New and existing home have distinctive appeals

New and existing home have distinctive appeals

HOMEFINDER: Buying an old home versus new: the pros and cons

A few things to consider when buying a new or old home

Are you in the market for a home?

If so, do you see yourself in a cozy character home with ornate fireplaces, or does the image of a brand new home with today’s state-of-the-art technology appeal to you?

Either way, you will find the rewards of buying your own home are many. The security, comfort and peace of mind you get from home ownership, regardless of your preference for old or new, are well worth the investment.

Look and compare

As you start searching for a home, it’s a good idea to enlist the services of a licensed real estate agent. Realtors have access to the MLS system and can help narrow the search by providing you with a list of available properties in the price range and location that suits you.

Your selection, to a large extent, will be determined by your lifestyle and in most cases becomes a matter of compromise.

For instance, you may find an older home that needs some renovation work, but this may not necessarily fit into your budget plans or your schedule. On the other hand, you may find a new home attractive but would have to spend extra money on landscaping and installing some of the amenities that may be a part of the package in an older home.

One thing you’ll want to think about when considering a brand new neighbourhood, says Jason Leslie with Re/Max Camosun, is what the future holds in terms of development in the area and the potential loss of the existing views.

Advantages of an older home

With an older home, you can see exactly what you are getting — structural faults are generally easier to see and can be or have been corrected. The character of the neighborhood is established and a variety of local services is usually available.

In addition, the landscaping around the home has already been completed.

There are generally fewer move-in costs because basic features like drapery tracks are already installed. Chattels, such as special lighting fixtures, are often included in the sale of an older home.

As Leslie points out, not everyone is interested in a smart home with tens of thousands of dollars of technology built in.

That said, many technologies can be retrofitted into older homes.

“There’s lots of cost savings today that people can integrate into new houses, like tankless hot water heaters, heat pumps and other things,” he said.

Advantages of a new home

A brand new home also has advantages. You have much more flexibility with a new home in customizing your decor and landscaping to suit your tastes. You get fresh, unblemished walls and you can usually choose the type of flooring, carpeting and cupboards that you want.

You usually get much more storage space (such as closets) and larger rooms. In addition, today’s minimum standards for plumbing, electrical, insulation and heating systems are higher than ever before.

On the flip side of technology, Leslie says the affordability factor of integrating into newer is “one of the advantages of new construction.”

– Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board