Buying a New Home vs Renovation an Old Home

Buying or building a new home vs. Renovating your current one? (Pros and cons)

Sometimes it is about what stage of life you are in and what your future home goals are. I know we have all watched HGTV shows like Love It or List It and wonder how the clients make a final decision. Often there is some sort of emotional attachment to the home from one of the parties involved. Then there is always the desire to have something sparkly and new.


Pros of buying a new home

Do you like the idea of everything being fresh and new? Then a new home might be for you. A new home should be fairly maintenance-free for many years. Many new homes even come with warranties that help alleviate the stress that comes with homeownership. The peace of mind of just knowing if there are issues, they will be taken care of can be a real stress reliever when it comes to owning a home.

When you buy a new home, you also get a lot of perks like money-saving energy efficiency and new smart technology. A new house will probably be more energy efficient with programmable smart thermostats, low E windows, smart circuit boxes, and insulation innovations. This is great for the environment—it means that when you turn on lights or appliances or even run your washing machine and dishwasher at once, it won’t cause your electric bill to skyrocket. Unfortunately, older houses were just not built to use less power and be more efficient.

Many newer homes have more square footage, with bigger rooms, bigger closets, and larger bathrooms than their older counterparts. They have larger more open living spaces to meet the needs of today’s modern families. They take into account how we live and socialize, offering better function and more storage to suit our modern lifestyles.


Cons of buying a home

A new home can be expensive to purchase. Do you have champagne taste on a beer budget? Do you want brand-new stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a marble walk-in shower? Unless you have piles of cash lying around (and many people don’t), buying a new home will require some financial sacrifices on your part—including selling your current residence (which may or may not be feasible).

Buying a new home can be stressful because it involves so many steps from start to finish: finding the perfect location within your budget; securing financing through several mortgage lenders if necessary (or simply by having enough cash). You also may need to arrange property inspections from multiple sources before the closing day arrives, because you don’t want to be scammed by dishonest sellers trying to sell shoddy materials or poor workmanship; the list goes on!

And it is emotionally taxing! You may be moving from one neighborhood to another; from one style of architecture (or lack thereof) to another. You may have to move away from an established community where everyone knows each other’s names and kids play together outside all day long. It’s no wonder people get stressed about finding that perfect home (not house) where they can feel like themselves again!


Pros of renovating your current home

As a homeowner, you have watched enough home improvement shows to know that renovating your home is a great way to add value to your property. But did you know it’s also an effective way to make your house more environmentally friendly and energy efficient? Think of added insulation and heated bathroom floors. And did I mention how good it feels to live in a space that’s comfortable and easy to use?

You’re able to personalize the look and feel of every inch of your home when you renovate. You can improve functionality, add storage space and move walls around so they don’t block important sightlines. You get exactly what YOU want, instead of being forced into someone else’s vision for how a home should look or function.

Remember, you are investing in your lifestyle and it may be worth investing in quality materials and hiring professionals to do the work.

If you are a DIYer, you can save thousands doing all or parts of the renovation yourself. Many contractors will allow you to participate in the parts of the project that makes sense for the time and budget.


Cons of renovating your current home

There are many potential pitfalls to be found in renovating your current home. Think “Moneypit”. For example, the cost of the project may become higher than that of buying a new house, especially if you are adding square footage like a new kitchen or new master suite off the back of your existing home.

You will also have to deal with construction noise and dust during work. This can make things stressful and uncomfortable for you and your family. I hope you like getting up at the crack of dawn, because this is when many contractors want to get started, especially on hot summer days. You may even need to find alternate accommodations while the work is going on.

If you’re looking at top-quality materials and/or high-end finishes (granite countertops! hardwood floors!) that take special craftsmanship or extra attention to detail, it may take a bit to find the right contractor willing to oversee all this work. It seems like it should be easy, but, finding contractors who can do the work right (the first time) can be difficult and finding one who is honest with their quotes can be even harder.

You can almost guarantee that unexpected issues will arise while renovating that will cost more than originally planned or will take longer than expected, depending on how old the house is and how extensive the remodel is. These are those instances where expectations aren’t met. I find that homeowners often do not understand the process and underestimate just how much work (time and money) goes into renovating a space. Even a contractor’s best guess can go awry if they run into something totally unexpected. Make sure you have contingencies just in case, both financially and emotionally.

The fact is sometimes renovations don’t go as planned (EEK) and don’t meet expectations (GRRR) which could ultimately lead you back where you started: with an old house that needs more work done!



At the end of the day, it’s all about what makes you comfortable and happy. If buying a new home is your dream, then go for it! But if you like your current house and don’t really want to move, then renovating may be the best option for you. The key is being honest with yourself about what you really want and need so that you can make the best decision for your family.

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