When you\’re in the market to purchase a home, you will inevitably be faced with the question, “do we go old or new?”
While each structural type has its own unique pros and cons, ultimately the decision comes down to personal preference. That said, we still think it\’s prudent to peruse both types of dwelling before settling on a final bid.
Most new homes today are built in a development that has a unified style, although you can customize the look and layout to an extent. Some developments are small, or can be filled with dozens if not hundreds of homes.
A huge benefit opting for a new build is that you can guarantee the home will be built to meet the latest codes and standards set out by the Ontario Building Code and National Building Code of Canada, which is an important safety consideration, as well as great for future renovations or if you plan on selling down the line. New home builds also tend to have modern styling and are built with energy efficiency in mind.
Though a new home build may be more expensive than resale homes of a similar size, you\’re getting a turn-key property, often already built to your specifications, that won\’t need any structural upgrades and will be cheaper to maintain and operate.
A downfall for many people, however, is the cookie cutter design of new home build communities, as a set number of facades offer less character and charm than a resale home in an established neighbourhood. There will also be less room for negotiating the asking price.
The first thing a prospective homeowners notices about an older home for sale is the charm and character, and it becomes easy to romanticize living in a red-brick structure with existing wood floors, crown moulding and the cute details that make older homes so covetable among buyers.
When it comes to neighbourhood and style, your choices aren\’t as limited when looking at older homes versus new, as availability of size, style, and plot varies greatly. And whether demand is high or low, price is always negotiable.
Unfortunately, buying an older home may mean buying someone else\’s problems, since, as time goes by, materials and appliances wear down and wear out. It\’s important and highly recommended to have a building inspector (or two!) walk through the house to look for structural or other damages that may end up costing you big. Even a thorough inspection may not uncover all the problems associated with an old house, like leaking or blocked pipes or a shifting foundation. Always expect the unexpected.
In addition, older homes may also be less energy efficient, and may need a little (or a lot, depending) work to improve this. There\’s a good chance you may have to replace existing appliances, and even do renovations to improve or update the kitchen or bathroom, or finish a basement.
At the end of the day, it is not possible to definitively say which style of house is a better purchase. How can you tell what\’s right for you? If when you walk into a house and it just feels like home, you have your answer.