Buying - New or Old Home in the Annapolis Valley

Depending on your personality you should get out pen and paper or start a spread sheet. This isin't an easy question to answer.

I was out showing homes the other day to first time home buyers with a decent budget. We visited a new home with approximately 1,500 square feet of living space and an excellent energy rating meaning low heating costs. We also saw a number of resale homes and they finally selected a resale home with about 2,200 square feet of living space in an established neighborhood.

Here's where the spread sheet comes in handy. Make up your columns as follows:

Price, monthly mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, water/sewer, start up maintenance costs, mileage to and from work, 5 year plan work, 10 year plan work, variables, resale work

Let me inject at this point that I love resale homes including big old century homes and vintage properties from the 1950's. They are so full of character. They are often on larger pieces of land in a lovely location, established greenery and offer a ton of living space. The pitfalls of resale homes are the costs of upgrading. The older the home the bigger the labyrinth of costs. You'll need to consider electrical, plumbing, insulation, foundation, drainage, windows and a host of other items. Homes built in the 1980's and newer have less issues but often have things like windows and heating systems that need addressing. Your REALTOR® will guide you through this process. Once you are educated you can make a sane buying decision. 

New homes are easy in that you simply move in. You will find the price tag higher but this shiny new home doesn't come with a to-do-list. It's often fully landscaped (grass), paved driveway and comes with a New Home Warranty. You just move it and set up your furniture. The pitfalls can be moving to a neighborhood that isn't established, it may be further from amenities and offers less square footage than a resale. Don't be shy about approaching a contractor to price out a new home for you. It's your money. Buying a home, new or resale is a big deal.

My overall advice is simply to get advice you trust. Know what you're getting into and have a plan. There are so many opportunities and one will be ideal for you. 


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