We all tend to like newer things. Newer is better, right?

In technology, that’s almost always the case.  People who were thrilled with the Ipad a year ago can’t wait to upgrade to the newest generation.

Housing is a little different. Newer isn’t necessarily better. It depends on what’s important to you and the trade offs you are willing to make.


Newer vs. Older

Homes in the Conejo Valley (under $1 million) tend to break down into two categories: Newer Construction and Older Construction. I define Older Construction as homes built in the 60s to mid 80s and Newer Construction as homes built in the late 80s and on.

What are the differences you ask?

Newer ConstructionOlder Construction
Open floor planLarger lots
Higher ceilingLarger secondary bedrooms
More natural lightMore unique
Larger kitchensMature landscaping
Larger family roomsNo or low HOA dues
Larger master bedrooms
Larger master bathrooms
Walk-in closets
Smooth ceilings
Community pool/area
Home Owners Association


Looking at this chart, you’re probably wondering why anyone would want an older house when you get all of those nice things in a newer house.  There are two big reasons:  Larger lot and more uniqueness.  Planned communities tend to look…planned.  There’s not a whole lot of difference from one house to the next.  For some people, that’s a big turnoff.  They don’t want a house where you need to check the address to make sure you’re not walking into your neighbor’s house.

Lot size is another issue.  When newer communities were planned, builders tended to build as many homes as possible at the expense of the lot size.  To compensate for that, community areas and greenbelts were added which also led to the increase of Home Owners Associations (HOAs). Once again, some people view that as a positive and others as a negative.  Those that like HOAs like the fact that their neighbor can’t paint their house lime green or leave their boat in the driveway.  Others want to paint their house lime green and can’t wait to park their boat in the driveway.  It all depends on what you are looking for.


Plenty of Both Types of Homes in the Conejo Valley

The good news is that the Conejo Valley offers a big selection of both newer and older construction homes.  If you decide you want newer construction, Oak Park and Lang Ranch (In Thousand Oaks) may offer the best selection of homes for you.  If you want a larger lot and less restrictions, areas of Westlake Village and most of Thousand Oaks might make the most sense for you.

Make sure you start your home search with an open mind.  I have had many buyers get into my car thinking they would never go for a planned community and change their mind half way through the day and vice versa.  After a day or so of looking, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what trade offs you are willing to make.


I’d love to help you with your home buying search!


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