For many people, buying a house means looking at the newest and hippest housing developments. While there are some advantages to new homes, older homes have some added charms as well. “New” is not always the best way to go when buying a house. Here are some facts real estate agents can use to emphasize the wonders of an old home.

via Flickr by Alaskan Dude

More House for the Money

New homes are often more costly for the same amount of square footage than an old house. So a buyer can get a bigger older home for less money. Older homes may not be as in demand as a newer place so you can also get a bargain price for an old house with lots of character.

More Room to Privately Roam

Most new homes are located in subdivisions – meaning that the homes are close together with little side or backyard. Older neighborhoods tend to have larger yards both on the sides and in the back. A bigger backyard gives you more options for outdoor furniture, swing sets for the kids, or a pool. The benefits of more room on the side of your house means that you can’t see into your neighbor’s bedroom window – and the neighbor can’t see in yours!

Good Construction with Solid Materials

New homes are built quickly with cost efficiency for the builder in mind. Therefore, new homes may not use solid wood for the doors or brick for the entire house. However, many old houses have brick on all sides and heavy solid wood is used to build the doorways. The walls in old houses are thicker and the housing frame contains more robust woods like redwood instead of pine. The hardware is also sturdier and may outlast everyone.

Location, Location, Location

An old house in an urban neighborhood may allow you to decrease your car usage. Grocery stores and other amenities are all within walking distance. This type of neighborhood also has a special feel where you get to know your neighbors and the entire community gets together for events and gatherings. Raising children in that type of atmosphere is almost priceless and would pay dividends for years to come.

Tax Breaks Are Us

via Flickr by dennetmint

Depending on the age of the old house, you may be eligible for other tax breaks besides mortgage-interest payments and property taxes. Depending on your state laws, you may be able to get a break for historic preservation; these breaks may cover part of rehabilitation costs. In some areas, you also can also get tax incentives if you waive your right to change the historic character of the home. These tax breaks may extend to your heirs if they inherit the house in the future.

Just because old homes can be as wonderful as a new home doesn’t mean the buyer should take the first old house he or she sees. It is important to investigate the homes of interest and to have a reliable source for real estate advice and solutions. Purchasing your “new” old home requires research and dedication and you are sure to find the home of your dreams.

Danielle Maples is a freelance writer fixated on technology and financial health as well as the records manager at a large real estate company.

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