Buying a Home in Ontario: Old vs. New
If you're in the market for homes for sale in Ontario, you have the good fortune of opportunity and choice. Because the Ottawa city centre has long been such a hub of activity—and because all the outlying communities are booming right now—housing options range from new construction homes with all the luxuries to historic residences with hundreds of years of history behind them.
Many people have a firm idea of what kind of home they want long before they start their Ottawa real estate search. Maybe you envision a historic loft space in the downtown city centre. Perhaps you're after a more rural experience in the Rockland, Ontario real estate
market, complete with land and a view of the water. You might even want a brand new home in an up-and-coming family neighbourhood that puts safety and comfort at the top of the list.
Either way, there are plenty of options available right now—and your real estate agent can help you narrow the list of opportunities to meet your needs.
Which Type of Home is Right for You?
There are pros and cons to each type of home, regardless of age and condition. New houses have the benefit of updated floor plans, energy efficient building materials, and the comfort that comes from knowing you're the first person to ever call it home. Older houses, on the other hand, have a kind of charm that appeals to many types of homeowners. In addition to owning a piece of the illustrious Ottawa history, these homes often have built-ins and details that you can't find anywhere else.
Beyond personal preference, it's important to take other considerations into mind when choosing between a newer and an older home:
- How important is resale value? Buying an older home for the purpose of fixing it up may yield a larger return on your investment, but what about your quality of life in the meantime? Are you looking for a home for your family or a money-making opportunity?
- What role does location play? Newer Ottawa homes for sale tend to be available either on the outskirts of town or in new or renovated downtown developments. Older homes are concentrated in historic neighbourhoods like Ashburnham, Westboro, and Centretown, just to name a few. Check around to see what type of neighbourhood (including schools, transportation options, taxes, and parks) suits you best.
- Long-term costs must be factored in. In most cases, older homes are less expensive (footage wise) than new homes. However, a home inspection might reveal potential areas of improvement. These costs might add up over the years.
- Older landscaping often has more charm. In newly developed neighbourhoods, it's not uncommon to see young trees, unfinished yards, and an overall sparse setting. If you've always wanted old trees, lots of shrubbery, and the kind of touch that only age can provide, you might need to focus on homes that are at least a few years old.
One thing you should be sure and do during your Ottawa home search is keep an open mind. By putting your trust in an Ontario real estate agent who knows the area as well as the benefits of each type of home, you can embark on a more comprehensive home search. You might be surprised how much like home an older home feels—or how much more convenient a new construction option is.