How to decide between an older established home and a newly built home

Feb 5, 2021 | Home Buyers

How to decide between an older established home and a newly built home? ( Updated 04 Feb 2023)

How to decide between an old or new home
After reading this article you will know:

  1. The upside to buying a home in an older established area
  2. The downside to buying a home in an older established area
  3. The upside to buying a newly developed home
  4. The downside to buying a newly developed home


Decide between an older home or a new build before house hunting. Established homes are mostly freestanding homes in suburbs with most newly built homes being in estates or townhouse complexes. 

Two million rand budget? Compare apples with apples by only looking at one area. 


Older established homes – The upside 

Let’s explore options for 2 million in established neighborhoods with older homes. Firstly, these homes are often bigger. So, your two million rands may buy you more house. This normally gets you an older home with a larger kitchen, dining room, and 3-4 bedrooms, with at least 2 bathrooms. They may further have add-ons like a bar or an entertainment room. Discover added value in established areas with older homes featuring previous owner renovations. 

✳️Older homes also often have bigger established gardens with a bigger swimming pool. If you have young children a bigger playing area outside might be more in line with your objectives.

✳️Neighbor proximity is less of a concern in established areas with older homes. In fact, you might not even see your neighbors. 

✳️My first 8 years in an established neighborhood were spent in an older house with no sight of neighbors. Removing the tree disturbing our boundary wall revealed her existence. So, if privacy is high on your priority list, you might want to consider this route. 

Your 2 million rands can go far when shopping for an older home in an established area.


Older established homes – The downside 

The downside of older homes is that they may require more maintenance on a more regular basis.

✳️Shop smart, and invest in security. In established areas, older homes may need upgrades.

✳️A bigger garden is also more costly to maintain.

✳️Keep in mind ongoing costs when opting for bigger older homes. 

✳️Big families who value privacy and outdoor living may prefer this option, but be ready to put in some work.

A newly built home – The Upside 

What your 2 million rands can purchase in new developments in the same area?

Let’s start with the advantages.

✳️Enjoy the perks of being a first-time owner of a brand-new property.

✳️Your finishes in the kitchen and bathrooms will probably also be more modern.

✳️The layout of the home might be in line with more modern designs.

✳️Enjoy peace of mind in a secure complex with no extra security costs. 

✳️Everything will be ready for you to move in. Perfect for those who want a move-in-ready property with minimal upkeep. 


A newly built home – The downside 

Downsides of Living in a Newly Developed Townhouse or Home in an Estate

✳️On the downside, don’t expect the same size as the older established home for the same price.

✳️Smaller homes come with the same cost: Be ready to adjust to a more compact space.

✳️Modern properties are built more compact. For the same cost, modern homes have compact designs with beautiful modern finishes

✳️In most instances, there will also not be most of a garden.

✳️Limited outdoor space for children to play in a modern property.

✳️Secure and fun for kids: Living in a secure estate or complex lets kids have fun while running and biking. The ideal scenario is having older kids, no need to supervise bike rides in complex

✳️A new townhome or estate home for 2 million rands may offer a compact entertainment area and a smaller pool. That is if it has a pool. Alternatively, there will be a communal pool and a clubhouse.

✳️Limited visitor parking could be an issue. So, if you are the type of person who likes to entertain, you might also want to think this through. 

✳️There will also be no established garden. Starting a new garden can take time and cost money, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Growing a new garden from scratch can also cost a few thousand rands. 

✳️Be prepared for closer neighbors in densely populated townhouse complexes or estates. If privacy is high on your priority list, this is probably something that you might want to consider. However, privacy does exist in complexes and estates. You just need to look for it. Living in my townhouse complex, you hardly notice neighbors due to its well-designed layout. When I’m in my garden, I can literally see or hear no one. 

✳️You must adhere to community rules in a townhouse complex or estate with homeowner’s association regulations. This includes anything from when you must stop playing your music, to which days you can use your power tools. 



Now, one is not better or worse than the other. Choosing the right property depends on current and future personal needs. Be clear about your home needs and budget. Compare both older and modern properties to know what your money can buy. Either way, you might have to compromise here and there with regard to the points mentioned above. However, decide what is most important to you and go with that option. 


Happy house hunting. 

Contact The Property Dude for more info.

Updated 04 February 2023

Share this article!