First Time Home Buyers - Down to 2 Houses

3 Replies


My partner and I are first time home buyers and we have narrowed our serach down to 2 houses.  Hoping some experts can help us decide  My partner has a 12 y/o daughter who will be living with us:

Home #1 - List Price - $260,000


* Ideal location

* Completely renovated

* Large kitchen

* Semi large bedrooms

* Beatiful bathrooms

* Large beautiful backyard

* 3 bedrooms with a loft which can be used as a bedroom

* Older house with a lot of charm


* Neighborhood is reasonaly safe but not the best neighborhood in town

* House is about 80 years old - renovated but could have some hidden issues

* Basement has 4 windows with rot.  Needs to be inspected but looks like it may have taken on water in the past

House #2 - List Price - $270,000


* House is only 13 years old

* Nice finished basement which can be used as a rec room

* Nice back yard (smaller than house 1)

* Lots of storage space

* Located in very friendly and safe family neigborhood.  Good location.


* House needs some minor reno work, i.e. new flooring in some rooms, paint, basement has carpet which needs cleaning ro removal. 

* Bedrooms are decent size but smaller than house 1

* Bathrooms are rather unappealing and need some TLC.

* House is very nice but does not have the "charm" of house 1

We have some $ put away but not a lot so we need to avoid situations where we would have to sink a lot of money into a house.  So the main question is, do we take a chance on house 1, the older house with charm that we love but could have a potential major problems in the basement.  Or do we go with the "safer" choice of house 2 which we like a lot (but dont love) and only needs a few grand in reno work?

Thoughts?  We are torn!

Go with the newer house as you should have less surprises in terms of financial repairs.

And decorate it the way you want so that you create the charm with your furniture, etc.

#2 for sure. less issues, less risk of headache = better ROI long term. For an extra 10k its meaningless in the grand-scheme. The renos sound fairly straight-forward in #2 where in #1 there could be substantial issues from the water + being 80 years old. yikes.

The 'character' piece is subjective. Don't fall in love with it, its an investment! The place you live in can have all the character you want :).