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tomwood
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by tomwood » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:21 pm

Lee_WSP wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:02 pm

Read through these:
https://www.nachi.org/home-inspection-r ... amples.htm
Ok
Thanks

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tomwood
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by tomwood » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 am

jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm

My experience, having lived in homes built in the late 1700s, mid 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.. (not in that order)
For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a handyman so I wouldn’t be able to see any red flags. And am I correct to say the home inspections only view the surface and can’t look deeper it’s if it’s out of view?
This might not be a realistic concern either.

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snackdog
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by snackdog » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 am

As always in real estate, location trumps everything so pick your location first. Go for the absolute best location you can afford with respect to commute, schools, or whatever you need. Start with the best neighborhood in the entire metro area and work from there until it matches your budget. A smaller home close in is often better than a larger one in the suburbs. Then, the sweet spot is usually a 3 year old home, if you can find one, from the best builder in the area, with all the bugs worked out, drapes hung, etc. I prefer to buy from people who lavish spending on all sorts of upgrades which add little value to the selling price. These people will often accept a significant loss on a 3 year old home as they rush to the next shiny thing.

alfaspider
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by alfaspider » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:38 am

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 am
jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm

My experience, having lived in homes built in the late 1700s, mid 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.. (not in that order)
For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a handyman so I wouldn’t be able to see any red flags. And am I correct to say the home inspections only view the surface and can’t look deeper it’s if it’s out of view?
This might not be a realistic concern either.
It depends on what it is and the quality of the inspector. Some things can be caught from a diligent inspection. Other things less so. Things like borescopes (for pipes) and thermal cameras (for exterior leaks) can be helpful for catching what's not available to the naked eye. You can get a sense of the quality of the framing job if there is unfinished attic space that exposes the framing.

jharkin
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by jharkin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:27 am

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:38 am
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 am
jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm

My experience, having lived in homes built in the late 1700s, mid 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.. (not in that order)
For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a handyman so I wouldn’t be able to see any red flags. And am I correct to say the home inspections only view the surface and can’t look deeper it’s if it’s out of view?
This might not be a realistic concern either.
It depends on what it is and the quality of the inspector. Some things can be caught from a diligent inspection. Other things less so. Things like borescopes (for pipes) and thermal cameras (for exterior leaks) can be helpful for catching what's not available to the naked eye. You can get a sense of the quality of the framing job if there is unfinished attic space that exposes the framing.
+1 but remember most inspectors wont do *anything* thats considered destructive testing. Usually they will refer you to a specialist if something is suspect.

See cracks in the foundation? Refer to foundation specialist.
signs of water coming in from roof? Refer to roofer.

Real example. When I owned the 1790 house, inspector saw wavyness in siding and suggested I get a post and beam framing specialist to look at it, concern framing had issues. Turns out it was just what it looked like - wavyness in the natural cedar wood siding (which you dont see with modern artificial materials) , and nothing to be concerned about. Frame was completely fine.

sschoe2
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by sschoe2 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:35 am

Most new homes also have an HOA. Some people like them, I personally won't touch em with a 10 foot pole. I don't trust people with nearly unlimited authority to impose rules, costs, and fines on me with no checks and balances.

alfaspider
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by alfaspider » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:43 pm

sschoe2 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:35 am
Most new homes also have an HOA. Some people like them, I personally won't touch em with a 10 foot pole. I don't trust people with nearly unlimited authority to impose rules, costs, and fines on me with no checks and balances.
HOAs tend to be found in new housing developments, while older communities tend not to have HOAs. You can certainly get new homes in old communities, but in my experience they tend to be much more expensive as custom one-off builds are generally much higher end than what you see in large developments built en-masse.

I agree that HOAs should be avoided if possible. They act as an encumbrance on your property rights and can be a significant added expense. But, in certain areas (especially suburbs built in the last 30 years or so) they are pretty much unavoidable.

rich126
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by rich126 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:00 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:43 pm
sschoe2 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:35 am
Most new homes also have an HOA. Some people like them, I personally won't touch em with a 10 foot pole. I don't trust people with nearly unlimited authority to impose rules, costs, and fines on me with no checks and balances.
HOAs tend to be found in new housing developments, while older communities tend not to have HOAs. You can certainly get new homes in old communities, but in my experience they tend to be much more expensive as custom one-off builds are generally much higher end than what you see in large developments built en-masse.

I agree that HOAs should be avoided if possible. They act as an encumbrance on your property rights and can be a significant added expense. But, in certain areas (especially suburbs built in the last 30 years or so) they are pretty much unavoidable.
I have one now and it certainly falls into the "con" column if I decide to sell and buy something else. I haven't had major issues but right now I'm trying to paint the exterior. I personally would be happy to repaint it the same colors if someone would tell me what they are. Instead you have to go to a web site, try to find a house style and roof that matches yours, then select from the allowed options, then download the image and fill out a form, etc. Its been over a week since I've emailed the info and I'm still waiting.

I understand the intent is to keep things nice looking but many go too far and worry about stuff they shouldn't. Stick to safety, pest, extreme eyesore stuff and don't worry about whether a garbage can is completely out of line of sight from the street.

As far as house buying goes, I've mentioned here before that I prefer older homes (i.e., not new construction) but it gets complicated quickly. If you have a family you got school issues. As a single person getting close to my family house to buy, do I save a few dollars to get a house in a lesser school district since I don't have kids and may never to resell? Or does that get me in a pickle if I end up needing to sell it and have trouble doing so because of the schools?

I think the one common thing here is to do your homework, find respectable inspectors to inspect older homes, or to maintain an eye over the new construction.

alfaspider
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:14 am

rich126 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:00 pm
alfaspider wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:43 pm
sschoe2 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:35 am
Most new homes also have an HOA. Some people like them, I personally won't touch em with a 10 foot pole. I don't trust people with nearly unlimited authority to impose rules, costs, and fines on me with no checks and balances.
HOAs tend to be found in new housing developments, while older communities tend not to have HOAs. You can certainly get new homes in old communities, but in my experience they tend to be much more expensive as custom one-off builds are generally much higher end than what you see in large developments built en-masse.

I agree that HOAs should be avoided if possible. They act as an encumbrance on your property rights and can be a significant added expense. But, in certain areas (especially suburbs built in the last 30 years or so) they are pretty much unavoidable.
I have one now and it certainly falls into the "con" column if I decide to sell and buy something else. I haven't had major issues but right now I'm trying to paint the exterior. I personally would be happy to repaint it the same colors if someone would tell me what they are. Instead you have to go to a web site, try to find a house style and roof that matches yours, then select from the allowed options, then download the image and fill out a form, etc. Its been over a week since I've emailed the info and I'm still waiting.

I understand the intent is to keep things nice looking but many go too far and worry about stuff they shouldn't. Stick to safety, pest, extreme eyesore stuff and don't worry about whether a garbage can is completely out of line of sight from the street.

As far as house buying goes, I've mentioned here before that I prefer older homes (i.e., not new construction) but it gets complicated quickly. If you have a family you got school issues. As a single person getting close to my family house to buy, do I save a few dollars to get a house in a lesser school district since I don't have kids and may never to resell? Or does that get me in a pickle if I end up needing to sell it and have trouble doing so because of the schools?

I think the one common thing here is to do your homework, find respectable inspectors to inspect older homes, or to maintain an eye over the new construction.
That's exactly the sort of stuff I'd want avoid. I understand HOAs having rules against extreme eyesores, but I've never understood the drive towards maintaining conformity. If you go to the fanciest neighborhoods in town, no two houses are alike. So why do HOAs think all houses need to conform to one of five types to maintain property values?

JDave
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by JDave » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:34 am

Whatever you decide, do not buy a house until you've had it inspected by a home inspector - whether new or old. Take a look at Tom Munroe, Home Inspector on YouTube, you'll be astonished at the stuff he finds in new and old construction.

Lee_WSP
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by Lee_WSP » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:05 pm

JDave wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:34 am
Whatever you decide, do not buy a house until you've had it inspected by a home inspector - whether new or old. Take a look at Tom Munroe, Home Inspector on YouTube, you'll be astonished at the stuff he finds in new and old construction.
While there are some great ones, the vast majority are simply mediocre and will only spot issues that are visible to anyone. They'll flag it for a specialists review, but that's about it. Drain scope and infrared camera for leak detection are the only two add-ons that are worth it. But you do get a nice honey do list for a few hundred dollars.

Otherwise, call in the specialists.

researcher
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by researcher » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:30 pm

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 am
For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a handyman so I wouldn’t be able to see any red flags.
For a brand new home, how much concern would you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye?

New homes are not build on a tightly controlled assembly line under strict tolerances.
They are built by a bunch of fairly low paid, unskilled, transient laborers hired as subcontractors whose goal is to finish their part of the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.

My point is, new homes are absolutely not immune to the "hidden issues" you are so concerned about with a 50 year old house.

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Watty
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:44 pm

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 am
Are there other costs or factors we should be considering before we purchase this home? Please advise
A couple of things may not have been mentioned;

1) Landscaping. Most new homes have minimal landscaping and it can take 10+ years for trees to grow to a decent size.

2) New homes may have major defects like foundation problems that will not show up for several years. The Chinese dry wall problem did not show up for several years so even if you are buying an existing home you should watch out for houses that were build during that time period.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_drywall

3) If you buy a new home next to a vacant lot you may not know what type of house will eventually be built next to you.

4) In a new subdivision the original owners tend to bond and make friends more than when you move into an existing subdivision. Sociologist shave written about this. My parents bought two new houses and in each of the subdivisions they made friends that they kept for the rest of their lives.

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tomwood
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by tomwood » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:49 am

Watty wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:44 pm
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 am
Are there other costs or factors we should be considering before we purchase this home? Please advise
A couple of things may not have been mentioned;

1) Landscaping. Most new homes have minimal landscaping and it can take 10+ years for trees to grow to a decent size.

2) New homes may have major defects like foundation problems that will not show up for several years. The Chinese dry wall problem did not show up for several years so even if you are buying an existing home you should watch out for houses that were build during that time period.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_drywall

3) If you buy a new home next to a vacant lot you may not know what type of house will eventually be built next to you.

4) In a new subdivision the original owners tend to bond and make friends more than when you move into an existing subdivision. Sociologist shave written about this. My parents bought two new houses and in each of the subdivisions they made friends that they kept for the rest of their lives.
3 reasons to buy old but the last point is favoring a new build.
Thank you

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dm200
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:00 am

One factor, as well, is that certain styles of single family homes have changed a lot over the decades.

In this area, for example, homes built before the mid to late 1940's, tended to be two story "Colonials" or "Cape Cods". In the 1950's - into the 1960's, Ramblers (also called Ranch) single story homes were popular. Also, in that era, Raised Ranch (or split foyer) were also popular.

Various types of split level homes were popular for a while.

Now, larger colonial styles are back. Another popular style (especially for very narrow lots) is a style much like a townhouse - but not attached to another.

corp_sharecropper
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by corp_sharecropper » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:58 pm

megabad wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 am
Is there a way to estimate the best monetary choice for someone moving into a new home? As best I can tell, there are 3 basic choices: buy an existing home, buy a new stick-build home, or buy a new custom home?

Are there other costs or factors we should be considering before we purchase this home? Please advise
Almost universally, you are best financially buying an existing home assuming you can live with that decision. If you can't live with it and require complete renovation to the tune of buying a new house, than just buy new and start fresh. Custom new homes would by far be the worst financial move in almost all cases that I have seen. You don't build custom for cost savings, you build that way because you want custom.

In general, I think you are fine with a used home if you stay out of the danger zone. Anything older than the 1980s is in the danger zone for me. I would really prefer 1990s or newer for a first home. Older than that and you run into the issues other posters mentioned: plastic pipes, asbestos, lead, etc. Not to mention other parts of the home will have a higher chance of being destroyed.

I have one other big rule. I hate major renovations. If a homeowner has done any major renovations (ie, walls moved, new plumbing, etc), I am very very concerned. Most homeowners have no idea what they are doing and renos typically result in disasters in my experience. I would gladly take a 1980 house with no renovation over a 1990 house with major renovations any day of the week.

One other consideration in current times, you likely won't find many "starter home" sized houses that are new. Most of the new houses are gigantic mcmansions so that will have to be what you want if you buy new (nothing wrong with that if you do).
I'm going to say this just to warn the OP that he should do his homework before pulling the trigger on any ideas posted in here.

My experience is 180 degrees from your perspective/advice except for paragraph #1.

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hand
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Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Post by hand » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:27 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:30 pm
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:15 am
For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a handyman so I wouldn’t be able to see any red flags.
For a brand new home, how much concern would you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye?

New homes are not build on a tightly controlled assembly line under strict tolerances.
They are built by a bunch of fairly low paid, unskilled, transient laborers hired as subcontractors whose goal is to finish their part of the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.

My point is, new homes are absolutely not immune to the "hidden issues" you are so concerned about with a 50 year old house.
Yes!

And to pile on, it is much easier for new builders to take out cost behind the walls than to add quality AND get paid for it.

Proper air sealing, proper insulation, sufficient electrical, sufficient closed space are very difficult for the first time buyer of a brand new home to verify, and much less a priority to tat first time buyer than cost - as a result financially minded builders often scrimp...

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