There are a few differences when purchasing a new home versus a home that has been lived in before. Some of the differences are obvious, such as appliances that have never been used, and some are less obvious, such as possibly no closet organizers.

Here are a few of the major differences that may help with your decision.

1. Financial Differences

a. On a new build, or an extensive renovation, the property is subject to GST which is ADDED to the purchase price.

b. On a new build, there is a property transfer tax credit on properties less than $750,000.00

c. Existing properties may have more features added, for example, a garden shed, window coverings and landscaping.

d. Depending on the market a developer may be less likely to negotiate.


2. Building Differences

a. A new build from a professional builder will have a New Home Warranty that protects the homeowner from major defects.

b. If a house is built by an owner-builder or has had a major renovation, this warranty is supposed to be in place.

c. An existing property may have unknown issues with drains, insulation, etc as these are difficult to discover visually. A building inspection and due diligence is strongly recommended.


3. Odds and Sods

a. The new build’s address will be brand new which may require more time to get internet, phone and other utilities.

b. Existing homes are easier to get connected as the wiring and services are already in place.

c. Timing can be challenging as new builds are often delayed. This is especially important if you are moving from one place to another or if you have special rate financing that has an expiry date close to your potential closing date.


A new house is nice. So is an existing house. If you see an existing house for sale that you like, but it requires some renovations to make it your own, consider talking to your mortgage broker and Realtor about Purchase plus improvements. This program adds the cost of the renovations into the purchase price of your home.

Having purchased old homes, new homes and everything in between I can say there is no right answer. I can help you decide which is best for you.