Basics: Mortgages and Real Estate

Advantages and Disadvantage of Buying Resale House in Ottawa

One of the first thing home buyers discuss with their Ottawa real estate agents is whether to buy a new home or a resale house. There are advantages and drawbacks to both purchases.

When buying single family houses there are various choices available for home buyers in the Ottawa real estate market. You could buy a resale house, a new house, or buy a lot and build your own house yourself or contract a builder. There are advantages and disadvantages to these options. 

Buying a resale house 

Most Ottawa Realtors trade in resale homes as there are more choices available on the Ottawa real estate market. Many home buyers prefer to buy a resale house when purchasing for a family home or as an investment property. Here are some of the advantages and drawbacks of buying a resale rather than a new house. These are general guidelines and do not always apply in every case. 

The main advantage of buying a resale house over a new one is cost. Resale properties all things being equal, are generally less expensive than new houses. Older homes might have historical and attractive architectural styles and elements that are no longer in common use giving it a retro feel. Think of hardwood flooring, wood cabinets and doors as well as hardwood window frames. Often older properties have much larger lots with more privacy as well. Fully grown trees, with mature landscaping increases the comfort, privacy and ambience of the property. 

The older neighbourhoods are well-established and have developed its own character and community services such as roads, public transportation, schools, shopping and more. Some of the resale properties are available in or near the center of the city giving access to urban amenities and services. 

A resale house may include extra upgrades and amenities not normally included in a new home purchase such as customized features done by previous owners. In the Ottawa real estate market resale family houses are not subject to HST tax. 

Some of the main disadvantages of resale homes are that the older property may not have been built to current building standards so it might not meet electrical, plumbing, energy efficiency or insulation codes. Older houses in the Ottawa real estate area might have lead pipes rather than copper pipes, cast iron main stacks, inefficient insulation or insulation materials no longer deemed safe that should be removed before moving in. Some of the defects in the construction may not be visible or cannot be identified unless a thorough inspection is done by a professional building inspector. 

The issue of home warranty can be important to some home buyers. Your Ottawa Realtor will explain to you that buyers are not protected by a home warranty program when purchasing a resale house. New home warranty likely applies only to newly built homes for a set length of time and can expire prior to a second owner taking possession. 

Resale homes in established high-demand urban areas such as Ottawa, Ontario are generally more expensive because the land has a greater value whereas a new house in a suburban area could be more affordable due to lower land costs. 

An older home may have been renovated without a building permit which could potentially although rarely, cause issues with reselling in the future. Some aged homes simply lack an attractive or functional design for modern living standards. Many century old Ottawa houses have small rooms, unfinished or non-functional basements, low ceilings or other unattractive features that would require a substantial investment of time and money on your part to upgrade. Major components such as heating systems, air conditioning, electrical and other equipment may be outdated and need repair. It is important to remember that many of the disadvantages related to the purchase of an order property can be identified by a certified professional building inspector.

Timing can be an extremely important consideration as well. In a hot seller’s market buyers normally do not have much time to think things over or sleep on things. Buyers are advised to make quick decisions on whether to buy a certain property or keep searching. New homes may not even be available to move in for a year or sometimes even longer.

Resale home purchases comprise most residential home sales in Ottawa and real estate agents tend to focus on them. Not all Ottawa Realtors are or can be, an expert in both type of housing market. It is in your best interested to decide whether you want a new house or a resale and work with a real estate agent well versed and knowledgeable in your target market. Make sure to discuss the pros and cons of new vs resale home purchases before you start your house hunting.