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Should You Purchase a Pre-Construction or Already Existing Home in Calgary?

A view of homes under construction in Calgary, Alberta.

Deciding between a pre-construction or an existing home in Calgary is a significant choice for any potential homeowner.

The city’s housing market offers a variety of options, each with its own set of benefits suited to different needs and lifestyles. For those facing this important life decision, it’s about balancing the allure of a new build with the charm of an existing home. Exploring what each option means for life in Calgary involves looking at long-term financial implications, customization opportunities, and the practicalities of timing and location with goal of making a choice that aligns with one’s personal vision of home.

The Case for Pre-Construction: Crafting the Future

The allure of a pre-construction in Calgary lies in the promise of a home that is truly your own.

Future homeowners are drawn to the canvas of possibilities that pre-constructions provide, offering an opportunity to personalize their living space in a way that existing homes simply cannot match.

Jesse Davies, a prolific Calgary-based Realtor and the leader of the Jesse Davies Team, elaborates on the appeal: “When buyers are looking purchasing a pre-construction, they aren’t just choosing a house; they’re envisioning their future. With pre-construction, they get to select their finishes, decide on the home’s features, and (depending on the project) maybe even alter floor plans to suit their lifestyle. This level of customization ensures that the home they move into is perfectly aligned with their lifestyle and taste. 

But it’s about more than aesthetics; it’s about functionality and efficiency. Most new builds come with the latest in home technology and energy-saving features. When I help my clients find a pre-construction, they aren’t just interested in investing in a space that looks good, but one that will stand the test of time and adapt to changing needs.”

A new home under construction.

The Charm of Existing Homes: Embracing Tradition

Many homebuyers in Calgary are attracted to existing homes for their immediate move-in readiness and established surroundings.

These homes offer a contrast to the blank slate of a pre-construction, with the advantage of allowing buyers to visualize and inhabit the space without the delays of construction. They are often set in neighborhoods that have developed over many years, with homes that typically feature more extensive living spaces and substantial outdoor areas, reflecting the generous building practices of earlier times.

Jesse Davies elaborates on the practical benefits, “Existing homes have a unique appeal that’s evident the moment you step through the door. My clients are frequently drawn to the distinctive features these homes offer. In older homes, that can include original hardwood floors, intricate moldings, and a sense of timelessness that comes with well-crafted structures. In newer homes, they can offer many of the same qualities as pre-constructions but with immediate move-in appeal. 

It’s also about the immediate sense of home these properties provide. They’re nestled within communities where relationships have been built over time, where the streets are shaded by mature trees, and where each house has its own presence. For buyers, it’s the opportunity to enjoy a home with a history of its own and the space to create their future.”

Financial Analysis: Cost vs. Value

Navigating the financial aspects of home buying in Calgary requires a careful examination of cost versus long-term value.

The initial price of a pre-construction home often reflects the latest design trends and building technologies, which can be an attractive investment for those looking for a modern and energy-efficient living space. These features, while potentially costly upfront, may translate into savings on utilities and maintenance, not to mention a higher resale value due to their contemporary appeal. You shouldn’t understatement the cost savings of energy-efficient windows, heating, cooling, and fixtures over time.

Conversely, existing homes might present a more affordable entry point into the housing market. The trade-off, however, can include dated features and the potential need for renovations, which can add up financially. Yet, these homes often sit in established neighborhoods, where the value is buoyed by mature landscapes and community infrastructure.

The true cost of a home extends beyond the purchase price; it encompasses the potential for appreciation, the lifestyle it affords, and the ongoing costs of upkeep and upgrades. Buyers must consider their current financial situation and future fiscal health, weighing the immediate benefits against the long-term investment to determine which option aligns with their financial goals and home ownership aspirations.

Timing and Turnkey: The Practicalities of Moving In

The timeline for moving into a new home is a critical factor in the decision-making process.

Pre-constructions in Calgary offer the excitement of watching your home come to life, but they also require patience. The construction phase can take several months to over a year, and unforeseen delays can extend this period further. This wait time is a significant consideration for buyers who have a specific timeline or are coordinating the sale of their current home with the purchase of a new one.

Existing homes, by contrast, provide the convenience of a quicker move-in. Once the purchase is finalized, the transition to your new home can often occur within a few weeks. This solution is particularly appealing for those who need to relocate promptly due to personal circumstances or job commitments.

The readiness of an existing home can also be a boon for those looking to avoid the interim period of renting or the dual burden of carrying two mortgages. For many, the ability to move in immediately—and without the stress of overseeing a construction project—is a compelling advantage that can tip the scales in favor of an existing property.

Community and Location: Setting Down Roots

An excavator in the dirt with a home in the background.

Choosing between a pre-construction and an existing home in Calgary often comes down to the desired community and location. Pre-constructions are typically part of new developments, offering the excitement of shaping a burgeoning neighborhood. These areas promise the development of new amenities, such as schools and parks, which can be highly attractive to those looking to contribute to the community’s growth from the outset. However, these new neighborhoods can also lack the more “organic” feel that can develop over time in neighborhoods that have existed for decades.

Jesse Davies shares his observations: “My clients are often torn between the allure of new developments and the established charm of older neighborhoods. New developments offer a blank canvas, not just in terms of the home but also the community. There’s a unique opportunity to grow with the neighbourhood, to be part of the first chapters of its story. When you purchase a brand-new home, it is indisputably ‘yours,’ as no one else has ever lived in it.

Conversely, homes in established neighborhoods offer a sense of history and community you can feel as soon as you walk down the street. These areas have seen generations come and go, and there’s a comfort in that continuity. For many buyers, this established sense of community is what they’re looking for—it’s immediate, it’s tangible, and it’s something that only time can create.”

Conclusion: Making Your Choice in Calgary’s Market

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a pre-construction or an existing home in Calgary hinges on a blend of personal preference, financial strategy, and lifestyle needs.

Pre-constructions offer a fresh start with customizable options and modern amenities, while existing homes provide immediate occupancy and the charm of established neighborhoods. Each choice carries its own set of benefits and considerations, from the financial implications to the sense of community each provides. Prospective homeowners must weigh these factors carefully and consider the present impact and future legacy of their decision to select a home that best fulfills their dreams and suits their way of life in Calgary.

Whether you are looking for pre-constructions or already built homes in Calgary, the experienced and knowledgeable Realtors at Jesse Davies and the Jesse Davies Team can help you find the home of your dreams.

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