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New construction vs resale homes – which is better?

Which is the better choice - buying a newly constructed home or buying a home in the resale market? We discuss your options.

You may be wondering if it would be better to buy an existing and “pre-loved” home, referred to as a resale home, or buy a newly constructed home. The age old question ‘New construction vs resale homes’. Here on PEI there have been less new builds, but we are beginning to see more new construction recently. Generally our market has been overheated and demand has outstripped availability, resulting in greatly increased prices.

New homes also have a builders warranty, unlike resale homes, where you are buying as is and there could be a lot of hidden flaws. Repairing and replacing home infrastructure can be expensive. Roofs generally need replaced every 25 years and cost $5000 and up and HVAC equipment has a life expectancy of around 15 – 20 years and replacement costs are typically $3000 to $5000.

Roofs and HVAC are necessary items but you will likely want to replace carpets, remodel kitchens and bathrooms as well as paint. These are all capital costs and add to the cost of a resale home. They also disrupt your family life while underway. No one likes living with contractors and marriages are strained by DIY projects!

It is true that new homes can have a few additional expenses such as window coverings, sometimes appliances, landscaping, fencing etc that may not be included when purchasing a new home. These need to be taken into consideration as well as the necessity of paying HST on new home purchases, that’s a big one!

In conclusion, new home purchases offer many advantages. New Home Warranty, clean, modern design unlikely to require renovation, better air circulation, more energy efficient, and are a turnkey living option. A few extra advantages include better safety, especially in regards to fire, with new fire retardant materials and built in safety monitors.

Really the right choice depends on your needs and these can usually be met in both new and resale homes. You may have to work a little harder to realize everything in a resale home that you wish, and there are some features you might wish for that are either impossible to create or financially not viable in a resale home.

On the other hand, new homes may not have the mature yard/landscaping that a resale home may have, and might not be in as mature a neighbourhood as a resale home. You will also be influenced in your choice by the availability of either of these options. So consult your agent when making this decision. Perhaps look at both options and the choice should be clearer.

Ron Barrett - Century21 Northumberland - PEI Realtor


I am Ron Barrett, co-owner and broker at Century21 Northumberland Realty. I and my team of 30+ professional real estate agents would be pleased to help you with all your Prince Edward Island real estate needs. I can be reached at 902.888.7238 or ron@century21pei.com