A New Home Versus A Resale Home: The Pros And Cons
When buying a home, one of the most common dilemmas people face is whether to buy a resale or a brand-new home. Naturally, new homes will look more modern and offer a ton of upgraded features, but resale homes can have a lot of character and tend to be a little more affordable. Which is better?
Because both new and resale homes equally have their merits, we’ve put together this handy pros and cons list. After reading through the advantages and disadvantages of each, you’ll have a better idea of which type of home will be best for you.
New Home Pro: A selection of options such as flexible down payments, builder incentives and a stable home market mean you can get a new home at a price you can afford.
New Home Con: Depending on the home style you’re looking for, you’ll probably be looking at a higher price point than a resale property.
Resale Pro: Resales often come at a lower price point and, depending on the market, costs may be negotiated with the seller.
Resale Con: While an older home may appear ultra-affordable upfront, it can come with a heftier price tag down the line as resale homes usually require renovations or repairs.
New Home Pro: New homes always come with the latest features and building trends, even if you choose the base model. New home builds come with the latest energy-efficient systems – including your hot water tank, HVAC, furnace, thermostat, and more. Some new home builds also come with high-end security features as standard, including automated lighting, smart home systems, nest cameras, and even smart locks.
New Home Con: Any additional features or upgrades will probably cost more. For example, a standard model may come with laminate countertops, but if you’d prefer quartz, you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
Resale Pro: Sellers looking to make a larger profit on their home will invest in new upgrades and features to attract buyers.
Resale Con: More often than not, you’ll come across outdated features and designs. You may end up paying more to update the resale home. If you’re lucky enough to find a resale with updated features, remember that these will be factored into the overall price of the home.
New Home Pro: One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a brand new home is the overall reduced maintenance, as everything is brand-new and usually covered by a warranty. Modern home systems and appliances are more energy-efficient than ever. This, in combination with up-to-date technology, guarantees a longer lifespan and a major reduction in your utility bills. With a new home, you also have low-maintenance building materials, so here too, the very materials used to build your home are guaranteed timesavers.
New Home Con: You’ll still need to keep up with yard work, shovelling snow, mowing the lawn, etc.
Resale Pro: The previous owner may include updated features and finishes saving you on maintenance in the long run.
Resale Con: Resale homes are more likely to come with maintenance issues – both seen and unseen. You may be able to negotiate the purchase price with the seller if, for example, it’s obvious the flooring is lifting around the bathtub. However, it’s hard to tell what you’re getting into. Unforeseen maintenance and repairs can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.
New Home Pro: Depending on the province you live in, your new home may come with a mandatory warranty.
New Home Con: Not everything will be covered by warranty. A good builder will be sure to explain your home warranty in detail when you purchase a new home.
Resale Pro: Unfortunately, the majority of resale homes will not have a warranty, so there is no “pro” in this regard.
Resale Con: A resale home guarantees the warranty coverage is at least partly expired if there is any at all.
New Home Pro: New home builds and move-in ready homes guarantee a better return on your investment.
New Home Con: If you’re looking to really boost the value of your new home purchase, you may have to sink a little extra into upgrades, features, and finishes to get the biggest return on your investment.
Resale Pro: A resale that has been updated in terms of features, finishes, and functionality will maintain a higher value and may cost less than a new build.
Resale Con: Even if it has been updated, chances are you’ll have to put forth a little extra at the time of moving in or at the time of sale to get top value for an older house.
New Home Pro: Homebuilders make a point to build in the best new developments. They understand access to shopping, schools, entertainment, commuter roads, services and other important amenities are of top priority to homeowners. You’ll also have your pick of a home model and community without having to sacrifice one for the other.
New Home Con: You may have to deal with a bit of construction around your new home until the surrounding neighbourhood catches up. Keep in mind though, that this ongoing development will increase the value of your property over time.
Resale Pro: Resales can often be found in already established communities with well-founded amenities.
Resale Con: Selection is often limited and you may find yourself having to sacrifice the home you love for the community you want or vice-versa.
When it comes down to it, only you can make the best decision for you and your family as to which home is best for you. Making the decision between new versus resale all depends on what your priorities are, but it’s good to be aware of the things you’ll need to look out for as you make your choice.
Originally published Mar 8, 2020, updated Mar 2, 2021