The Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Sale Home


July 22, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Sale Home Featured Image

As you look at your different options for buying a brand-new home, you’ll find you have two major choices: pre-sale homes and quick possession homes. A quick possession home is already built or nearing completion, while a pre-sale home hasn’t been built yet.

Pre-sale homes are what people usually think of first when they think about brand-new homes, and there are a lot of benefits that come with buying a pre-sale home. However, there are also a few disadvantages you should take into consideration as well.

Ready to learn more to decide whether a pre-sale home is right for you? Keep reading!

Pro: The Opportunity to Choose All the Little Details

This is probably the main reason why you’re thinking about a pre-sale home in the first place. You want a home with the exact look you’ve been dreaming about. 

When you buy a pre-sale home, you get to pick things like the colour palette, the flooring, and the cabinet styles you want. This means you won’t be settling on any details when it comes to the actual look of the home. It’s hard to get that amount of personalization in a quick possession home and even harder when you look at resale properties.

Free Guide: New Home Versus Resale: The Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Sale Home Kitchen Image

Con: The Opportunity to Choose All the Little Details

Surprisingly, the thing that initially excites people about buying a pre-sale home is also the thing they later find to be a big frustration! Yes, you get to pick out all of the design details, but there’s a lot that goes into the design of your new home. 

You’re not just picking a colour for the walls, you’re deciding between two slightly different shades of white for the ceiling. You’re also deciding on outlet covers, cabinets, flooring, and insulation. As time goes on, all of these decisions can feel overwhelming and a quick possession home can sound more appealing because you have less to worry about.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Sale Home Dining Room Image

Pro: You Get To Choose Your Lot

Along with choosing the details of the home itself, those who choose pre-sale homes can also choose the lot on which they build in the community they want.

What difference does this make?

First, some lots have features or locations that are more attractive than others. For instance, you might want a pie-shaped lot at the end of a cul de sac, which will be larger and have less traffic. Or you might prefer a lot that’s next to – or far away from – the community playground or have quick access to the walking trails. 

Additionally, new communities often have specific guidelines on exterior design based on location. Typically, homes that are close to one another cannot have the same colours or elevation (“look”). If you have specific ideas about the way you want your home to appear on the outside, having the first choice of lot is key.

Con: Longer Time Frame

Of course, having so much control over the design of your home means you have to wait for it to be built. It typically takes around 9 to 12 months to build a pre-sale home from the date that the purchase contract is signed.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has slowed things down slightly. If you need to move into your new home soon, then a pre-sale home might not be the right choice for you. Instead, consider a quick possession home.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Pre-Sale Home Great Room Image

Pro: Ability to Customize to Your Needs

With a customized pre-sale home, you often have the opportunity to include special features in the layout of the home. Some of the most sought-after designs we see include mudrooms, second-floor laundry rooms, spice kitchens, and finished basements. If anything like this is a requirement for your family, you may have a hard time finding it in resale or quick possession homes. With a pre-sale, you get exactly what you need.

Con: Fluctuating Costs of Customization

Whether we’re talking about pre-sale homes or quick possession homes, one of the biggest benefits is being able to know exactly what you’re getting for a certain price.

With a pre-sale home, the price depends on the choices you make. Certain customizations cost more than others, and as you start to build the home you really want, the cost can increase. If you’re on a limited budget, this can be quite stressful. 

On the other hand, if you’re strict about your budget, you can work with the builder to create the home you want within your budget. The best way to avoid sticker shock is to determine ahead of time what you want in a home, then ask for a quote from the builder based on those specifications.

Pre-sale homes are the right choice for those who aren’t looking to make any compromises on their dream home. If you find that some of the disadvantages don’t work for you, though, the good news is you have some solutions. Talk to one of our Area Managers to see all the options you have for getting into a home that fits your family’s needs.

Click here to download your free New Home Versus Resale Home guide today! 

Photo credits: depositphotos.com
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About the Author:


At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers.



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