You’ve decided it’s time to move and buy a house. Perhaps this is your first house, or maybe you’re just looking for a change. Whatever the reason may be, there is a choice to be made: new home or pre-owned home. You may think this is a somewhat trivial question and that the only factors that are important are the location, the price, and the aesthetics. However, there are some fundamental differences between a new versus a pre-owned home that ought to be factored into your buying decision.
Pros of a Pre-Owned Home
The right pre-owned home can offer character and style that may not be found in some in a newer home. What defines this character will obviously vary from person to person.
Pre-owned homes could have a lower price point, but this depends largely on the location and the condition of the house. Building standards of newer homes are higher and as such, the price may reflect that.
Re-sale value (if “antique”)
If well maintained, re-sale value could appreciate due to the increasing rarity of the property you own. It is important to keep in mind that the housing market will also heavily factor in on re-sale value.
Cons of a Pre-Owned Home
Obviously, you’d have no way of knowing what happened in the house before you moved in. Quite often a previous owner deemed him/herself a master handyman and completed a few renovations based on their own standards. There may not have been an application for permits, leaving you stuck with extra costs and a junction box that resembles Medusa.
This is one of the biggest concerns in buying a pre-owned home. There’s no way of knowing what defects may be found after purchase, whether it is one day or 100 days after move-in. You may have had a full inspection, but internal damage, infestations, or other unknowns may not be apparent until after your purchase date.
Need to Upgrade
Even if your home was built in 2001, architectural and aesthetic styles have changed, and technologies have changed. If you want the perfect home, there will be upgrades that you need to make. For example, you may find it in your better interest financially to upgrade your furnace to something more energy efficient.
Lack of Customization
Any customizations you want to make will need to be done at a later date and at a higher price.
The sale price may seem nicer, but once all the upgrades and hidden defects are accounted for, you may find yourself having to dish out a considerably larger amount of money than you had initially anticipated.
Never assume that the re-sale value will go up. In many cases it does just the opposite. Keeping things in working order and maintained as well as refreshing the style from time to time will help with re-sale, but the market value plays a significant role in the re-sale value of homes.
Pros of a New Home
More Environmentally Friendly
Higher building standards means better materials, higher efficiency, and less wasted energy. In addition, energy efficient appliances, including furnaces, have become the standard.
Higher Building Standards
This is closely related to the previous point. Material quality is constantly being improved, which not only means better energy efficiency, but better durability and strength, which translates to better savings for you overall.
Choose colours, finishes appliances, landscaping etc. to suit you and your style.
Not always the case, but typically when you buy a new home you are buying in a new neighbourhood as well. This means newer roads, new quality infrastructure, new parks and green space, and typically increased walkability. It is becoming increasingly popular to incorporate environmental reserves into new neighbourhoods, and it has been standard for some time now to include numerous trails and bike lanes throughout newer neighbourhoods.
The price will be more flexible as you get to choose the price based on the square footage, lot size, neighbourhood and customizations you make.
Being that your new home will be up to code and have the latest and greatest technological advancements, your resale value will probably be higher than some of the pre-owned options you were considering.
Cons of a New Home
It’s possible that your new home may not show that antique character you were looking for. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Customization options make certain aesthetic preferences attainable. There are always other ways to bring in old-world charm.
Price can be tricky because it depends on so much. It is important to consider that higher building standards, as well as a stronger emphasis on sustainability, may translate into a larger upfront cost for you. However, this may be seen as an investment. A new home will save you money down the road as less energy will be wasted and less maintenance will be required.
When it comes to making the choice between a new and pre-owned home, it depends where your priorities lie. Overall, there are more benefits to buying new in terms of sustainability, long-term financial savings, structural quality, and overall efficiency.
If you’d like to ask us any specific questions regarding a new versus a pre-owned home, please feel free to visit one of our show homes, or contact an area manager directly.