The consideration of buying a new house from a builder versus buying a house from the retail market can come from personal preference, or may be budgetary, or may stem from some related decision, such as the desire to purchase based on location. In any event, it helps to know what to expect in order to make the most informed decision.
Buying a New Home from a Builder
The most obvious benefit of a new home is the newness. Because all of the components are freshly installed and new, people often invest in a new home for the peace of mind of knowing that significant, costly repairs will likely not be required for years to come. If for some reason major repairs are required, they are usually covered by the new home warranty. Another perk of buying a new home, is the ability to adjust the layout of the house, depending on the stage of construction at which you purchase the home.
There are some drawbacks with new home ownership, however. For example, unless your contract states otherwise, most new construction homes are often bare bones in terms of upgrades and come with builder-grade products that use cheaper materials and are lower quality. Basic features such as light switch covers, toilet paper holders, shower rods/doors, bathroom mirrors and garage door openers are often not included in the price of a new build. Whenever you buy a newly built home, you should also be prepared that there could be construction delays. Even once you move in, elements of construction might be unfinished such as the sodding and driveway. The neighbourhood itself may also be unfinished requiring you to live in what can feel like a construction zone.
By involving your real estate lawyer early in the process, your Legal Sherpa® can ensure the conditions of the contract are clear and unambiguous so you know exactly what to expect when you take ownership.
Buying a Resale House
There are many benefits to buying a previously loved home. Many people prefer the character and charm of an older home. And unlike buying a house from the developer, resale homes often include many extras like landscaping, fencing, finished basements and if you’re lucky, a swimming pool. Resale homes are also often in established neighbourhoods with mature trees and easy access to amenities. Maybe one of the biggest perks of buying a previously owned home is not having to pay HST.
On the flip side, when you buy a previously owned home, you inherit the good and the bad. Older homes typically require more maintenance as older items break or wear out and may require renovations, large repairs or replacements on costly items such as the roof, foundation, furnace, air conditioning, and major appliances. For this reason, home inspections are always advisable, whether buying new or resale, but they are especially important for older homes. Beyond major faults, there is also simple wear and tear on surfaces and components. Older homes also tend to be less energy-efficient, which makes them more costly to operate on a daily basis.
Buying a home on the retail market can come with a wide variety of questions and concerns. Your Legal Sherpa® has answers to your questions, knows the potential hazards involved in this type of purchase, and has the experience and expertise to help you avoid them.