One of the first decisions Canadian home buyers face is whether to purchase an existing home or a newly constructed one. While obvious reasons may exist for choosing one over the other, such as buying a new home because it has never been occupied or choosing an existing home to save some money, the ultimate decision may rest on other important factors.
If you are considering the purchase of your next home home and are unsure of whether to focus on new construction or the existing homes market, the following information will help you make the right choice for your home buying situation
Is Location a Deal-Breaker?
While new home communities typically offer newly constructed roads that are a joy to drive on, these homes may not well-located for the use of certain amenities, such as public transportation and shopping that can be done on foot. Existing homes, especially those is older areas often offer more convenient access to shopping, public transportation, and other needs and wants. Before making a final decision on buying a new home or an existing one, make sure to factor in your family's actual daily schedules and activities and make sure that any home you decide to pursue will meet those needs easily.
How Much Home Maintenance is Acceptable?
Another factor to consider when purchasing a home is to decide what level of home maintenance is comfortable for your skills and budget. In most cases, a well built, newly constructed home should offer a decade or more of trouble-free occupancy. However, an existing home that has been properly cared for, updated, and maintained may also offer a relatively trouble free occupancy for several years after purchase. Before deciding whether to go with a new home or an existing one based on potential maintenance needs, buyers should first consider:
- Whether the builder is including a builder's warranty on the new home and if so, is it one that will cover the whole house or one that is more limited in scope
- The results of an in-depth home inspection for the existing home
- The buyer's ability to perform home maintenance tasks and make at least some basic repairs
- The buyer's expected budget for maintenance for the foreseeable future
Buying an existing home can offer a significant savings. However, buyers should always look at the purchase prices along with the cost of any expected repairs, updating, or maintenance to determine if the savings is enough to offset these costs. If not, the new home may well be the better choice.
Is an Established Lawn Important?
Since new homes are typically built on freshly cleared lots, a decision to purchase one usually means forfeiting mature trees and well-established lawns. In addition, new homes (and those built in the last decade or so) may also be built on much smaller lots than older homes located in well-established neighbourhoods filled with large yards, mature landscaping and plenty of room for kids and pets to play. Buyers who plan to spend much of their time outdoors should pay particular attention to the lawn size and condition to help them make the best choice for their situation.
For more assistance in making the right choice between a newly constructed home and an existing one, buyers should take time to discuss their situation with their real estate professional before beginning their search. Their agent will be able to help them use information about their housing budget and market trends, as well as other important factors, to determine which one will be the best possible choice.
By Justin Havre