New vs. Resale – Choosing the Right Home

House Sunset by Tambako
Photo by Tambako

Advantages of Buying a New Home

Whether you're a first time home buyer or have made several purchases in the past, buying a home involves big decisions.  One of them is: should you consider buying a brand new home instead of a home that's been lived in already?

It's estimated that one out of four Canadian home buyers buys a new, custom built home from a builder or a developer instead of purchasing a re-sale home.  Here's why they do it.  New homes allow you to:

  • Express yourself.  A new home hasn't been built yet, which can allow you to choose and/or upgrade just about everything, including:
    • Siding & brick
    • Flooring
    • Cabinets & tile
    • Plumbing and electrical fixtures
    • Décor colors throughout the home
  • Spread out.  Unlike the concrete jungle, new homes often have bigger backyards, larger lots in general, and are located in more of a country setting.
  • Meet people.  Homeowners in newly developed neighbourhoods often enjoy a unique friendship with one another, especially since the new communities are often planned with meeting spaces.  New condo buildings have room for board members so you can get in on managing your community's day to day affairs.
  • Save on renovation costs.  Resale homes can have serious problems if under-qualified past owners have carried out renovations.  New homes on the other hand tend to be built safely, with durable modern materials, and the work is done to code, so repairs and renovations usually don't have to be budgeted for as soon as you move in.
  • Lower your bills.  New homes are often built to superior electrical and energy-efficiency standards compared with older homes.   Depending on the builder, you can ask for state of the art heating and cooling systems, and even upgrade the insulation, windows, doors etc. which will save you money in utility costs down the road.  You will appreciate this whether as an occupant or as a landlord.
  • Stop worrying.  You may have heard of ANHWP, which protects buyers of new homes against major structural defects so if something goes wrong, you're covered.
  • Entertain more.  In new homes, floor plans for the most part are new and contemporary, with a more open plan and larger principal rooms that reflect the way people live today.
  • Have more time to move.  While a re-sale home may close in as little as thirty days, leaving you scrambling to make all the arrangements associated with moving… a new home or condo unit can take several months (or even years!) to finish, which allows you to tie up loose ends while your new property appreciates in value.
  • Get smart.  New homes are more likely to be wired with new technologies in mind, such as multiple phone lines, high-speed Internet connections, state of the art security features and extra cable outlets, even Smart home technology.

Advantages of Buying a Re-Sale Home

Why would you want to buy a house that may have been changing owners for many years?  While a shiny, newly built home has its appeal, there are many excellent reasons for purchasing a re-sale property.  Here are the top reasons why re-sale homes remain at least three times as popular as new ones:

  • Unlike with new home developments, there won't be on-going construction all around you; your home, and the others on the street, is already built
  • Your grass and lawn will already be in, and your driveway will already be paved
  • Your home is likely to have more charm and character than what is found in some cookie-cutter subdivisions
  • Your home will have already 'settled' a long time ago, so you don't have to worry about new cracks and leaks developing in the basement within the first two years which can happen with new homes
  • Closing costs are typically lower for re-sale homes
  • A re-sale home can be fully previewed – not just seen on paper in the form of blueprints, which the builder or sub-contractor might not even stick to
  • You are moving into an established neighbourhood
  • Your home is likely to include most extras already, from drapes to light fixtures
  • Resale homes will often give you far more value than a brand new home because previous owners may have put tens of thousands of dollars into home improvements ranging from landscaping to a dug-out, waterproofed, finished basement

While Calgary Real Estate™ does cooperate with builders to sell new homes.  For the most part, we help our buyers find lovely re-sale homes.  In northwest Calgary, buyers enjoy the best of both worlds, because most re-sale homes are still quite new (built less than 30 years ago) so they meet modern standards for comfort, quality and design, while retaining some character and avoiding some of the pitfalls of custom built homes.

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