Buying a House in Irvine: Choosing a New House or an Old House

  • Dittany Zhang Seltzer
  • 09/3/21
Irvine, a well-planned small city in Orange County, with good schools, good climate, and good greenery, is a good choice for settlement! In the early days, Koreans came to this city to buy houses for their children's education, but now they are now in turn to Chinese. So when buying a house for the first time here, buying a new house or buying an old house is a tangled place for many people! It is well known that the Chinese like to buy new houses, so 100% of all new community houses in Irvine are contracted by the Chinese. This has something to do with mainland China, where most of the 20-year-old houses are old enough to be demolished and rebuilt!
 
In the United States, houses built in the 1930s will still look like new houses if they are well maintained, especially if the interior has been renovated. And American houses are built of wood, moisture-proof, and earthquake-proof, and the quality is better than domestic reinforced concrete. Compared with many cities in Los Angeles, houses in Irvine are generally newer. Most houses in the old district were built in the 70s or 80s, while the houses in the new district were mostly built after 90 or even 2000. So, whether to buy a new house or a second-hand house is more time-saving and cost-effective. Let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of the new house and the second-hand house.
 


The advantages of the new house are obvious. The house is new and looks beautiful. The transaction process is simple. There is no need to negotiate the price with the seller. Usually, the price of the new house is determined by the builder. There is basically no room for bargaining. Sometimes some bonuses are given, and these costs are also Instead of giving cash, let buyers choose their favorite appliances, such as floors, kitchen sinks, lamps, etc., in the builder's design center. also. In addition, the community environment of the new house is very beautiful. The builders will build a lot of recreational facilities to enrich the residents' leisure life, including parks, swimming pools, gymnasiums, new schools, etc.

There are also many shortcomings of the new house. First of all, the land for new houses is very small. The current trend in Irvine is that the land of old houses is large, the land of new houses is small, and the newer the building, the smaller the land. Old houses, such as those listed in the Northwood community, are 1,500 feet in area and 5,000 feet in area. Most of the new houses have only a small yard. They are very close to the neighbors, and even the neighbors’ voices can be heard. Such detached houses are actually the same as the Townhouse. The condo is not much different. For buyers who like to have land and pay attention to privacy, such new homes are not ideal. The second and important reason is the high taxes on new houses. For example, at The Harper in Beacon Park, the basic real estate tax in this area is 1.0875%, and there is an additional tax. The English name is Mello-Roos, also called Special Assessment. Generally, houses after 90 years have this tax. Pay an extra $5,112-$6,041, the specific amount is calculated based on the house price. A house of 800,000 yuan will pay about 14,000 taxes a year, and the total tax rate is between 1.8% and 1.9%, which is very high.
 
This additional tax usually has to be paid for 30 to 40 years. Calculated on a 30-year basis, buying a house in this area will cost 420,000 US dollars more than buying a second-hand house. There is also a housing fee (HOA) of $216/month in this community, which will drop to $141/month when all houses in the community are sold out. Thirdly, the materials of the new house are selected by the builders, and ordinary buyers can't tell the quality of the materials with their eyes, even professional real estate agents can't tell. If the builders use cheap materials or small parts such as water pipes and bulbs are not covered by the warranty, the homeowner will need to spend extra money to maintain and refurbish the house. The last point is that new houses can only be seen as model houses, which take a long time to hand over. The model house will always look beautiful, but the actual house you get must not be that way. Maybe the house type chosen by the buyer has not yet started construction. The buyer can only use his own imagination to outline the appearance and the inner part of the house.

Next, talk about the advantages and disadvantages of second-hand housing (old house). First of all, the land of the old house is relatively large. There is a large yard with a lawn or swimming pool. It is far away from the neighbors and has strong privacy. Old houses especially house 90 years ago, have no property fees or very low property fees, less than 100 yuan/month, and houses 90 years ago have no additional tax Mello-Roos, which saves a lot of money than buying a new house. Sellers of old houses usually refurbish the house before selling, such as replacing wooden floors, replacing old equipment with new equipment, refurbishing the kitchen and bathroom, in the hope that they can sell for a good price. This is also an additional benefit for the buyer. It saves the time and energy of decorating yourself. If you are really not satisfied, you can redecorate the house yourself after you get the house.
 
The disadvantages of the old house are also obvious. First of all, the maintenance cost of old houses is high. Lead-containing materials can be used for the inner walls of houses before 1978, but not now. Therefore, it is necessary to disclose whether the inner walls contain lead when buying houses of 1978. After the house is old, there may be problems such as broken water pipes and leaking roofs. And the decoration of the old house depends on the taste of the former owner. Some owners will paint the wall yellow or green, which looks uncomfortable, so the buyer will have to repaint it. Another point is that many documents, contracts, etc. must be signed during the transaction of an old house, and house inspections are also required. If it is a loan, the price of the house must be evaluated. The whole process is complicated and cumbersome. A good real estate agent will act as a guide and help. The buyer successfully completed the transaction and bought the house at the ideal price.
 
Finally, talk about the reconstruction of old houses. First of all, whether the old house is to be demolished and rebuilt, a room or a bathroom is to be added, a permit (permit) is required. The permit must be applied to the municipal government. Before applying, a professional architect should draw the drawings and specify how to rebuild them. , If the municipal government does not approve the drawing, the drawing shall be changed again. The application period can be either long or short. Generally, it can be approved within 6 months. If all are torn down and rebuilt, it may take nearly a year to obtain the permit. Note that reconstruction without permission is illegal and may face the risk of forced demolition if reported. After the redevelopment, the property tax will also be changed, usually by an increase, because the value of the house must have risen as the area becomes larger or one story is changed to two stories after reconstruction.
 
In short, the new house and the old house have their own advantages and disadvantages. How to choose depends on personal preferences.
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