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Email: faith@oprealty.ca

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Should You Buy New or Old Property?

A common question for buyers in Vancouver is whether they should buy a brand-new property, or an established one. The answer to this question depends on a few factors:

  • What type of property are you planning to buy (condo, townhouse, single house, duplex, etc.)?
  • Are you planning to live in the property, or are you an investor?
  • Are your real estate plans for this property in the short-term or the long-term?

Even if you are buying the property for you to live in, your purchase will still be a huge investment (and possibly a long one, too!), so make sure that you give this question a good thought.

Buying New

New properties have the advantage of, well, being new. What this means is that it is likely that there will be various warranties covering damages, defects and deficiencies for a few years, which should help you keep your maintenance costs down. This is true for most newly built properties, from condo apartments to single houses.

Related to this, in the case of condo apartments, your maintenance fees will likely be on the lower end compared to older properties, since the building is new and there are no large repairs or improvements looming over the horizon.

New builds are also usually decked out with modern and high-quality appliances and designs. They’re built to modern construction codes, and may take into account contemporary lifestyles (i.e.  storage space, electrical outlets in every room, etc.). All that is left to do is to simply move in.

However, buying new builds does have its drawbacks. For example, prices for new builds can be quite high, and if you are buying directly from the developer the price point is usually very hard to negotiate in your favour. There’s also the fact that if you are purchasing brand-new property, you will most likely have to pay GST on the purchase price.

Also, while it may not always be the case, new builds tend to be built further away from established communities. While the property itself may be wonderful and new, the surrounding area and neighbourhood may not be as well-developed in terms of amenities, services, and sense of community just yet. This would affect the property as a whole but would also have an impact on its value if you’re looking to resell the property just a few years down the road.

Buying Older

Older, more established properties have their appeal too! Older properties have the advantage of being a part of established neighbourhoods and communities. This means that you can take into account the neighbourhood demographics and surrounding services and amenities when you are making your decision.

One advantage of buying established properties as opposed to new builds is that you are more likely to be able to negotiate a better deal for yourself. If a new-build developer isn’t able to attract buyers at a desired price, the developer may simply wait for the market to pick up again. For the average homeowner trying to sell their house, this may not be a possibility, which means that you will most likely be able to bring them to the negotiating table.

Another advantage of buying old properties is that there is an opportunity for you to add value to it. If you are an investor, this would be of great interest to you. By giving the property a few good upgrades like a new kitchen or even just new paint, you can greatly (and efficiently) increase the value and appeal of the property: ideal if you are looking to re-sell! If you would like some more tips on increasing your property's sale appeal, read this!

However, buying old is not all sunshine and roses; old properties have their problems too. Older buildings may not be up to date with all modern building codes, which means that any home upgrades might have to be brought up to match modern standards. Depending on the upgrade, this could be quite costly.

Additionally, maintenance costs tend to be higher for older condo apartments, and also for older houses. If you are buying an older condo, you should look out for when major improvements like new piping are to be made (you should also have a look at how much money the building’s management has set aside for upgrades on its contingency fund!). Likewise, if you are buying an older house, you should ask the previous owner for when major upgrades were made (like roofing, etc.). After all, you really don’t want to buy into something and then suddenly be stuck with a massive repair bill you didn’t take into account!

In the end, there is no clear right-or-wrong answer when it comes to buying new or older property. Each homebuyer has their own unique needs and preferences, and every property is has its strengths and weaknesses. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t compare the pros and cons of both when considering which type of property to buy! After all, buying a home is still one of your life’s biggest transactions and you want to be sure you are making the right choice.

If you’re looking for more great real estate tips and advice, come by my blog! Whether you are looking to sell or buy, live-in or invest, there’s something there for everyone.

If you’d like to discuss your real estate plans with an experienced Vancouver realtor, get in touch with me by phone at 604-889-8609 or send me an email at faith@oprealty.ca and I would be more than happy to help you reach your goals!