100-222 Somerset St. W. Ottawa, ON K2P 0A7

Ottawa Blog

Living in Ottawa

Buying a New vs. Old Home in Ottawa

Play Video

Do you want to know the difference between buying a New vs Old Home in Ottawa? Or maybe you want to decide where to invest your hard-earned money, can be quite the puzzle, but fear not dear homebuyer! Let me walk you through the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision that perfectly suits your needs and financial situation. Should you nest in a shiny, untouched new house or delve into the charming mysteries of an older home? Remember, whether your ideal house smells of fresh paint or history, it’s all about finding the place where your heart feels at home!

Purchasing a home is undeniably one of the most significant decisions you can make in life, as it marks a milestone and a place where lasting memories will be made. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer eagerly stepping into the real estate world or a seasoned homeowner looking to add another property to your portfolio, the choice between an old home and a new home adds an element of excitement and anticipation to the journey.

There are also some things we need to be on the lookout for when buying a home, such as potential hidden costs, necessary renovations, location, and the overall condition of the property, to ensure we are making a prudent and rewarding investment. Each decade imparts its unique stamp on the homes it produces, with homes built in different eras showcasing varied pros and cons, from the type and quality of building materials used to the architectural style and layout.

Before delving into the specifics and considerations, let’s take a moment to understand the key characteristics that differentiate old homes from new homes. Generally speaking, old homes are those that were constructed at least half a century ago, typically with a rich history and architectural aspects that reflect the charm of a long time past. On the other hand, new homes tend to fall within the range of being built within the past 10 to 20 years, offering modern amenities and contemporary designs that cater to the preferences and needs of today’s homeowners. Of course, pinning down the precise definitions of “old” and “new” homes can be subjective, as there is a certain degree of overlap and variety.

Buying an Older Home in Ottawa


  1. Established Neighbourhoods: Older homes are usually located in established neighbourhoods with well-developed amenities such as schools, parks, and shopping centres. This makes transitioning to your new home in Ottawa smoother and more convenient as many necessary facilities are within walking distance or a short drive away.
  2. Unique Architectural Features: Older homes often have unique architectural features that give them character and charm. From crown molding to original hardwood floors and stained glass windows, these details can be appealing to many buyers looking for a home with a touch of history and character.
  3. Potential for Profit: With the right renovations and updates, an old home can be transformed into a modern gem. The profit potential is high, especially if the house is in a desirable neighbourhood. Plus, the renovation process allows homeowners to customize the home according to their tastes.


  1. Renovation Costs: Although older homes can be more affordable upfront, depending on the neighbourhood, they may require significant renovations to update their interiors, improve energy efficiency, or address structural issues. Such costs should be considered in your budget.
  2. Outdated Systems: Older homes often come with outdated electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems that can be costly to upgrade. Additionally, older homes typically lack modern energy-efficient appliances and insulation, which can lead to higher utility bills.
  3. Uncertain History: Older homes come with a history that can sometimes bring unforeseen complications. Issues like foundation problems, termite damage, or mould could surface over time due to previous owners’ neglect. Depending on the year of building certain materials we need to be aware of as well such as asbestos, vermiculite, and certain plumbing materials, among other items. It’s crucial to have a thorough home inspection to uncover any potential issues.

If you are considering purchasing an older home in Ottawa there are some things you should consider:

When it comes to older homes in Ottawa location becomes critical in their evaluation. They are often nestled in desirable and mature neighbourhoods that have a lot to offer to families looking to relocate. These neighbourhoods are typically close-knit, filled with a sense of community, and are conveniently located near essential services. Imagine having schools, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and recreational centres at your doorstep. The convenience is unparalleled, allowing families to integrate seamlessly into their new environment. Plus, these neighbourhoods often boast beautifully maintained parks and community spaces, offering ample opportunities for family outings, playdates, and community events. Such proximity to services and community offerings does more than just save commuting time, it enhances the quality of life, making older homes in Ottawa a popular choice for families seeking a blend of convenience, community, and charm.

Buying a New Home in Ottawa


  1. Modern Design & Amenities: New homes in Ottawa are built to meet the demands of today’s lifestyle. They often feature open floor plans, modern kitchens with high-quality appliances, energy-efficient systems, and ample storage space. These amenities cater specifically to young families’ needs, saving them from costly and time-consuming renovations down the line.
  2. Low Maintenance: New homes are built using the latest construction techniques and materials, reducing the likelihood of unexpected repair costs. Everything from the roof to the HVAC system is brand new, offering you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on settling into your new city, rather than worrying about maintenance issues.
  3. Warranty Protection: New homes in Ottawa usually come with builder warranties. These warranties can cover everything from workmanship and materials to structural elements, providing an extra layer of financial protection if problems arise in your new home.


  1. Higher Upfront Cost: New homes, given their modern amenities and construction, tend to cost more than older homes in the same area. This means that young families might have to stretch their budget or compromise on location or size to afford a new house.
  2. Less Character: While new homes offer sleek, modern design, they might lack the unique architectural features and charm found in older homes. If your family values a home with a distinct character and history, this could be a downside.
  3. Immature Landscaping and Communities: New homes are often part of freshly developed communities, meaning the surrounding landscape may not be fully grown, and local amenities like parks and schools are still being established. It might take a few years for the neighbourhood to develop fully and for your family to enjoy mature trees, community events, and established schools.

So let’s cover some special notes in regard to new built homes:

Tarion Warranty is a significant advantage when buying a new home in Ottawa. Established by the Government of Ontario, Tarion Warranty Corporation provides new home buyers with protection for up to seven years in the case of any builder’s defects. This warranty covers a broad range of issues, from defects in work and materials to major structural problems. For the first year, the warranty covers any violation of the Ontario Building Code’s health and safety regulations and any defects in the work and materials. The coverage extends to two years for defects concerning plumbing, heating, or electrical systems, and up to seven years for major structural defects. Thus, this warranty provides invaluable financial protection and peace of mind for homebuyers in Ottawa.

The Ontario Building Code is a set of regulations established by the provincial government to ensure quality and safety in construction. It lays out stringent standards that all new homes must meet, from the structural integrity of the building to its plumbing and electrical systems.

This code is essential for home buyers as it provides a benchmark for the quality and safety of the dwelling. Adherence to this code ensures that new homes in Ottawa are not just visually appealing, but also structurally sound, energy-efficient, and safe for families.

Over the years, the Ontario Building Code has influenced the types of materials used in modern home building. It has prompted a shift towards more energy-efficient materials and sustainable practices, resulting in homes that are more economical to run and have a smaller environmental footprint. For new home buyers relocating to Ottawa, this means purchasing a property that is future-proof, safe, and in line with the highest provincial standards.

Choosing between a new or old home can be a challenging and personal decision for prospective homebuyers. It requires careful consideration and evaluation of various factors. While each option offers unique advantages and disadvantages, it ultimately comes down to personal preferences, budget, lifestyle considerations, and long-term goals.

Regardless of whether you choose a new or old home, homeownership is a rewarding and vital investment in your future. It provides stability, a sense of belonging, and the opportunity to create a space that truly reflects your personality and style. Take your time, weigh the pros and cons, and make an informed decision that aligns with your vision of a perfect home.

And if you are thinking of relocating to Ottawa feel free to reach out to us. Give us a call – shoot us a text – send us an email – or even wrap it in a bow and send it first class because we got your back when moving to Ottawa or anywhere across Canada. Each and every week we are bringing brand new videos just like this one so make sure to tap that subscribe button and click the bell so you are notified every time we drop a brand new video. Until next time – take care!




Looking to relocate to Ottawa?
We Can Help!

Learn More About Living in Ottawa

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.