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Explore the options before buying residential real estate

Alberta residents who are looking to buy a house have different options, and it may be a challenge to know which choice is best. When purchasing residential real estate, is it best to buy a new or used home? For various reasons, the decision might depend on whether the prospective buyers are gamblers or not. Used homes may come with hidden -- often unpleasant -- surprises while new homes have warranties.

When buying used furniture or an appliance, it typically comes without a warranty that one gets when purchasing new goods. The same goes for homes -- new-construction condominiums, free-standing homes and townhouses have warranties that cover assembly and construction, including paint, pipes and all other aspects. In contrast, the purchaser of a used home has to rely on the home inspection to reveal defects and potential problems.

New home warranties are valid for seven to 10 years -- depending on the province and the insurance provider. That will also determine what will be covered and the level of coverage. Aspects that could be covered include material and workmanship defects, electrical, heating and plumbing defects, water penetration and more. If the original homeowner sells the property during the duration of the warranty, the new owners will have the coverage for the remainder of the period -- providing one possibility of buying a used home with some warranty in place.

While some Alberta residents prefer to get stuck into fixer-uppers that can be renovated and refurbished to suit their needs and preferences, others are less keen on dealing with the uncertainty that comes with purchasing used homes. Whichever is the preference, it might be wise to discuss any potential home purchase with an experienced residential real estate lawyer in Alberta. A lawyer can explain the pros and cons of both options, allowing the consumers to make informed decisions about a purchase that might be the biggest to which they will ever commit.

Source: Huffington Post Canada, "The Pros, Cons And Pitfalls Of 'New' Versus 'Used' Homes", Samantha Brookes, June 23, 2017

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