Are you thinking about buying an Edmonton home? Unsure of whether to buy brand-new or a home that’s been previously owned? While each style has its perks, the decision ultimately comes down to which purchase will best suit your unique wants, needs and lifestyle.

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider:

New Construction Homes 

Buyers considering a new construction home in Edmonton can find a property in a number of flourishing new neighbourhoods around the city.

New Construction Home Advantages:

  • Potential to Customize – When building from the ground up, you’ll get to choose every fit and finish right down to the last detail. The same option may apply to spec homes, which are already in construction but have yet to be completed.
  • New Home Warranty – Home warranty has been mandatory for new construction homes in Alberta since 2014. In the event anything goes wrong, your builder may take care of it.
  • Minimal Maintenance – Since everything in a new construction home is, well, new, you needn’t worry about replacing the furnace, repairing the roof, etc., for many years.
  • Easy Financing – As builders often partner with lenders who are familiar with their products, home buyers may enjoy a more streamlined mortgage process (rather than seeking a lender on their own).

Hint: A REALTOR® can help you zero-in on the right Edmonton builder

New Construction Home Disadvantages:

  • Cost Considerations – While new construction homes are generally quite affordable, they tend to be more expensive than their pre-owned counterparts. This is especially true when it comes to upgrades and other custom features that can significantly raise the price.
  • Time Considerations – Building a home from the ground-up can take a year or more. This timeline may also be extended due to circumstances beyond the builder’s control (supply shortage, inclement weather, etc.).
  • Less Room for Negotiation – It’s not unheard of for builders to offer buyer incentives. But unlike a previously owned home where you can negotiate the asking price with the seller, a builder’s sale price will (usually) remain firm.
  • Lack of Landscaping – New construction developments lack the mature landscaping (i.e. tree-lined streets, parks and green spaces) available in older communities. In addition, new home buyers are often required to adhere to landscaping requirements as set forth by the developer.

Should You Buy a New Construction Home or a Pre-Owned Home? Pre-owned Home Image

Pre-Owned Homes 

Typically referred to as “resale” homes, pre-owned homes are available in a wide variety of ages, styles and price points.

Pre-Owned Home Advantages:

  • Affordable Asking Prices – Opting for a resale may save you money in terms of new construction costs and the ability to negotiate with the seller. 

Hint: An expert Edmonton REALTOR® will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best sale price possible.

  • Ample Communities to Choose From – When it comes to choosing the right Edmonton neighbourhood, the sky is the limit! You’ll have your pick of homes from anywhere in the city (not just developing communities).
  • Move-In Ready – No construction timelines, no hiccups, no waiting. As soon as the home closes, it’s yours!
  • Accessible Amenities – As resale homes can typically be found in well-established neighbourhoods, buyers are likely to enjoy convenient access to local amenities such as schools, shops, services, transit and more.

Pre-Owned Home Disadvantages 

  • Added Maintenance – Many buyers opt for a resales due to the character that only an older home can provide. Unfortunately, resale charm and maintenance (repairs, replacement, upkeep, etc.) often go hand in hand. 
  • More Competition – When choosing a resale home, you’re apt to compete with other interested buyers. This means you may have to act quickly and/or prepare to pay more in the event a property goes into multiple offers.
  • Potential Renovations – While your REALTOR® will work hard to find you the perfect home, some small (or large) renovations may be necessary to truly make it your own. 
  • Resale “What Ifs” – Here again, your agent is on your side – and will do everything they can to discover and disclose all information regarding a potential property (non-permitted work, faulty systems, safety hazards, etc.). However, even with a great REALTOR® and a home inspection, some issues can go overlooked.

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Posted by Terry Paranych on


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