While the home-buying process involves a number of important choices, one of the very first decisions buyers need to make is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one. Each path has its advantages and disadvantages, including:

Buying an existing property - Advantages

  • the convenience of being able to move in right away,
  • existing mature landscaping

Buying an existing property - Disadvantages

  • you won't get a home that exactly meets your requirements, and may be faced with the requirement to re-plan and decorate

Building a Home - Advantages

  • Efficiency  A new home is more efficient, including better heating, ventilation, cooling, insulation and air filtration. Better efficiency is good for the environment and can save you money on your Utility bills.  It can also be built using ‘Green’ materials, including more efficient appliances, plumbing and electrical fixtures,
  • Home automation The option to wire for home automation,
  • Maintenance   A new home will require less maintenance
  • No harmful materials  A new home is less likely to have health concerns or toxic materials,
  • Warranty - With a new home, you may still be covered.

Building a Home - Disadvantages

Building a new home doesn't offer the same convenience as buying an existing house. Not only do you have to find the land, you also have to factor in the time to find an Architect/Engineer and builder, and choose every element of the new structure. You also need to consider whether the plot has access to Municipal water and sewage, or requires a Septic Tank system, along with any environmental and other permits.

The biggest drawbacks to building a house tend to be the higher costs and longer timeframe, both of which can increase throughout the build process.