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Newly Built Vs. Previously Owned Homes

There is one area in home buying that many don’t think about, which is whether to build a new house or not. Many people don’t consider building a new home an option. It can seem like the more expensive option, but that’s not always the case.

When purchasing a home, buyers need to start with an open mind about all the possibilities before them. By comparing the pros and cons of each option, they can then narrow down exactly what they are looking for. There are many different factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase a newly built home or previously owned home, so we’ve put together a list to help you get started.

Newly Built Homes


  • Home Warranty – For many, a home warranty is a priceless peace of mind. Imagine purchasing a new home and a month later there is a crack in the foundation. The costs to repair it without warranty could make the home something that’s no longer in your price range. By building a new home, you can skirt that potential added expense.

  • Customization – If you have a specific plan in mind for your new home, being able to customize the layout can be beneficial. Things like how much storage space there is in the kitchen, and how large the linen closet is can play a significant role in your home experience. When you customize, you can speak to your builder about what is most important to you.

  • Energy Efficiency And Modern Conveniences – The age of your furnace and your hot water tank can play a role in how high your bills are. If you’re someone who wants to go green, it’s possible to have a higher efficiency model installed. Keep in mind new homes tend to be more spacious. For example, they will likely have a larger ensuite and more closet space than some older homes will.


  • Potentially Longer Wait Times – If you need to move into a new home right away, waiting for a house to be constructed might not work for you. Unless you’re purchasing a show home as is or a quick possession, you will likely have to wait. But by purchasing a quick possession or show home, you are missing out on the ability for additional customization. When having a new home constructed, you also have to remember that Mother Nature can play a significant role in your wait time.

  • Design Decisions – We’ve all seen the children in candy stores who can’t make up their minds because there are too many options. When you choose to design a home, the choices can be overwhelming. And there will be a lot of them to make, which could lead to burnout. If you and your partner struggle to agree on many things, this could be an added stressor to your relationship.

  • New Neighbourhoods – Building a new home in a neighbourhood that is under construction can lead to some issues. There will be a lot of additional noise during the day as construction crews build other houses. Chances are you won’t be able to get a feel for your neighbours either. And if you have young children, you may have to be extra vigilant to ensure their safety.

Previously Built Homes


  • Move-in Ready – With a previously owned home you can move in as soon as the last owners have left. You won’t have to wait on someone to finish up any little tasks inside. All you’ll need to do is give it a good clean and unpack. You can probably sleep in it the first night you own it. If you’re in a situation where you need a new home in a short timeframe, this would be one of the easier routes to take.

  • Old Neighbourhood Charm – Older neighbourhoods can have character. They have a history and, if they’ve been well looked after, it can be comforting. Sometimes an established neighbourhood can have a tight-knit community which can almost seem like family. When you’re looking at different areas, you can see which places have young children playing, or which ones have retired couples. This will give you an idea of whether your family will fit in.

  • Established Amenities – Well established residential neighbourhoods will have amenities nearby. In a new neighbourhood, many of those amenities may be a bit of a drive away. In ones that are already established, you can sometimes walk to the coffee shop or the grocery store. There will also be reliable bus routes for children attending school. Sometimes the school will be within walking distance.


  • Renovations – When you purchase an older home you will often be faced with some areas that need repairs or maintenance. This can get expensive and time consuming. Ripping out the carpet in a home and replacing it with hardwood is not a task for the faint of heart. Also, you need to consider any additional costs that can come up as you begin your renovations. The costs can spiral quickly.

  • More Maintenance – Chances are if you’re buying a previously owned home, you aren’t getting brand new appliances, brand new shingles, or a brand new furnace. All of these things will give out at some point and it will be up to you, the homeowner, to complete the repairs or hire someone else to do it. Shingles need to be replaced regularly, as do faucets and toilets. In many ways, it could nickel and dime you for quite some time.

  • (Often) More Expensive – Older homes can be more expensive than newer homes for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it has to do with the location. If it’s located in a prime area, the value of the house will increase simply because of where it stands. Other times it can be because the housing market and seller determines the price of the home. You can end up paying far more than it would have cost to build the same house.

At Active Homes, we understand buying a new home is an extremely personal decision. It’s important to us that you are aware of all the different options before settling on one of your largest investments.

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