Canadians in the market for a new home have many more decisions to make than their parents or grandparents. Beyond the usual factors like architectural style, location, and amenities, today's homeowners need to carefully consider how their home was built and with which materials.
So many metaphors exist about houses that it's sometimes easy to forget they're based on the actual structures in which people live. It's certainly no metaphor to remember that a house is only as strong as its foundations, and the durability and comfort of living in your home can greatly benefit from newer building materials and techniques incorporated into every aspect of your house.
Perhaps the easiest "selling point" of buying a new home made from the latest innovations in building materials and techniques is that you will save a lot of money over the long run. Reducing your home's energy footprint by just 5% can save thousands of dollars on utility bills without any sacrifice on comfort.
Although it may seem like Canada has been proactive with "green" construction techniques forever, the trend only really took off in the mid-'70s. Unfortunately, the initial attempts to save money by boosting insulation led to what became known as "tight" houses, effectively sealed off from the outside world. These "tight" houses were indeed energy efficient but had side effects like poor air quality and increased indoor air pollution, dust, and asthma-inducing irritants.
Today's homes, built with the latest materials, combine the best of both worlds. Low-flow plumbing systems deliver full-power showers while saving money. Energy-efficient appliances do the same work as yesterdays with far less energy consumed, and better heating and cooling systems deliver a more comfortable interior atmosphere without succumbing to dust, moisture, and mould build-up.
One of the lesser known advantages of choosing a new home build with the latest materials and techniques is they often last longer before needing repairs or upkeep. There's no such thing as a roof that will last forever with no need for repairs, but today's newer roofing techniques extend the usability of your roof for years, sometimes even decades, beyond what older homes could offer.
Likewise, similar advances in insulation reduce utility bills while simultaneously providing better protection from weather incursions, insects, and structural damage caused by temperature fluctuations. Older homes are often a patchwork of ancient building techniques plugged up, taped over, or modified with sealant, new insulation, and potentially toxic materials. When you buy a new home made with the latest materials, you'll be investing in an integrated system that has improved on home building techniques and materials from the past.
Investing in Value
A home is much more than just a place where you live; it's also usually your most valuable asset. Even if you have no intention of selling your home in the near future, the quality and condition of your home can serve as an important financial asset. Therefore, it pays to invest in your home, even if you have no plans to sell it.
Newer building materials are one great, proactive way to invest in your home's value. Even two similar properties built at the same time in the same neighbourhood can have vastly different property values if one home was built with cheaper, antiquated materials while the other was constructed using the latest building technologies.
Choosing a home with advanced energy-saving appliances and green technologies can also pay off in the future. Many utility companies are switching to new plans that reward energy-efficient homeowners with lower prices and other perks like smart meters that help balance energy usage with the overall demand on the utility company's system. Likewise, the city, provincial, or national government may offer tax credits and other rewards for energy-efficient homes. Even if your local utility company or city/province doesn't offer these benefits right now, it's good to be prepared and invest in the future.
Lastly, new homes built with the latest advances in materials and techniques often qualify for lower rates on property insurance.
Health and Happiness
It may be impossible to put a dollar amount on comfort, happiness, and joy you get out of being a responsible and forward-looking homeowner, but the value is, nonetheless, real. Many homeowners who have wisely chosen a house built from the ground up with the latest materials and techniques feel a great sense of satisfaction knowing that they have made the responsible decision to minimize their impact on the environment while simultaneously improving the durability of their home.
Simply put, houses that need fewer repairs, consume less energy, are built with non-toxic materials, and provide all the comforts of home for lower, long-term costs, pay off handsomely in personal satisfaction.
Whether you're simply looking to strategically reduce your utility bills or want to make one of life's most important purchases responsibly, a home built with the latest innovations in materials and techniques is a huge part of why building a new home is worth waiting for.
For most people, a house is both the most important financial investment of their life as well as a home where memories are made. Invest wisely for your pocketbook and your heart, and you will reap the rewards for decades to come.