Ask the Exceptional Custom Homes Expert – Tyler Lorencz
NEW vs. USED
Home Design: Over time, most homes undergo any number of changes and modifications due to owners adjusting their homes to better suit their needs. While many renovations can be top notch, we have all seen ‘do it yourself specials’, done by amateurs with materials they got on special from many different sources. A new home generally comes with the promise of high quality construction materials, as well as professional workmanship and mandatory new home warranty in most jurisdictions.
Customization: When you work with a builder from the design phase, you get to have a home that is truly a reflection of who you are and how you live. You get to select your flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, colour schemes and so on, and you almost always have options for upgrades and additions. In a used home, you’re a slave to the previous owners’ tastes and decorating budgets – unless your own budget can accommodate a major remodelling.
Safety: New homes today are more fire-safe and are governed by much more strict guidelines and building codes compared to homes built even 10 years ago. New home buyers can rest assured, knowing that their homes are up to code due to third party oversight, especially when it comes to wiring, insulation, and structural integrity.
Energy Efficiency: As energy costs escalate, as well as concerns about the overall health of our planet, the efficiency of the products we use and consume is on the minds of most everyone these days. With improvements in building techniques, as well as the materials, such as windows, heating equipment, appliances, insulation, and other modern technologies, newly constructed homes are as much as 30% more efficient than homes built in past eras.
Maintenance: An older home often comes at the high price of upkeep. Fixtures and building materials may be harder to source or replace and in a busy market place such as Grande Prairie, it is often difficult to find good tradesman to come and do ‘small repairs’. And again, new homes come with a warranty.
Price: While you’ll generally spend less per square foot for an older home, ownership costs are far more predictable in a new home. A new home will require no building code upgrades, no new shingles, or carpet cleaning, or leaky faucet replacement. Base price alone is not a good point of comparison when making a decision as to whether one should buy new or used.