Buying a House: New vs. Old

  August 16, 2017   Brian Willis

In the past, newly built homes cost more than older houses. But that’s not the case anymore. With the increasing cost of land, homes are not built in smaller, less expensive lots, allowing new home builders to sell them at rates similar to older properties. This is why home buyers now have more options when it comes to owning a house. But which one should you choose?

New vs. Old

To come up with the best decision and ensure that you will get the best value for your money, it’s a must that you compare all pros and cons and consider all possible factors. Here are some of the things you should look into when choosing between a new home design and a resale house.

Pros and cons of a newly built house

PROS

  1. Little to no maintenance needed – a new house design will be constructed with new and sturdier materials. It will also be equipped with new appliances, which means that repairs and renovations won’t be needed for a long time.  

  1. New home warranty – in Canada, newly constructed houses are protected under warranty. The kinds of homes that are covered by this insurance include single family properties, duplexes, condominiums, manufactured homes, multi-family homes, and recreational properties. Your newly built house can be given 1-year coverage for labour and materials and 10 years for major structural components.  

  1. Energy efficiency – most new constructions are already equipped with solar panels or other energy-saving measures, like insulations and HVAC systems. This ensures that you can save money on utility costs.

CONS

  1. Immature vegetation – typically, you won’t find lots of new homes with mature trees in the yard. The cost of landscaping could also prevent new homeowners from maintaining their lawn.

  1. Settling or shrinking – new houses are prone to settling because cracks in the wood framing make the foundation shrink as it loses water. This can also happen in concrete, which could shrink 1/16 of an inch after one year.

  1. Similar floor plans – a lot of new home designs look a lot the same. If you don’t want a house that conforms to the rest of the neighborhood, then this option isn’t for you.

Pros and cons of a resale home

PROS

  1. Better quality – older homes have stood for years, and have weathered many storms, which means that you can expect the foundation to be exceptionally sturdy.

  1. Landscaped yards – most resale houses were built on larger lots, which gives owners more space to accommodate gardens, driveways, garages, decks, and more.

  1. Established neighborhood – older homes are usually built in more established areas with stricter zoning rules. This means that establishments that are not appropriate for children are nowhere near your place. Aside from that, resale homes are usually built in areas near the downtown.

  1. More character and style – if you’re looking for a particular style, say a Mediterranean themed home, you can be sure to find exactly what you want if you look into real estate listings of old properties.

CONS

  1. More maintenance – because resale houses are usually older, there will always be something to fix after you’ve moved in. Tiles, flooring, and cabinets, for example, may need to be repaired after a few years. Sewer, wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems may also be older, which could be expensive to update or replace.  

  1. Higher energy consumption – some older houses don’t have energy certifications, especially those that have been constructed some decades ago. Retrofitting eco-friendly systems would often times be costly because of how resale homes were designed.

  1. Resale value – 5- to 10-year old properties are more desirable to buyers. So, if you are planning to resell in the future, a newly built house would have more resale value than those that are 15 to 25 years old.

Given all the advantages and disadvantages of both options, you’ll now be able to narrow down your choices. The key to success, though, is seeking professional help. If you are to go for a new house building, it’s best to talk to a seasoned company that offers house and land packages.

But if you are to choose a resale home, it would be wise to speak to an established real estate agent, like Brian Willis. This way, you can be sure that he will help you choose the best house that not only fits your budget but also meets your needs and expectations.