How do you decide between building new versus buying an existing house?

Like most major life decisions, there are pros and cons when it comes to deciding whether you should build a new house, or buy an existing one. Your timeline, tastes, preferred location, and many other factors need to be carefully considered. We’ve pulled together a few of the benefits of both options to help point you in the right direction.

Your mother-in-law refers to your design tastes as “particular.” You have strong opinions on baseboard trim styles. You binge-watch home design and construction shows. You know what “greige” is. You’ve saved hundreds of photos of beautiful homes in your Houzz Ideabooks. In a nutshell, you have honed your vision for your future home and want to turn your ideas into bricks and mortar—with cedar accents.

If this sounds like you, then building a new home might be the only way to ensure you’re perfectly pleased with the final product.

On the flip side, perhaps you know how to describe your tastes, but aren’t confident in your ability to pull everything together. In that case, having a dedicated interior designer on hand to help you choose features, finishes and colours is another bonus that comes with building a custom home with a reputable builder.

A few other benefits of building a new home include:

A healthier environment: If you have allergies to dust, mould or pollen, a new home built for your needs (such as installing hardwood instead of carpet) will help you breathe more easily. You can also choose non-toxic materials and paints which will provide extra peace of mind for your family.

No unexpected, expensive surprises: If you build new, you won’t have to worry about fixing a leaky roof or broken furnace for a very long time. And if something does happen to break in the short-term, a new home warranty system will likely have you covered.

Improved energy efficiency: With choices like LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, superior insulation and water conservation technology, building a new home gives you the ability to create an energy efficient home—a win-win for the environment and your bank balance.

If you’re someone who loves to wield a hammer and tackle home renovations on the weekend, buying an existing home and making it your own might be right for you. Don’t mind digging around to find the construction permit history of an older home to ensure it’s up to code? Then start scoping out the resale market. Even if you’re not a natural DIYer, there are always existing resale homes that are only a few years old, and likely requiring minimal maintenance if they were built by a reliable Saskatoon homebuilder.

Here are a few more benefits of buying an existing home:

Shorter timeline to possession: Perhaps you have a date you need to be settled in by, and it’s within the next 2-3 months. If you’d like to avoid having to move twice, buying an existing home might be the better option.

More established neighbourhoods: Unless you’re interested in building an infill home, buying an existing home is an easier way to put down roots in an established Saskatoon neighbourhood. With amenities within walking distance and mature landscaping already in place, there’s a convenience that comes with living in the core, and a wide array of architectural styles to choose from.


Still unsure if you should build new or buy an existing home? Check out our self-assessment survey, below. Answer 10 key questions and you’ll be provided a result indicating which option is probably best for you.

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