Resale, New Construction, or Custom Built: Which Home is Right For You?

Finding the home that is right for you and your family can be a challenging process. This is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make and you want it to be perfect. There are so many things to consider when in the market for a home but one of the most important is whether you would like to buy a new home, a resale home, or custom build your own. Each has its own pros and cons that must be considered. Whatever you decide, a Realtor can assist you with every step of the buying process. Here are some important factors to consider:

Resale Homes:

Location: Resale homes are generally in established neighbourhoods with established services such as transit, recreation, and shopping.  Resale homes in older neighbourhoods tend to have a “mixed bag of residents” from young families to senior citizens which can be a pro or a con depending on what you are looking for.

Cost: The purchase price of a resale home tends to be a little cheaper by the square foot but there are other costs to consider. Older homes may have more ongoing maintenance issues to take care of such as roofs, windows, and heating systems. Any renovations that you may need to do to help the home suit your style and needs will also add an extra cost.  One major advantage to resale homes is that the price is negotiable between the buyer and the seller so if you do notice any major needed repairs you may be able to negotiate the price to allow for them within your budget.

Time: The closing date of a resale home is negotiated between the buyer and seller and is agreed upon at the time of purchase. It can be as soon or as far away as the two parties agree upon. The fact that this date is set makes planning and preparations easier.

New Construction Homes:

Location: Most new construction communities are built around the outskirts of the city in suburbs and bedroom communities. While the services may not be established right away, when they do come along, they will be brand new and possibly worth the wait but for the time-being you may need to drive to neighbouring communities to shop and attend recreation facilities. Because of marketing strategies used by builders, new construction communities tend to be more homogeneous.

Cost: The price of a new home is generally not negotiable with the builder but you are buying a brand new home with warranties to protect you. You will have a brand new roof, furnace, and windows so those should not be major expenses in the near future. You will however need to consider a few additional costs if you are buying a new home; HST is added to the purchase price of new homes and you may be surprised by some of the things that are not included in the purchase price; for example, eavestroughs are not often included in new homes.

Time: New construction homes tend to have closing dates further into the future and they are not guaranteed until a few months before; most will have multiple dates as “back ups” just in case the builder is unable to complete the home in time. A longer closing can be great for saving and budgeting.


Custom Built Homes:

Location: Since you are buying the lot before building the home, you are able to choose the location. If you are looking for a central location within the city with services and amenities, this can be more challenging as you may need to tear down an existing structure which is an added cost and you will need to work within the restrictions of the existing community. Lots on the outskirts provide more property but you may not be serviced.

Cost: This is more than likely the most expensive option. “It’s true the buyer gets what they want, although those options come with a higher price tag.”  Smaller home builders are also less likely to receive the same bulk rates as larger companies so the building materials may also be more expensive. You will also need to budget for glitches and problems which may see the price rise even more.

Time:  The timeline of custom built homes tends to be the longest. First you will need to buy a property and go through that entire process before you can even begin to build. The timeline of building your home will be established by you and your builder. You will need to allow extra time just in case any unforeseen problems arise. You will also need to keep in mind that you will need somewhere to live while your home is being built so you will be paying for two properties at once.