Home & Garden

Old house vs New house?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 12th, 2012 1:37 pm
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2007
932 posts

Old house vs New house?

What did you buy and why?

I bought a new construction home. I like the neighborhood, the freedom to choose finishes, the fact that new houses are more efficient.
75 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2008
1624 posts
both have +/-

i bought old because its
- cheaper (usualy)
- bigger lot (usualy)
- established neighborhood (full grown trees etc)
- can see the problems (most) at purchase (no settling etc to deal with)

i could see buying new for the
- no big maint for a bit
- warrenty
- get to choose the layout
- knowing no one else has been there before you.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 26, 2009
625 posts
We are building new; our home will be ready next year. We opted to go new because we like the look and feel of a new home, we like that we can pick everything out ourselves, and we like that the roof, furnace, etc are all new.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Oct 10, 2006
164 posts
We have a 1930's home - old by choice with renovations to enhance. I know there are good builders out there, but my view is that many new homes are not built as solid as they used to be. Our focus was more on the infrastructure and strength since anyone can refinish to make something look modern. Our home has an exterior brick wall and an interior brick wall, then framing. Very thick walls and solid 'old school' foundation. Too many new builders do not have the skills and pride - you can see it in the cracks in the foundation after a couple years.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
I bought old because I want to fix it up exactly how I want it - lower purchase price in, and change things as I go.
Plus generally more "solid" construction - I'm sure many have seen the nightmares that can be hidden behind those walls, all to save $20 on the builder's part. This house actually has 4x4, when you'd be expecting 2x4.

Plus, having a lot 6x the size of new construction and established trees doesn't hurt either.
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2007
950 posts
Unless you have gads of money, new home == smaller lot, old home == larger lot.
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2006
2502 posts
Orleans, ON
Location, location, location.

The closer you get to downtown, the more expensive it is.

Older homes are closer to downtown and priced higher.

The same applies for new homes, except that they are even further than old homes.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
New houses aren't necessarily further.. they just buy one old house, doze it, and build 4 in its place for double the purchase price (each) of the original :p
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5756 posts
aqnd wrote: I bought old because I want to fix it up exactly how I want it - lower purchase price in, and change things as I go.
Plus generally more "solid" construction -
The bolded statement is very true. I've found most houses built in subdivisions under 15 years old are mostly junk, when I show a recent build to buyers, they're shocked at what I expose. There are very few builders of new homes that actually produce quality and its because they don't produce more than a few dozen in a locale. Buyers wanting something of a more recent age never stop to consider the frequency by which these homes change hands versus those that are older. Within the past few days I've come across two posts where the basements are leaking - one before the house was even turned over and the other after 3 months. Imagine their state in 3 years. That speaks volumes.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2006
4478 posts
Burlington, Ontario
I work in about 1000 new construction homes a year. I deal with new home buyers at every income level both pre and post construction.
I see and hear everything related to what goes on.

Drawbacks to new home construction:
Very small lot sizes. Your house size is maximized to fit the minimum lot size.
Same models and colour choices stamped out over and over again every 6 lots.
You will be living in mud for quite a while. If not mud then dirt and dust.
Your garbage will most likely not be picked up until the street is established.
No municipal snow removal, so you have to rely upon the developers contractor to do it.
Your kids will not be able to play anywhere safely (it is a construction site).
Your pets will not be able to go out and run around until you have a fence. This will be at least 2 years.
You will be taking a lot of time off work to deal with the legal documents, financing, PDI, closing day and post-closing service calls.
You have to buy everything, window coverings, appliances, furniture (maybe), and any of the upgrades you wanted to add post-construction.
You hope to hell that what you saw on paper translates into what is built into reality.
There will be no stores around you to conveniently purchase things at.
This is just a small list.

Drawbacks to resale home:
Older appliances and mechanicals may need upgrading.
Roof and windows may need replacements.
Larger lot may mean more landscape maintenance.
I'm sure there is more, but this is just my experience.

I've had both. I'm currently in a 60 year old home that I most likely will tear down and build a new one. I love the location and the neighbourhood, and everything else around just keeps getting upgraded.
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Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6325 posts
In my previous home, a new one that I lived in for 20 years, during the first 5 years I hated the fact that:

1. During the summer I frequently woke up to the sound of nail guns and hammering as the houses around me were slowly built. I really, really grew to hate those sounds.

2. It took years to finish off all the lots on my street and because of that the street was always full of mud as trucks drove off an on the construction sites. My cars were always splattered with mud. And when the mud on the streets dried it blew around. The windows were always dirty.

3. I hated the flat tires from the nails and screws that fell on to the road. Every one of my tires had a flat in the first 5 years and then nothing after that.

4. You never know what neighbors you get. Turnover was high initially as some found they hated living in the suburbs on the edge of the city. After a few years things did settle down and I had some great neighbors.

5. With houses still being build the city was in no rush to put in the boulevard trees and grass. For a while there I might as well have been living on the moon.
Sr. Member
May 14, 2010
565 posts
we bought an older home mainly beause

1.) we trusted the construction more
2.) we like the size of the lot and the houses bones
3.) I wanted to do a full reno anyway. With a newer home build, it would be just as much work if not more
Feb 19, 2011
202 posts
We live in a 1930s home. We live in the city. There's no new land in our neighbourhood, so you either get an old house, or an expensive, large, new house on a lot that used to have an older house. Since we didn't have the money to buy anything new in our neighbourhood, our only choice was old.

As for old, there are definitely certain issues that drive me crazy (new roof needed soon, squirrels got into a front part of the attic, needed to install a/c, needed a new kitchen, etc etc), but, in a new home, I feel that it's only a matter of time before there will be similar issues, so I'm not really sure how much of a plus that is for buying new.

ETA -- There are definitely some older home features that I LOVE... we have the home's original hardwood floors, as well as beautiful original trim, nice tall baseboards, original wainscoting in the dining room, original ceilings with great detail (and real crown molding... it's actually molded into the ceiling rather than being wood stuck on and painted). I do love those old features in our home.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16549 posts
lazymonkeygod wrote: I bought a new construction home. I like the neighborhood, the freedom to choose finishes, the fact that new houses are more efficient.
But you'll need to deal with dust, dirt, construction, new house issues (basement settling, fence, etc.) and unknown neighbours!

I like to buy houses that are 5 - 10 years old; houses with all the problems worked out, but not too old to require major repairs yet.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 22, 2007
26556 posts
If you have extra half million to put on renovation. Then go for new house
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