A lot of people wonder about the difference between new construction and remodel. (for a house)
I’m putting homes under 10 years under new construction and homes built before 1990 under older home. (homes built in between would fall anywhere in between)
Generally speaking, most new constructions in Metro Seattle area, urban or suburban, parcel size will be the smallest allowed. The upside is everything is brand new and you don’t have to worry about replacing anything for a while. The downside is homes are built on top of each other. You could see your neighbors from your tiny backyard. A lot of times you could see neighbors’ windows through your side windows. There isn’t a lot of privacy or space in between homes.
Older homes, on the contrast, are on bigger lots. You may need to update kitchen, bathrooms, new flooring and paint, the flip side is you get a decent size lot and privacy.
There are remodeled older homes as well. They’re priced between new construction and older home in need of remodel.
For example, City of Bothell, an older house would have parcel size easily starting at 7,000 sf up to 20,000 sf. Whereas new construction in Bothell parcel size would be in the range of 3,500-5,000 sf range.
Land is becoming scarce in a growing metropolis. Lifestyle changed overtime. People are so busy working, that they don’t want to spend as much time doing yard work in their spare time. They would rather have a smaller yard and utilize the community parks and playgrounds for their outdoor fix.
I have seen some really nice remodels of older homes. Split level homes get a bad rep but they open up nicely and you normally get high ceilings with it and spaces are used efficiently. For the most part if you’re not changing the floor plan drastically, cost should be reasonable.
In City of Seattle if you’re in a nice charming neighborhood, the house can be quirky but if it’s somewhat updated, buyers would be willing to overlook the quirks (as long as the house and neighborhood are charming). A lot of new constructions in City of Seattle are 3 levels with possible roof top (with or without views). That’s a lot of stairs to climb. But everything is brand new and there’s not much to maintain in terms of a yard. With a rooftop deck you could make it as high maintenance as you desire. (containers of plants optional)
In summary, if you don’t desire the small parcel size for the price point, buying an older home that need some updating may be the way to go. I have contractors I work with that are affordable. Updates and expansions don’t need to be expensive. Functional being the key. You could always spurge in certain elements of the remodel such as light fixtures and hardware.
For those who can’t sit through a renovation, buy new construction, or newly remodel. Ultimately your home needs to fit your needs and lifestyle.