Realtor.com's Yuqing Pan attempts to answer the age old question when it comes to housing choice: should you buy, or should you rent? To make matters more complicated, buyers often wonder if they should buy a new house, or an old house. Each option has its perks, but what does the data say?
Hopeful home buyers are often held back by the cost of purchasing a home—the median national list price on Realtor.com is $228,000, but when paired with a 12% average down payment totaling $27,360, many will find it difficult to enter the homeowner's market. But, renting can also be costly. Nationally, the average apartment rent stands at nearly $1,180, but in large metros that can be as high as $1,868 per month.
One savvy strategy is to consider new homes, which are typically overlooked by many buyers. Price is one primary reason: In November 2015, the median sales price of existing single-family homes, not seasonally adjusted, is $220,300; and new homes command a median of $305,000—almost 40% higher. But that higher price tag might not wind up being as much of a financial burden as it may seem. Sometimes you need to dig a bit deeper to understand what you’re getting for the steeper initial cost of a new home. Bottom line: If you can afford the new-home price, you’ll get more value than you think.