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Buying a New House VS. Buying an Older Home

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Buyers looking for homes for sale in Nanaimo BC have the choice of buying a new house or buying an older home. Here are some of the pros and cons to think about when deciding whether to buy new or purchase an older home in Nanaimo.

Pros to buying an older home

Genuine craftsmanship: Older homes don’t look exactly like the one next door. Some have been around for decades and were built by real craftsman with an attention to detail.

Larger lots: As housing construction costs have gone up, lot sizes have gone down. But not so with older homes – they were built years ago on larger lots when land was cheaper.

Established neighborhood: Older neighborhoods with long-term neighbors that know each other is another advantage of buying an older home. Oftentimes, older homes have been passed down from one generation to the next with families knowing one another.

Drawbacks to buying an older home

More maintenance & repairs: Sometimes older homes for sale in Nanaimo BC require more regular maintenance work. Things can go wrong more often, and it might seem like there is always something that needs to be fixed.

Smaller & less storage space: Older homes weren’t always built to store all of the ‘stuff’ that people have nowadays. Homeowners from a generation ago had less clothing, fewer personal things, and usually only one car.

Potentially more expensive: older homes can sometimes cost more due to their premium locations in established neighborhoods close to schools, transportation, and shopping.

Advantages to buying a new home

Modern features & conveniences: such as built-in dishwashers, high-end refrigerators and stoves, wine coolers, spacious master bath suites, workout rooms, and wiring systems networked throughout the entire house.

Energy efficient: buying a new home offers new appliances using less electricity, well-insulated walls, ceiling, and floors, and dual pane windows that keep heat inside in the winter and warm air outside in the summer.

Builder’s warranty: new homes in Nanaimo often come with a multi-year warranty from the builder who stands behind the structure of the home and the systems inside such as the air conditioning and furnace.

Cons to buying a new home

Little or no landscaping vegetation: it can take years for trees to grow and provide shelter and shade. Oftentimes new homeowners leave landscaping the front and back yard for last, making a new home neighborhood feel barren.

Similar floorplans: new home builders save money by constructing tract homes with similar floor plans. Houses in newly built neighborhoods tend to look all the same and lack the individuality that helps create pride in owning your own home.

Settling issues: new homes in Nanaimo go through a settling process regardless of the type of soil they’re built on. Potential issues caused by settling can include cracks in the foundation, interior and exterior wall cracks, and out-of-alignment door frames with doors that won’t stay closed. Even with a builder’s warranty, builders are sometimes slow to response to repair requests.

Other things to think about

There’s no one-size-fits all answer when choosing between buying an older home in Nanaimo or a new one. There are pros and cons to each, and what’s right for you might be completely wrong for somebody else.

Here are a few other things to think about when deciding between a new home and an older home:

  • Can you afford a new home? While new homes come with potentially fewer issues, they also tend to run higher in price than older homes.
  • Are you a weekend warrior handyman? Even the best of older homes require routine maintenance and repairs. If you’d rather spend your weekends watching the big game or getting together with friends and family, buying a new home might be the better choice.
  • Will appreciation be the same? Older homes have a track record that shows how much they’ve increased in value over time. On the other hand, buying a new home might be a gamble because there’s no history of how the equity has grown.
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