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Top 5 Reasons Why Buying is Better than Building!

Last week I posted about why building a new house is better than purchasing an older home. This time around, I’m going to go through the reasons why buying older is better!

5. Established neighorhood with trees and other greenery

  • Older homes are established with trees and other greenery whereas new homes are just getting started with little or no vegetation. Depends on the person I guess, but we enjoy mature trees in a neighborhood.

4. You know exactly what you are getting

  • Even though you are picking out the designs in the new home, there is no way of seeing exactly how it’s going to turn out (unless you copy an existing new home). With older homes, what you see is what you get. Predictability can be comforting.

3. No loud construction going on nearby

  • Construction crews start really early in the morning and moving into a new neighborhood will be full of construction. Although the construction noise is temporary (year or two), less noise is better. :)

2. You don’t need to go through the pain of building

  • Lets face it, even though I’m not driving the nails myself, it is still a pain to ensure the work is being done right on a daily basis for 3-4 months straight! Older homes enable you to move in right away without the hassle of building.

1. You can negotiate the price

  • I like getting deals. Even if it means just a few thousand dollars off the asking price, it’s still a deal. In popular new neighborhoods around here, there is no negotiating with the builder. What they tell you to pay, you pay. With older homes, you can negotiate a deal with the vendor.
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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Avatar FinancialJungle.com May 16, 2007, 2:38 pm

    I find that older homes are generally less energy-efficient, and more difficult/expensive to find “parts”. My buddy is spendnig $25k to replace his roof. The house is 80 year old. I’m not a roof expert, but I guess his requires a specialist.

    How about buying an almost new home? i.e. less than 5 year old.

  • Avatar FrugalTrader May 16, 2007, 2:41 pm

    Jungle! Good points. Yes, you are right, ideally, we would like to find a home that’s around 5-10 years old. That way, we get the best of all worlds. :)

    Oh, on CC, you mentioned that Questrade doesn’t do mutual funds. They actually do sell mutual funds, you just need to phone in to order them.

  • Avatar Ed Rempel May 20, 2007, 1:27 pm

    Hi FT,

    One of the best advantages of existing homes is that you can often get free improvements thrown in. The general rule of thumb is that only 20-30% of the cost of renovations is added to the home value, so you get these improvements for a fraction of the cost.

    Also, if you find an existing home that does not show well, you can get it at a significant discount. This generally does not happen with new homes.

    If you look around at existing homes, you can find individual cases with exceptional deals.


  • Avatar FrugalTrader May 21, 2007, 4:43 pm

    Good tips Ed! Yes, we’ve been looking at old and new homes in search for the right “deal”. Right now, around here, we’re leaning towards building, but time will tell.

  • Avatar Montrealer May 22, 2007, 3:13 pm

    6. More character, more homey than brand new houses.

  • Avatar Andy June 10, 2010, 3:46 pm

    This is a bit late but for someone just finding this, don’t discount the other costs with a new home. Things like fence, deck, maybe finishing a basement, and flower gardens. Between all of these we added another 10k to what we had spent to build the house in the first place.

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