There are advantages and disadvantage to buying a new home or an existing home.  Here’s a rundown of considerations to find the best fit for your lifestyle and budget.

New Home

Pros:

  • More of your preferences are in place from the outset as you choose details such as layout and materials from siding to flooring, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures. ??
  • Up-to-date with the latest building codes/standards.
  • New furnaces, roofing tiles, electrical and plumbing means a more energy efficient home that translates into lower utility costs over the long run.
  • Comes with builder’s warranty, just in case a major system such as plumbing or heating breaks down.

Cons:

  • Neighbourhood amenities like schools, recreation, health and financial services, entertainment and shopping may not be complete for years. ??
  • Harmonized Sales Tax added to price tag but rebates may be available to you on homes under $450,000.
  • Extra costs may apply for items such as a fireplace, landscaping, or paving the driveway.
  • A new home typically costs about 20 per cent more than a comparable resale home.
  • You’ll have to wait for the house to settle, about one year, before painting the interior the colours you love. At that time the builder will do a ‘walk through’ looking for signs of settlement such as minor cracks and nail pops, and make necessary touch ups.

Resale Home

Pros:

  • Closer proximity to everyday services such as schools, recreation, health and financial services, entertainment shopping and other services. ??
  • Mature trees, landscaping, fencing and patios are typically already in place.
  • Details such as millwork, fireplaces, finished basements or swimming pools are included in the sale price. ??
  • No HST (unless the house has been renovated substantially).
  • Older homes often have the advantage of being built entirely of brick and are already settled.

Cons:

  • Possible redecorating and renovations to suit your lifestyle and tastes
  • Major repairs may be necessary, depending on the age of the established home.  About eight-to-12 year-old homes typically require updated water heaters, appliances, heating and air-conditioning systems and maybe even structural improvements.

For resale buyers, get a thorough home inspection done before the deal is sealed, and for new home buyers do your homework on the builder to ensure the company is a reputable one.