Pros and Cons: Buy an Existing Home in Dahlonega or Buy a New Home in Dahlonega?

Dahlonega Reservoir

The trails along Dahlonega’s Reservoir are a great place to spend an afternoon

If you’re thinking about buying a home in Dahlonega, you have a lot of choices to think about to make sure the home you settle in to is just the right place for you. Like: City or rural area, subdivision or stand-alone property, one story or two. And then there’s this big question: Should you buy an existing home in Dahlonega or buy a new home in Dahlonega?

Well, as with most decisions, there are up sides and down sides to both options. First, let’s take buying a fixer-upper out of the picture for now. That’s an exciting and feasible option for some people, but an entirely different animal. So for this conversation, we’ll say existing home means previously lived in—maybe needing a few kitchen or bath updates, new flooring or new fixtures and accessories—and new home means new construction.

Buying an existing home in Dahlonega

There are lots of benefits to buying an existing home. Lived-in homes have a certain charm and character. They just don’t build ‘em like they used to is true in some cases and price ranges. Many older homes were designed and built with pride and superior craftsmanship. Materials were often the real thing, rather than cheaper alternatives accepted today. So they’re often hardier, more solid and hard-wearing than modern-day homes.

If you’re buying an existing home in Dahlonega, you’ll find many neighborhoods that have larger lots than new-home communities usually have, some in the city and more outside of the city limits. Land out in the county was less expensive decades ago, and septic tanks required at least an acre of land. Along with larger yards, older homes tend to have more mature vegetation and bigger, more plentiful, trees. All in all, the best older homes have a comforting, broken-in, lived-in feeling about them.

Nothing is perfect, and there are surely some drawbacks to buying an existing home in Dahlonega. With older homes everywhere come used appliances that may cost more to use than newer ones. Things you can’t see, like HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical wiring and insulation, need to be thoroughly inspected before the closing papers are signed. And keep in mind, appliances and systems that are older will require maintenance long before those in a new home. And chances are warranties will probably be expired.

One more thing: Most houses built years ago are much smaller and less open than they are today, so you’ll probably find less square footage than you would in a newer home. And fewer closets. And, of course, the space there is will be laid out much differently!

Buying a New Home in Dahlonega

New construction means home sweet home if you don’t have the time or inclination to upgrade, update, improve, spruce up or modernize your new place. If you get in at the right time, new- construction builders often allow you to customize certain finishes and features of a home during construction when it’s less expensive—and way more convenient—to do. A brand new home will have much lower maintenance costs, at least in the early years of ownership, than an older home. Plus, a new home will meet all the latest building codes and standards and will come with a homeowner’s warranty. Same with the shiny, new appliances, which will no doubt have warranties and up-to-date consumer safety features. You’ll be glad for the higher degree of energy efficiency and lower utility bills.

A new home in Dahlonega is likely to come with less property than some of the older homes. That means less time you’ll have to spend on yard work and outdoor chores.

New homes aren’t for everyone, though. That typical, small yard may not give you the privacy you want. Since many new construction lots are cleared before foundations are poured, there may be little vegetation and few, if any, trees. When they’re located in subdivisions, new homes can have a cookie-cutter look that older neighborhood homes don’t have.

It may be challenging to make your new home in Dahlonega stand out from all the others. This is certainly true if the subdivision development has a homeowners association. There may be rules controlling landscaping in the front yard, or even regulations about façade colors or other characteristics. And HOAs usually have monthly or annual fees you’ll be required to pay on top of your mortgage payment.

Finally, if you don’t want to worry about the pros and cons of different types of housing—old or new—when you buy a home in Dahlonega, you can always choose a beautiful lot or some gorgeous acreage and have a custom home built exactly to your specifications.
Well, to each his or her own. When you’re buying a home in Dahlonega, the choices are all here for the making!

Sue Jones

Looking to buy or sell a home in the Dahlonega area? Sue Jones, a native and resident of the North GA area, is a specialized realtor that can help you navigate the local real estate market. Contact her for your local residential or commercial real estate needs.

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