Finding a house in Boise is becoming harder and harder as demand far exceeds offer. If you’re looking to relocate to the Treasure Valley, you will have to choose between existing homes and new constructions. Both have their pros and cons. Read on to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Buying an existing home – Pros and cons
You know exactly what you’re getting. You can visit an existing home, get a feel of the house, check out the decor, look into the cupboards, catch a glimpse of your neighbors. This makes it easier to decide if this is a house you could be comfortable with.
You can negotiate. This is a pro, as much as a con. When you talk to the owner there’s always some leeway for negotiating the price down. If the heating system is older or you find a leaky faucet, you can drive the price down.
However, in Boise, the opposite is also true. There are few good houses put up for sale and when one gets listed, expect the buyers to swarm in. The only type of negotiation in this case is upwards. Potential buyers try to outbid each other and wave contingencies just to get their hands on the house. Also, you’ll have to have the money ready if you want to snap up a good deal. The seller won’t waste time with a buyer that still needs to get rid of the old house before they can put up the money.
You move into an established neighborhood. When you go visit a house, you get a chance to check out the neighborhood and the amenities. Would you enjoy walking down that street every evening? Do you get a good vibe? Do you see yourself living there?
Ready to move in. Purchasing an existing house is a quick thing as compared to waiting for a new house to be built. At the moment, in Boise, goog houses are snatched in a matter of days and you can have the paperwork ready in as little as 30 days. Barely enough time for you to pack your bags for the big move.
More maintenance issues. An existing home can charm you with its lived-in feeling. You won’t feel as charmed when an old pipe bursts or the heating system providing warmth to the previous owners breaks down. Have the house inspected top to bottom before agreeing to buy an old house.
Buying a new house – Pros and Cons
You move into a brand new space. For many this is the major selling point of a new house. Everything is brand new and totally clean. You don’t have to worry about mold or rusty pipes. The closets are impeccable and so is the carpeting. There’s no trace of previous owners, it’s all about you. Also, you won’t have to deal with a previous owner’s ghastly sense of decoration or repaint the bright red walls in the master bedroom. Plus, all the appliances being new, you have warranty and they’re easy to replace if they break down.
More options to customize. With a new construction, you’ll be offered the possibility to customize the house to your liking. Big construction projects offer standardized homes and nobody likes that. You can opt for more closet space or a different design of the kitchen, you can decide on the landscaping or have the garage altered to fit your needs. All these come with a cost, and it can get to be quite high, putting you well above the intended budget.
You cannot negotiate. The builders have their price set and you cannot ask them to cut down on it. You can expect the price to get up as any minor customization you demand comes with a cost.
You cannot move in right away. This is a major drawback. With an existing house you can move in in a month or so. A new construction might be ready in 6-12 months, if you’re lucky and the project doesn’t get delayed by the weather or unexpected problems. You might need to rent a place for many months and it won’t be cheap.
You don’t know how the area will feel once the construction is completed. All you get to know is how the plan looks on paper. Appearances can be deceiving and you might discover that the new area looks quite different from what you were expecting. The houses don’t look that great, the promised park is a couple of trees with a bench between them and the community pool is small and cheap-looking.
It all comes down to choosing between a house that you can visit and one you can only see on paper. A house that is waiting for you to move in and one that won’t be ready until next year. On the other hand, it will be new and all yours. Decisions, decisions.