Monday, November 14, 2011

New vs. gently used...

So the hubby and I have begun our house hunt. My husband is really in love with the idea of new construction so we don't have to worry about lots of fix-it projects right off the bat. While I on the other hand, would like an existing house that isn't totally "finished" that we can make our own over time.

Yesterday after church, we checked out two new construction developments in my hometown. (I just have to say that I NEVER thought I would be house hunting in Milford, Ohio, but that is for another, much longer, post.)

Back to the house hunt. All of the models have been purchased, so if we moved into that neighborhood we would have to build, and I have to admit, the idea of that is definitely appealing. We could pick out all of the finishes and make it exactly how we want it from the beginning.

But on the flip side, I have always dreamed about buying my first home and making it my own, room-by-room, slowly figuring out our personality and how it can be portrayed in our home. I mean, I created a home DIY blog before I even had a home, so to say it's something I'm passionate about is an understatement. How satisfying would it be to see your work before and after?

In this area, "gently used" homes around here generally have more yard space than any new construction. I grew up with a beautiful yard and lots of privacy while still living in a neighborhood as you saw here, and I would really love to have something similar at my own home or have the space to create a yard like this:

Credit: my dad and mom
Another "want" for the hubby and I are neighbors who are close to our age that we can hang out with. The new construction neighborhood had lots of young neighbors outside tailgating for the Bengals game yesterday – so it was definitely a "pro" on our list. :)

So now that we've checked out the new construction in the area, the next step is to see what existing homes are on the market. I'll keep you posted on what we find and how it measures up to the new construction.

I'm curious to know your feelings on new vs. gently used homes? Where do you live? What would you recommend for first time home buyers?


chad said...

We are currently going back and forth on this, though our finances are a bit of a mess because we still own a home in Memphis. It's hard to get a lot (on which to build) with decent growth and so forth if you are going to build. you end up with a sort of muddy pit that - unless you left a lot of money over for landscaping, you have to somehow shake up. And building seems great if you know exactly what you want. For me, it's a daunting task because I'm better at shaping an existing space than envisioning the "perfect" space out of nothing. Keep in mind as well that you're less likely to get a good deal on a new home because there's inventory out there with motivated sellers - and it's not like real estate is a safe bet in terms of investment. it's a home you own but don't plan to get any money back out of it, at least not for ten years or so (unless you are going a shorter-term lease).

To that last point, and this is hard to foresee, but you may have much different priorities for your neighborhood depending on when/if you are going to have kids. some families keep up the tailgating pace even with infants, but we're not those people.

magtumo said...

We're in the same boat. There's something nice about the idea of moving into a new home that doesn't need any major work. But I've always leaned towards the older homes with a little bit of character and a "lived in" feel vs. the brand new McMansions that all look the same. And there's definitely something to be said about creating a space to suit your needs and personal aesthetic. But I think no matter what you choose, there is always a way to make your house a home.

Toni said...

I like the look of old, but live more comfortably in new.

Anonymous said...

I'm not real sure where I stand on the issue of new versus old. My best advice is to listen attentively to your new husband, as I would imagine he has the clarity to make an informed decision (with your input of course).

magtumo said...

p.s. Your parent's yard is GORGEOUS! I love it.