(Closed) First Home: Brand Spankin’ New vs. Old Fixer-Upper

posted 6 years ago in Home
  • poll:
    Find a block and build a new home : (5 votes)
    15 %
    Find a brand new established home : (11 votes)
    32 %
    Find an old home on a big piece of land : (16 votes)
    47 %
    Other - please explain : (2 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 3
    1346 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    First of all lucky SA! We only get $7k no matter what in WA. 

    I think it all depends on what you find as your needs, we have two dogs and plan on having kids in the near future so a new home without a yard or much of one isn’t good for us. We would prefer to have something that we had to do work to if it meant we could get the room to move.

    Post # 4
    7311 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    Is this your forever home, or something you plan to keep for only a few years? I think that may effect your decision. Think about it in terms of the neighborhood/area? How close are your options to work? Do you like the neighborhood? If you go for construction in a new community, are you comfortable with having construction going on around you for a few years? Do you want to have pets or kids, who may want space to run and play in a yard? Do you want to have to do yard maintenance, or would you rather not spend much time on that activity? Do you love something fresh and new, or do you crave something with character and history? I really don’t think there is a right answer here. Itr’s really about which option best fits your needs and goals.


    Post # 5
    984 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    I think it depends on your needs and wants. For Darling Husband and myself we always thought we’d want a huge yard for the dogs but then before we bought we had an opportunity to rent a house with a big back yard and we ended up not using it ever. The house we rented had a nice deck that we always used but the yard was just a pain for us to care for. We have two dogs and they used it but mostly we ran them at the dog park and walked them. When it came down to us buying we went with a new build with a small yard. We decided we didn’t want to do a lot of renovations (we still have a lot of projects but it’s more small stuff like painting and decorating) plus we didnt have the cash for major renos and loved the neighborhood we got to build in. We also built a home we are going to get to grow in to. But that’s what was right for us. What do you think is going to be better for you?

    Post # 6
    1550 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    I always thought that I would purchase an old home and fix it up just the way I want it. I love homes with character and large backyards, so I thought fixing up an old home would be perfect for us! However, my sister in law just purchased a fixer upper and seeing what she is going through has really changed my mind. There is constant work to be done–she never really has time to sit back and relax because there is always something that needs to be done on the house. After she finishes a 50 hour work week, there are still hours and hours of things to be done on the house! Although it’s nice because she is getting to pick out all of th enew elements on the house (what color flooring, cabinets, wall color, etc.) it’s so much work!

    I think it made me realize that a fixer upper is a lot more work than I thought, and with my busy schedule, I just couldn’t imagine to making such a big committment! (For example, she is fixing something as simple as cabinets, and it’s turned into a two week process that has been driving her mad!)

    On the other hand, the house we live in now was purchased turn key. It had been newly remodeled. At first I was super bummed out because I didn’t get to pick anything out (granite, tile, molding style, flooring, etc.) but now I realize that this is what works better for us.

    What is your schedule like? Do you see yourself with lots of time to work on the house? Are you a pretty task driven person (AKA you won’t give up when you get tired of it) Talk with your SO about it… just don’t bite off more than you can chew!



    Post # 7
    822 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    @kfiorita:  @lisha_1988:  I think both of you are lucky!  In NZ we get nothing πŸ™ 

    I think this is a really personal decision that only you and your Fiance can make.

    My Darling Husband and I ended up buying a house we needed to do work on as having a large backyard was important to us plus we don’t mind renovating ourselves (my dad is a builder so has helped a lot and I lived in a lot of half finished houses growing up so know what it is like!)

    Whereas my sister brought a brand new apartment in a nicer part of town but has no backyard etc but that is what suits her and her husband better.

    We do want to use this house as a rental in the future but figure the more land it has the more rent we can charge and hopefully we will get a family to rent it.

    I agree with other people about what your needs and wants are at this time – will this be  your forever house?  Or a for-now house?

    Post # 9
    1288 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    @nzgirl:  Not true!  We get local councils, LIM reports and real estate fees!!!

    I agree with one of the PP’s who asked whether or not this would be a forever home or just a temporary stop on the road.

    When Darling Husband bought his first home, we didn’t even think about location and bought a 30 year old place in desperate need of renovation, seven years later and we STILL haven’t finished the place and now that we’re expecting we’re have totally different priorities when it comes to buying a place.

    For me personally I wouldn’t bother to renovate again and I can totally see the appeal of buying a brand new place!

    I would try making a list of all the things you wish you had in a place and then decide what sort of house is going to best fit your needs.  Good luck πŸ™‚

    Post # 12
    1288 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    @kfiorita:  There are certainly plenty of opportunites in old places but buyers do need to be realistic on the costs of renovation and ongoing maintenance.

    As an example we’ve spent about $35,000 on renovations in our place and $20,000 of that was the kitchen area alone (cabinetry, floors, new gas hot water system, appliances etc – my Dad did the labour for free!).  We also had to replace our gas heater, re-carpet and re-wallpaper the entire place.  We were very lucky that our house was structurally ok so the work was all cosmetic (but still pretty major). 

    I think the key with old places is to make sure that you don’t over-capitilise and that any $$ you put into your place can be re-couped by increased property values.

    Interestingly enough, when we buy our next place, my biggest priority will be location.  I want to be closer to our town centre, live on a much quieter road and live in a good school area πŸ™‚

    Post # 13
    227 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Something to consider if you intend to rent your home out later down the track is a depreciation report. You can depreciate quite a lot more of a new home than you can in an old one- so this is worth looking into also. Again, if you intend to rent it out- it might need more repairs and maintenance than a new home which can be a financial and logistical nightmare when you are elsewhere. We bought a fixer-upper for our first home, rennovated it completely, then rented it out. We sold it about a year after we bought our new home as things constantly needed repair and I couldn’t handle the stress of not knowing what might need fixing next. In hindsight, we probably should have sold it right away because it would have made more sense- and a whole heap less stress.

    That being said, my SO is a carpenter- so we bought another fixer upper and I can’t wait to do it all again..! I LOVE rennovating! But he’s got the skills to do it. I couldn’t do it by myself.. and it works for us!! Goodluck with your decision =)

    Post # 14
    13096 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    If you intend to rent it out in a year – I’d think newer would be a better option.  An old home is going to require a lot of maintenance and upkeep (especially when compared to a new home) and as a landlord, you’d be responsible for all of that.  It won’t be easy to deal with from a distance while you do your teaching placement.  Also, I think more people would be interested in reanting a newer, more renovated place than an old home.

    Post # 15
    6661 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2010

    It depends on the funds you have reserved for the renovations, the time you would be able to devote to it and your current needs when it comes to space. If you will be tight on cash after the sale and you work full time, the established home might not be such a good idea since you are getting a smaller credit for buying it and you don’t have the funds or time to make the renovations. But if you will have some cash and you feel like you need the yard NOW and not in 5 years, then it might make sense to buy the bigger home now.

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