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January 12, 2001

Old versus new - which house is best for you

Are you in the market for a home? If so, how do you envision your ideal abode? Do you picture yourself in a cozy character home with ornate decor? Or does the image of a brand new home built with today's state-of-the-art technology beckon? Your decision, to a large extent, will be determined by your lifestyle and as a matter of compromise.

As you start looking for a home, you will want to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you match your preferences with the benefits of old versus new homes.

Advantages of an older home

  • You can see exactly what you are getting and don't have to try and picture the completed house from a set of blueprints.
  • Improvements have been made by the previous owner(s).
  • The house has been "shaken down" — structural faults are clearly seen and can be or have been corrected.
  • The neighbourhood is fully built up and its character has been established; there are existing recreation areas and a variety of local services. Landscaping is in place and trees are mature.
  • There are generally fewer immediate move-in costs with an older home, because basic features like drapery tracks (and sometimes window coverings) are already installed. And chattels, such as special lighting fixtures, are often included in the sale.

Advantages of a new home

  • You can choose from a model house or a custom-built home design
  • You have much more flexibility 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.
  • With most new homes, you generally get much more storage space (such as closets) and larger rooms.
  • Today's minimum standards for plumbing, electrical, insulation and heating systems are higher than ever before.

These are only a few of the advantages to consider when determining your preference over old versus new homes. By speaking with a REALTOR® who regularly consults with individuals evaluating their home choices, you can narrow your search and focus on the style of home that best suites you.