Owning a Home: Knowing When to Call in the Pros

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Three Things To Think About When Looking At New And Old Houses

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Are you looking for a house to buy? Whether to buy a new home or one that's used is a big decision. Both types of houses have a lot going for them, but they also have a number of issues that can make living in them difficult if you're not ready for them. Before buying a home, consider these three things to ensure that your choice of old or new is best for you.

Seismic Standards

New homes are supposed to be built to the latest seismic standards -- crucial if you're buying in a zone known for quake activity. Older homes, though, may not have been built according to strong seismic codes, or they could have been built to fulfill an older code, one that doesn't fully protect the home given what developers and contractors know about quake movements today. A good home inspection performed before you buy can let you know if there are any seismic issues lurking, but keep in mind that if you really want to be sure you're getting the latest codes built into your home, go for a new home.


This isn't always the case, but most new homes are in developments run by homeowners' associations, or HOAs. Some people prefer to live with an HOA because the rules of the development help keep the area looking nice as well as prevent other homeowners from doing things that can make the neighborhood noisy and crowded. If you're one of those people, you should look for a new home. But if you don't want to deal with being overseen by an HOA board and would prefer to do whatever you want with your home, then you should look for an older home because those generally will be in independent neighborhoods.

Undiscovered Country

One area where an old house wins over a new house is known problems. New houses are not without their quirks and minor repairs, but if no one's lived in the house before, that means you get to deal with those things acting up -- and you have to repair them. If you choose to buy an older home, chances are the previous owners will be able to tell you about anything odd in the house.

Of course, getting that home inspection is crucial no matter what type of house you buy. Don't agree to buy a house until you've had it inspected thoroughly. Contact a business, such as Diamond Willow Home Inspection, for more information about how to shop for a new home.