So, you’re looking for a place in Boerne...but just which living option is best for you?
Before you go for the gold, check out this behind-the-scenes look of all the pros, cons, and gray areas that exist between the options of new, old, and rented homes.
One of the biggest perks of buying a brand new build lies within the inherent “shiny newness” of such a purchase. There’s a certain romance in being the very first residents of a house. And besides the sheen of new appliances and finishes, new homes also boast modern design concepts, open floor plans, and other enviable details that have evolved with the architectural trends of today.
As stated above, newer homes are more equipped to provide for the needs and lifestyles of the modern resident. The design concepts and day-to-day details will be naturally more relevant to modern life. Rather than dealing with outdated laminate floors, old dishwashers, and cramped storage spaces, new homes often boast stainless-steel appliances, walk-in closets, and energy-efficient features. In addition, many new homes offer the sprawling square footage that many families and move-up buyers crave.
Due to the nature of city development, new homes and neighborhoods are often located on the edges of existing development. This location on the outskirts of the city certainly has its pros and cons: the outlying location can provide privacy to those seeking a more tranquil living experience, while also making commute time a bit more inconvenient.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws of a new home is the simple reassurance of a warranty. Because the home’s features are brand new, most new homeowners will receive at least a one-year warranty for labor and materials, as well as two years' protection for mechanical defects, and 10 years for structural defects.
For all the romance found in a new home’s fresh coat of paint and crisp details, the whole brand-new-master-planned neighborhood thing can get a little boring to some buyers. For those who are less into cookie-cutter floor plans and more into unique details, existing and historic homes are an architectural solace. Thankfully, Boerne’s longstanding legacy of creative builders and Hill Country vibes ensure that existing homes (from grand historic to mid-century and beyond) offer the one-of-a-kind charm that many new homes lack.
While the physical appliances and features of many older homes can’t be touted as particularly “convenient,” many older homes boast more spacious yards, more mature trees and landscaping, and an established neighborhood community. For both the retiree looking for a simpler lifestyle and the parents who want their kids to experience classic Boerne values, existing homes offer a more traditional appeal.
The early bird gets the worm? Simply because they beat those new homes to the punch, older homes usually call “dibs” on the best plots of land. Closer to premiere restaurants and shopping, local businesses, and the overall vibrant downtown Boerne community, older homes are primed and ready to receive the award for “best location in town.”
Could you guess? Older homes are far more likely to experience maintenance issues and require a more hawkish eye for upkeep. Popular advice suggests that homeowners set aside between 1% and 3% of your home's price for maintenance and repairs each year.
Whereas we’ve been comparing and contrasting the differences between old and new homes, the concept of renting introduces a whole new set of pros and cons into the mix. When it comes to aesthetics and design, rented homes can represent the complete gamut of home styles and floor plans...however, the most relevant design factor lies in the renter’s limited (or total lack of) aesthetic control. Whereas homeowners can repaint walls, rip up carpet, and implement new landscaping, renters are at the mercy of the landlord’s (hopefully good) taste.
Besides a (possibly unfounded) fear of the dreaded down payment, one of the biggest reasons for renting lies in the convenience factor. In an increasingly mobile (and travel-centric) society, flexibility and ease of transience are high values for many residents. If you decide to pick up and leave in a year, you’re able to do so without the hassle of selling your home.
Need to fix something up? For issues as minor as a leak or major as foundation problems, your status as a renter sets you free of the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep. Depending on the details of your lease, your landlord will likely be responsible for damages that you did not directly incur. This means that “what you see is what you get” when it comes to monthly costs concerning your home.
The Ultimate Finance Factor
Ultimately, for many folks who are weighing the pros and cons of renting vs buying, the bottom line is financial. At first glance, renting seems like the least risky and less expensive option. But while renters may bypass the intimidating hurdle of a down payment, their monthly payments aren’t going anywhere but the landlord’s pocket. For homeowners, each monthly mortgage payment is essentially being deposited into a house-shaped investment (or “equity” if you’re into real estate terms). And while rent prices keep steadily rising across the country, those who can afford to buy are quickly considering home ownership to be the most lucrative option.
Thinking of buying? While mortgage payments can sound daunting, monthly payments may be less than you think (check our "Rent or Buy Calculator to prove it!). We’re willing to bet that if you check the latest mortgage rates and meet with a lender, you’ll find home ownership more possible than you thought.
If you’re interested in falling in love with our favorite Hill Country town, let us be your guide! Life in Boerne is truly unlike anything else, and we’d be happy to show you the ropes. Contact a licensed REALTOR®and download our exclusive Buyer’s Guide today.