Buying New Green Construction vs. an Older Home in Need of Updates

Today's Guest Author:  Marie W. Rodriguez 

Find out some of the differences between buying new green construction vs. an older home in need of updates.

If you've decided it's time to buy a home, there are many things to consider. And this is long before you begin the house-hunting process. But one of the first challenges home buyers face is deciding whether to buy a new home or an older one. Well, first, you should know that there is no right or wrong decision here. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. And in the end, it all depends on your preferences and personal lifestyle. However, you should know what to expect to make a well-informed decision. So, here are some of the differences between buying new green construction vs. an older home in need of updates.

Cost differences between buying new green construction vs. an older home in need of updates

No matter what choice you make, buying a home never comes cheap. So, the first thing you should do is assess your finances and secure financing. This will help you determine what you can afford. And to do this, you need to consider your revenue, savings, and current and future expenses. Moreover, few people can afford to pay for a home up-front, so you should also research mortgages. And make sure you get a pre-approval to know exactly how much financing you'll get.

Regarding the pricing of homes, new green constructions are indeed more expensive than older homes. And it's no wonder, given the high costs of construction materials and modern fixtures. 

However, it would be best if you also considered additional expenses when it comes to older homes. Specifically, older homes require repairs and updates that new homes don't. And these costs might make up for the pricing difference. So, ensure you do a home inspection and then get an estimate from a contractor.

Three almost equal coin towers
The cost differences between buying new green construction vs. an older home in need of updates are pretty balanced.

Energy efficiency

One of the significant differences between buying new green construction vs. an older home in need of updates is energy efficiency. And the truth is that new green homes can save you a lot of money due to increased energy efficiency. This is mainly due to the quality insulation used on walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as the thicker windows. All of this helps keep the home warmer during the cold season and cooler during the warm season. And as a result, you’ll get smaller energy bills.

Of course, you can also retrofit an older home to increase energy efficiency. However, you should know that the costs are pretty high. Plus, you should hire an expert to evaluate the property first because some older home designs might not support all the modern energy efficiency upgrades.

A man retrofitting an old home's roof with solar panels

While new green homes are more energy-efficient, you can also retrofit older homes.

Being environmentally-friendly

Apart from being more energy-efficient, new green homes are also environmentally-friendly. They use renewable energy sources, generate less waste and protect biodiversity. So, if you want to give the environment a helping hand, this is a great solution.

And while we're on this topic, you should consider an eco-friendly relocation once you buy a home. It might sound silly, but it’s not. Moving generates a lot of waste and entails using a lot of gas. So, to organize a sustainable process, you should talk to a moving company to transport everything in one trip. And you should also consider using old boxes for packing instead of new ones. For example, you can ask your friends to donate some, and once you're finished, you can donate them further.

Finding the right location

When it comes to location, there are many factors to consider. First, you’ll rarely find new green construction in the city center. And the main reason for this is the lack of space. However, if you're a fan of the suburbs, then you'll have no problem finding a new green home there. However, you should ensure that you'll have close access to transportation. Otherwise, you'll probably waste a lot of time stuck in traffic.

On the other hand, if you opt for an older home, you’ll have more options regarding the location. For example, you can choose a neighborhood based on the ranking of the schools in the area. Or, if you don't have kids, you can choose a location with a lively social scene. Plus, since many people have been living there for some time, the sense of community is usually more substantial.

Size differences

Things concerning the size of new green construction vs. an older home are pretty balanced. You can find large or tiny homes no matter the choice you make. The modern designs of new homes offer open spaces and storage areas to fit every need. At the same time, older homes can have multiple stories, an attic, and/or a basement. So, it all depends on how much space you need and what you can afford.

An ample open space living area in a new building

You can find large and tiny homes in both new and old buildings.

However, if you're planning on buying a house with a backyard, there might be a slight difference. In general, older homes have larger backyards. And this is primarily because, in the past, buying land was more affordable. Plus, nowadays, with all the new constructions, there's less and less land available. And another difference here is that older homes benefit from mature vegetation in their backyards.

Purchase time

You should be aware that there is a difference in purchase time between new and older homes. Specifically, it can take up to 9 months to close the deal and move into your new green construction. And this can be problematic because you can lose the financing in the meantime. Plus, there are other logistic aspects to consider. For example, where will you live in the meantime, and how much will that cost.

On the other hand, you can buy an older home faster. And if you have to relocate for a new job, you might be pressed by time. However, if you purchase an older home, you should also factor in how long the repairs and updates will take. Depending on how extensive the work will be, you might not be able to live there until they are finished.

Here, you should know that you also have a third option: buying a builder spec home. This is the perfect solution if you wish to buy a new home, but you can’t afford to wait up to 9 months for it. These are move-in-ready homes that are built on the speculation that they will be easily sold and profitable. Now, while some people like the idea of designing or updating their homes, some don’t. And the main reason for this is because it can be a lengthy and costly process. Therefore, if you wish to skip all of this, a builder spec home is the right choice for you.


As you can see, you can't choose wrong between buying new green construction vs. an older home in need of updates. They have their strengths and weaknesses and tend to balance each other out. Therefore, your best option would be to get specific about what you want from home and then see which of the two best fits your needs.

Author bio:

Marie W. Rodriguez has been working as a content writer for U. Santini Moving and Storage for two years. Her main goal is to help people find their dream homes and relocate stress-free.