New Build vs. Resale

Did you know that 25% of all Home Buyers purchase a Brand New Home?  With the amount of newly constructed homes going on here in Milton (and of course the MANY more to come) and surrounding areas, many of you may be struck with the question of "do you buy a New Build or a Resale home"?  The answer is going to be a very personal one.  Everyone will have their own reasons for whichever they choose.  If you're not sure which is right for you? Here are 10 points to consider:

Character: Older homes tend to be celebrated for character and (depending on age) quality of workmanship. However, if layout or features aren't exactly to your liking, renovations are a consideration. You have limitations as many walls are fixed and it's very costly to reconfigure.  With a new home you build it the way you want it.

Customize: The great thing about a new build is you can customize everything -- from cabinets to floors to paint and window coverings. When you take possession your home will be in move-in condition. On the downside, you're not supposed to wallpaper for a year or finish your basement for the first three years.

Costs: With resale homes you go in expecting to negotiate price, but there is little wiggle room with most new builds. And, the starting price is just that -- a starting price.  Standard materials tend to be on the cheaper side, so if you want to make your new build truly your own, you'll want upgrades for which you'll pay a premium. Also ask your builder about extra costs like Tree Planting, Driveway Paving, Utility hook ups...etc.

Know thy builder: Some of the builders go out of their way to please clients because they know what goes around comes around; some use cheap materials and cut corners. Research your builder and ask what they'll do for you and what they won't.

Green: New homes are often more energy efficient due to construction technology, as well as updated heating and cooling systems. In addition, layouts, such as laundry facilities on the second floor or walk-in closets, tend to better suit today's lifestyles.

Value: Older homes offer mature trees and landscaping. The fence is already built and the home will likely come with other upgrades, such as a garage door opener, outdoor lighting, walkways, window coverings, and perhaps a pool or air conditioning. The previous owners may well have put tens of thousands into home improvements so you won't have to. With new homes, yards and green spaces will initially be quite sparse. Greening the exterior may require substantial investment and it could take several years to look the way you want.

Lot size: Typically, homes in new subdivisions have smaller lots than those built several decades ago. When you buy from a plan you don't get a sense of how close neighbours will be or even the grading in your backyard. Another consideration when buying from a plan is that different elevations can cause changes to the floor plan.

Neighbourhoods: Usually with an established home you're buying into a neighbourhood with a distinct personality and reputation. You know what you're getting in terms of demographics, schools, shops and amenities. With a new neighbourhood you don't know the dynamics -- it takes a while and you may not like how things shape up. People come first so there are not a lot of amenities in the beginning. New subdivisions are usually pre-zoned for schools, recreation centres, shopping centres and parks. Check the fine print to get an idea of how yours will develop

Waiting: Moving into a resale home usually involves a set 30 to 90 day wait, while a new build can drag on. This is something to consider when securing a mortgage. If new construction closes beyond 120 days there is no mortgage interest rate guarantee, so there's a bit of a risk and buyers may end up with a higher rate. Some builders have on-site banking reps who offer guaranteed rate caps, however these tend to be a little higher than what you'd secure through a mortgage broker.

Stages: When buying a new house, look into the number of phases planned and when they are to be completed. If you're among the first to buy, expect to be living in a construction zone with dust, dirt and noise. If possible, buy later in the development once builders have ironed out any issues.

Lisa Roach

Lisa Roach

CENTURY 21 Future Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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