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Old house vs New house?

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  • Aug 12th, 2012 1:37 pm
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Deal Addict
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Jul 29, 2006
2196 posts
455 upvotes
Guelph
AudiDude wrote: I don't know where the homes you speak of are anything made in the last 60 years easily has a garage. Asbestos? None in any homes I know of that are up to 60 years old.

Wires don't fail for no reason. They would have to be installed incorrectly which can and does happen in a new build. How would a wire "fail". As I mentioned, the garage is so small on new homes if you can get your car in it, you can't open the door to get out. Your kids can't play in the postage stamp sized yard, so they use the street which is annoying and dangerous. Tax amounts are specific to areas, but if the property is useless and for another $900 per year it can be useful, does that really matter?

You need to see how the homes are constructed to see what really goes on. I saw a guy do footings with the help of his 2 and 5 year old kids. Don't tell me they are qualified. I have been running wiring over ducting that you could move up to a foot either way with your hands. That will flex so much at the joints, so you know air is leaking out. Also once the person finishes the basement and the 50 cent furnace kick on with a bang ( variable speed furnaces that ramp up smoothly, are not available ) what kind of noise do you think that will make?

I've seen zig-zag plumbing drains before they hid it with the drywall. I witnessed the perpetually drunk guys that frequented the same pool hall as me install windows incorrectly. They used rotten wood found on the construction site and they cut it with chainsaws leaving gashes in the subflooring.

Hot water plumbed into toilets. Houses five feet shorter than they were supposed to be. Paved driveways that when I stepped on them sank 5 inches and them slowly rose back up ( paved over sponge I guess). Wavy walls. Bacon wave baseboards and door casings. Cheap carpet that feels like concrete.

Bottom line is, they are like you said. Thrown together like a product en masse from China , but with no discount. You dont get to pick the brick colour and I hate red.If you buy after it is built, you can see what you are getting before you pay. Old homes have garages and they have AC. BTW AC is not guaranteed to come with a new house, several friends and customers have had to add it afterwards. Also a paved driveway isn't guaranteed either.

If I buy a new home, you will see the kitchen for sale on Kijiji and me sistering the floor joists and boxing them so the floor doesn't flex when I put real tiles in.

New homes from smaller builders trying to get a good reputation or custom builds can give you a better home.
Name these builders you speak of. There are good and bad who you describe is a candidate for Holmes on Homes. Our new builder we're going with are quite reputable and we have many options to choose from - including brick colours, sidings and even the colours of the shingles. Also they won't allow 2 homes side by side to be identical on the same street.
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Macreo Photography
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Mar 7, 2008
2510 posts
171 upvotes
I am building and here is the pros and cons I see for my new home:

Pros:
Customization - I added fireplace, hardwood flooring, 10foot ceiling upper, 8'6" ceiling lower, relocate my utility room to maximize living space, relocate breaker box, etc...
Energy efficient - triple low-e windows, tankless water heater, energy star, etc
Tons of government rebate for new homes (province dependent)
Better building standard - pilings, PVC water line (I hate copper), no asbestos!
First year workmanship warranty

Cons:
Lawns, deck, water softener, etc are all extra cost!
Smaller lots
Workmanship can be a issue, actually most of the time!
Deal Addict
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Jul 29, 2006
2196 posts
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Guelph
THINKPADT61 wrote: I am building and here is the pros and cons I see for my new home:

Pros:
Customization - I added fireplace, hardwood flooring, 10foot ceiling upper, 8'6" ceiling lower, relocate my utility room to maximize living space, relocate breaker box, etc...
Energy efficient - triple low-e windows, tankless water heater, energy star, etc
Tons of government rebate for new homes (province dependent)
Better building standard - pilings, PVC water line (I hate copper), no asbestos!
First year workmanship warranty

Cons:
Lawns, deck, water softener, etc are all extra cost!
Smaller lots
Workmanship can be a issue, actually most of the time!
For Ontario, what can we apply for? Other than the HST rebate.
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Macreo Photography
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Mar 1, 2004
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Pickering
Thai wrote: Name these builders you speak of.
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-C untryw de
-B ywo d
Sr. Member
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Dec 28, 2008
590 posts
110 upvotes
Rural Ontario
Two years ago we moved into a century farmhouse. Sure its old and going in we knew exactly what upgrades we wanted to do and it took some "sweat equity" to make it happen...but I wouldn't have it any other way.

These older homes have something that the cookie-cutter new homes of today don't have and that is charm. Its the quirks and imperfections that give older homes character along with the fact that they're solid as a rock!
"The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Build model airplanes!" says the little fairy, well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off your dresser and your daughter's knocked up, I've seen it a hundred times." - Tommy Boy.
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Jul 28, 2008
675 posts
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GTA
There is no right answer, it totally depends on what the buyer wants, and even then it comes down to the individual house, for many of the reasons mentioned above. I won't re-iterate those reasons. What I do want to bring up is that there are so many smug "century home in the heart of the city" types in this thread. Sure, if I could have a fully renovated and customized older home in Rosedale or Leaside, I would take it. But for those of us on a budget, we just can't get a decent older house in the city. Older homes at the lower end of the price scale are in shoddy condition, require a lot of upkeep, have dark and inconvenient layouts (there is something to be said for open concept and lots of windows), no garages, no central air, etc etc. It's not really a fair comparison, because a livable older home in the city comes at a much steeper price point than a livable new home in the 'burbs.
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Sep 14, 2003
4591 posts
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Burnaby
dor79 wrote: 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
This.
Items for Sale:
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Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2001
2467 posts
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Ajax
AudiDude wrote: Tiles in your kitchen will crack over time because the floor flexes too much because they house just isn't built as good.
We just moved out of a new subdivision home, and the floors in the bathroom and kitchen would make the odd cracking sound as the tiles flexed. I am absolutely positive that it's just tile over regular old plywood that has been screwed down. I would also wager that builders are NOT using concrete backer board in the showers. (Just a hunch) I'd also wager that they're not using corrosion resistant screws in the shower area and just using regular old drywall screws which will corrode.

Having moved into an older house and prepped the floors with mortar and concrete backer board etc, I can attest to how much more solid the floor is. I'm guessing if you live in a newer subdivision home, you can get and idea of what your sub floor underneath the tiles is by lifting an air vent in the tiled area.
You buy a new home and think it's cleaner because nobody has lived there? Workers have peed and defecated in your vents and walls. They have left garbage in every nook and cranny. Two inches under your new sod is broken bits if brick and wiring and all the garbage you thought they cleaned up before they laid the sod (they PURPOSELY wait until you are gone before they do that one).
I can confirm the garbage under the sod thing, and a friend of mine has assured me a lot of their garbage goes between the drywall.
Almost makes you want to go buy one of those snake camera scopes to see what's going on inside your walls.
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Mar 1, 2004
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Pickering
Kuurgen wrote: Having moved into an older house and prepped the floors with mortar and concrete backer board etc, I can attest to how much more solid the floor is. I'm guessing if you live in a newer subdivision home, you can get and idea of what your sub floor underneath the tiles is by lifting an air vent in the tiled area.

I can confirm the garbage under the sod thing, and a friend of mine has assured me a lot of their garbage goes between the drywall.
Almost makes you want to go buy one of those snake camera scopes to see what's going on inside your walls.
Yeah, my whole point is old homes aren't that bad, you see what you get and you know it. Also you can't make a builder build better than they want to. If I am tearing it down, I get to put what I want, where I want and how I want. To a lot of people this is a daunting task and they might not have the skills or know the right people to get it done. I recommend a new house for them, but don't assume an old one is useless. Tell the Queen to move out of Buckingham Palace.

When I did my kitchen, the floor is 2X6 supported ( I think now 2x6 boards are smaller) with 2x1/4 diagonal slats with a 1/2 inch subfloor. Add about 500+ screws and eliminate squeaks. Nail the crap out of the mesh and put on the mortar scratch coat. Line up the tiles (went with ceramic) so that they lead from the front door through the kitchen to the side door and set that row and work out from there.

The floor is uber solid. Normally withe the old floor (vinyl) if you dropped a bowl it was OK. The first thing to hit the floor was a glass/crystal creamer. It was there one second, and then it was in a trillion fragments. The floor feels like you're walking in a condo, no give, and no squeaks.

New kitchens have the tile attached to plywood with mastic. The floor itself flexes and usually you lose grouting and then crack a tile or two. So you should tear the floor up, and do a better subfloor and go in your unfinished basement and sister another piece of wood to the floor joists and then box it in sections. Especially if you are going to add big heavy tables/counters and appliances.

You heard the saying "Buy land, God isn't making anymore"
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Sep 2, 2006
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Orleans, ON
^ yes.

You can't change the location, but you can always change the house.
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Jan 2, 2012
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KINGSTON,ON
Katchemash wrote: A new home. Who knows who lived there previously? Would you use someone else's used condom for example? Old houses are just that. Someones discarded, used house.
That's one of the silliest posts I've read in some time. Guess you never stay in hotels for the same reason?
Sr. Member
Dec 2, 2008
631 posts
66 upvotes
Belleville
I've lived in both old and new.

The last house was about 100 years old and needed plenty of work. It was a bit of a headache actually. Sigother get's relocated every few years so this time we went with a newer build (6 yrs old) just to save any headaches this time around.

We both hate the new place. Subdivision, blech. Home has no character, blech x2. Checked out the attic one day and couldn't believe the flimsy wood used for the roof trusses. Sure it fits within current codes but just reeks of cheap, IMO. Another example... I enjoy gardening. Started digging in the spring and could not believe the quality of the soil in the new build. Clay, mixed with rocks and construction debris everywhere. I found some surprises in the old house while digging (half a wall worth of bricks that someone had hid there). But at least the brick matched the original house brick and made for a great garden border.

We're currently looking around for an older home with some trees and a decent lot size. The only thing I appreciate about the new house is that at most, it'll require a fresh coat of paint before selling.

Plastic houses for plastic people IMO. Something I didn't understand until living in a new house.
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Jun 29, 2012
595 posts
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TORONTO
The advantage of buying a new home is that assuming the place was built properly in the first place. You won’t need to worry about spending much on maintenance and upkeep in the first few years you own it.
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Jan 23, 2002
4036 posts
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Hamilton
old. character and bones that you can't buy today. no comparison.
Jr. Member
Jul 18, 2011
134 posts
5 upvotes
synaptech wrote: old. character and bones that you can't buy today. no comparison.
Poulet wrote:
You can't change the location, but you can always change the house.
Agree with both. Have had one new (4 years) and two old (30-40 years) and there's no comparison to the older homes in terms of quality and the location. Interiors can always be updated.

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