I get asked this question a lot. Old or new? And the answer is… you first have to ask yourself a few questions. Are you seeking design from a specific era? Are you prepared for costs that may come with renovations after you buy? What type of move-in experience are you hoping for?
If you’re looking to connect with history or seeking specific design elements, old might be the way to go. Nothing can mimic certain architectural details built into some old homes. But, the truth is, if you’re looking for a smooth move-in with no surprises, buying new is your best bet. As a designer, I’ve seen many buyers of old homes who have to deconstruct and rebuild the house inside the walls — which is not exactly what most homeowners hope for on move-in day.
At the end of the day, it’s your house, so it needs to feel like home. And if you have the ability to put work into an old beauty, I can certainly applaud that. But for many people, buying new will save a lot of time (and money) in the long run. Let’s look at the specifics:
As a society, we are so aware now of chemicals, emissions, and synthetic products in our daily lives — shouldn’t our home be the first thing we look at to keep us safe? What you get from buying a new Ashton Woods home is the peace of mind that the materials and finishes within the home are 21st-century safe. An example: remember lead paint? That’s a big ‘nope’ nowadays. All of our paints at Ashton Woods are low VOC (low volatile organic compounds.) So, buy new and you can scratch painting off your move-in to-do list. And perhaps even breathe a little easier at night.
Sure, buying an old home is technically “recycling.” But the benefits of buying new from a responsible builder may still outweigh the environmental (and financial) cost of modernizing an old one. At Ashton Woods, we know it’s about more than just talking the talk. Our decisions and product choices are always made with sustainability in mind. We work closely with our partners to utilize sustainable forestry and products made with recycled materials and/or made in the USA — cutting down on extra shipping and emissions that are harmful to the environment.
Here’s where those savings really start to add up when you buy new. All of our appliances at The Studio have excellent energy ratings. Not to mention, with today’s tech, you can control your environment more than ever. Our home-automation systems let you control temp, lights, and security settings in your house (without having to be at home). It’s Earth-friendly, wallet-friendly, and the best part is that it’s all already done for you, from the moment you step inside.
Warranties & Financing
It can be easy to underestimate the true cost of upkeep in an older home. So, having the assurance that your new home’s finishes and appliances will last is a huge benefit of buying new. With old homes, you basically forfeit that assurance. Here’s a fun story about that. I once bought an old home intending to replace the carpets with hardwoods. The day I moved in the HVAC broke, so naturally, I opted for that instead. Sometimes the out-of-pocket (and surprise!) big costs might “cost” more than anything saved from choosing an old home.
At The Studio, many of our products not only have extended warranties, but we also give you a walkthrough of how to use them. And an added bonus: when you buy new with Ashton Woods, you have the option to choose the finishes that you truly want (versus the ones that the homeowners before you chose), which makes the home feel much more like yours. Plus, we have the privilege of partnering with some big brands — and negotiating better prices — and those savings get passed on to you.
Almost everything we have is “smart” these days. And yes, sometimes I do enjoy reading an actual paper book, but many times tech can lower our bills and improve how we enjoy our home. Some of these might be simple: a big-screen TV, for example. But others may not be possible in an older home (or may just be a lot harder and more expensive to make happen). With a home that is built for today, it’s a lot easier to enjoy the technology of today. And our IT specialists can also help tailor all your tech to make your smart home feel like home sweet home.
At the end of the day, we’re all about helping people find something that fits their needs and budget. Schedule a tour of The Studio, and you may see that a new house is the perfect home for you.