Did you know that more than 60% of Texas residents live in their own houses? Undoubtedly, buying a home is an important and exciting event for every family. There are many myths associated with the purchase of a house: some of them have long been known and debunked, but some are not so obvious and rarely discussed. Let’s uncover some of the most popular home buying myths that people face today.
Myth One: Buying a Newly Constructed Home Is Always the Best Solution
One of the most common misconceptions is that, in general, buying a newly constructed home is a safer option. It is commonly believed that it will give its owner complete peace of mind in terms of house repairs. Many people believe that with a new house, there will be no serious problems initially and then you can save on repairs as a result. But this is not quite true: some unscrupulous construction companies try to minimize their expenses on materials, labor and deliberately ignore construction problems. Moreover, structural defects are often difficult to correct, but not immediately noticeable, making them very expensive.
Unfortunately, home builders can make mistakes, so, it may be a good idea to get a home inspection even if the house you are going to buy is brand new. It will help you uncover any items that may cause issues in the future. Overall, just because you’re buying or building a new house does not mean you won’t have problems with it.
Myth Two: You Can Save by Buying an Older Home
This is the other side of the same coin. It’s no doubt that houses that need a lot of work will end up being extra expensive as all home devices and systems (even hidden ones such as electrical wiring and pipes) have a service life. Big renovations, like layout changes, total kitchen remodelings or pool installations take more work than you expect. Buying a house in need of renovation can make sense if you’re going to do the work yourself, but in most cases, the cost of renovation will outweigh the savings from buying an older home.
If renovation required is not extensive – like if all you’re doing is re-wallpapering the walls – an older house can end up being a great deal and save you lots of money. But serious and major fixes can result in a big headache, especially when the bill arrives. For instance, rewiring the electrical system requires you to take apart some of your walls, which can cost you thousands of dollars. Building your dream house from scratch rather than extensively renovating an existing house is sometimes even cheaper.
Moreover, the older the house, the greater the home maintenance costs. For example, if the maintenance of a 10-year-old house costs an average of $861 per year, then a 30-year-old one will cost you as much as $2,156 every year. And we are taking into account only the repair of basic appliances and systems – more complicated repairs on bigger appliances like a fridge, home security system, or an A/C system and systems will cost you even more.
If the cost of turning an older house into a place of your dreams is too high, or if the house has too many issues that can’t be fixed, then the house may not be such a bargain after all. But if you fell in love with an older house, even one which requires a lot of work, get multiple quotes from contractors to find out the real cost of repairs and see which makes the most economic sense: building a new house or renovating an old one.
Myth Three: It’s Better to Buy a House with a Home Warranty Plan
There are studies confirming that a home with a home warranty plan is sold 11 days faster and for $2,300 more than average. Therefore, it is presented by sellers as a valuable and important feature. However, this is not as simple as it first seems. Let’s take a look at the cause of this common myth.
A home buyer might expect that a home warranty will protect them from any additional expenses on repairs of the home systems and appliances. However, this may not always be the case.
Home sellers usually buy the cheapest home warranty plan that only covers the basic repairs up to a certain limit that is usually pretty low. As soon as the home warranty contract is transferred to the new homeowner (you), read it carefully in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises, such as extra costs or denied claims. If the new homeowner finds the current contract insufficient, the home warranty companies are usually happy to offer an upgrade – at an extra cost to the new buyer, of course. Also, you can always wait until after buying a house to buy a home warranty plan that best suits your needs, rather than the plan picked by the old owner.
As you can see, buying a home is not a very simple process. Hopefully, clearing up these common myths about the home buying process can help answer some of the questions you may have and help you make the right choice. When deciding on a house, it’s important to weigh all the factors that are important for you and make your pick without being swayed by these misleading myths.