When you're looking for your next home, it can be hard to know what the right property will be. It might seem as though every house you see has at least 1 deal-breaker that makes you hesitate to put in an offer. Or maybe those glossy new build brochures have you eyeing some upgrades and trying to figure out if they'll fit in your budget? While we can't give you a comprehensive guide to finding your perfect property, we can point out some of the pros and cons of each type, as well as some things to keep in mind for your mortgage financing.
An existing home is a property that's already been lived in. This type of property makes up most of the real estate market as people naturally upgrade, downsize, or move to another location.
- When you choose an existing home, you'll have lots of photos and videos available to view the property. Your realtor can arrange an open house visit or a walk through so that you can see what it would be like to live there.
- Existing homes are likely located in an established neighbourhood with infrastructure and amenities. You can choose the things that are important to you – schools, public transit, and services – and decide according to what's already in place.
- You're unlikely to find your dream home in an existing property – there are usually 1 or 2 things you'd like to change! The good news is that there are lots of options to help you renovate, including the purchase plus improvements program or a cash back mortgage.
- As stated above, there are mortgage options that will allow you to access additional funds for upgrades or renovations. Just let us know you're interested and your Auxilium broker can review those options with you and explain the programs.
- You may run into some additional costs with an existing home, such as a home inspection, appraisal, or property transfer tax, but for first time home buyers or insured mortgage files, some of those costs can be minimized or waived.
New build (pre-build)
A new build is under construction by a development company for future occupancy. There are often multiple 'phases' of a project that offer different types of buildings – such as condo units or townhomes – layouts, and completion dates.
- Buying a pre-build home can be really exciting! You have the opportunity to customize your new home from the start by choosing the finishes and upgrades you want from the builder's offering. Plus, when you move in you'll have that "new home smell"!
- One of the tough things about buying a new build is that you may be basing your decision to purchase on a model suite or home that is representative of the project, but not exactly the home you'll be living in. You may even need to rely on a floorplan or artist's drawing to picture the whole development.
- Despite a developer's best efforts, you may also find that the completion date for the build gets moved back. In this case, you'll need to have a plan for your continued accommodation and the flexibility to move when occupancy is allowed.
- While you won't have as many costs in addition to your purchase price with a new build, you will need to budget for paying GST, which is due upon closing.
- When getting a mortgage for a pre-build, most lenders will only hold a rate for up to 120 days. There can be some exceptions, which your broker can review with you.
If you choose to build your own home, you'll be buying bare land or a lot and either hiring folks to build for you or taking on some of the work yourself. Can you say "dream home"?
- When it comes to building your own home, you are in control of the process – blueprints, budgets, permits, and finishes. You end up with a truly unique place to live that reflects you and your lifestyle.
- You can choose your desired location and build to suit your needs. Decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, the layout that works for you, and every little detail of your home.
- Being more hands-on with your home also means that you're the one who needs to plan for every contingency – material shortages, building delays, and budget overruns all need to be overseen by you during the construction process.
- The process for financing a construction mortgage is very different than a regular purchase. You'll need more down payment as well as funds to begin the build and reach certain milestones. Our experienced team is ready to work with you to see if this is the right path to home ownership for you.
Ultimately, you're the only one who can decide what kind of property you want to buy and live in. Whatever you choose, the Auxilium Team has mortgage solutions for any type of property – if it's your dream, we'll make it work for you. If that sounds like the service you want for your next home, start a conversation with us today. Give us a call at 250-590-6520 (toll-free 1-855-590-6520) or fill out our contact form to choose the time that works best for you.
Auxilium Mortgage Corporation is based in Victoria, BC and works with clients locally and across Canada. The Auxilium team has over 100 years of combined financial experience and access to dozens of lenders to help you meet your goals.