What’s best new house or renovations?

Growing families are upsizing. Empty nesters are downsizing. Increasing numbers of the ‘boomerang generation’ are finally saving enough for a down payment. Longtime city dwellers are trading urban life for their rural dream home and just as many folks are heading the other way to enjoy a ‘downtown’ lifestyle. Real estate markets everywhere in Canada are hotter than a summer sun at noon.

Maybe today’s low interest rates and wide range of new and resale housing has you contemplating a move to new digs. Then again, a ‘hot’ market also means escalating housing prices. According to a recent study* housing prices increased in 95% of the 76 Canadian markets surveyed, with the average price of a detached bungalow jumping 7.2 per cent from the same quarter a year ago.

You may not be willing to pay these inflating prices or the many other costs that must be considered when purchasing a new home.

In the case of a newly constructed home, you’ll also be starting from scratch when it comes to interior decorating and exterior landscaping. With a resale home, you may still be faced with some major redecorating and landscaping chores, or even a bit of renovation.

Speaking of renovations, maybe that’s a better choice for you than buying. You may like your neighborhood, the proximity to schools, shopping or work. The kids’ friends are nearby and your neighbors are good friends, as well.

If you do select the renovation route, be sure to read next week?s article for some tips to guide you along the way.

* Royal LePage, as reported in the Globe and Mail, December 23, 2003

This column is presented as a general source of information only and is not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell investments, nor is it intended to provide professional advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. For more information on this topic or on any other investment or financial matters, please contact your financial advisor.