Pros and Cons of Buying a New Construction Home in Peterborough

Congratulations on taking the first big step towards buying your first home! This exciting process can be (literally) groundbreaking, especially if you are considering a new construction home.  

Buying your first home can be equally exciting and daunting. Whether you’re debating on starting from scratch with a new build, or renovating a resale, you may not know where to start!  While there are many pros to buying a new construction home, there are many things you should take into consideration before committing to a builder. From the unmatched joy of that “new home” smell to the consideration that you’ll need to find a builder who you trust, this article lays out the pros and cons that you should keep in mind when looking to buy a new home in Peterborough. 

The Pros

1. Peterborough: A Growing City Surrounded by Nature

Maplewood’s growing community, Trails of Lily Lake, is nestled in Peterborough’s picturesque west-end. Seeped in History, Peterborough has a small-town feel with all of the amenities of a greater metropolitan city. Bordered by stretches of farmland and close-knit communities, the city of Peterborough is known for its breathtaking landscapes and interconnected canals, rivers, and lakes that make up the Trent-Severn Waterway. Conveniently access the Otonabee River and historic lift locks to explore the beauty of the Kawartha Lakes by boat, or take a stroll along the river shoreline.

That hardly encapsulates all of the outdoor recreation that Peterborough has to offer — from the scenic waterscapes of the Kawarthas to beautiful local parks and citywide pedestrian trails, you’ll find yourself exploring a new green space every weekend. With access to over 20 public beaches, several recreational fishing areas, and endless hiking, running, cross-country skiing and snowmobile trails, Peterborough offers a paradise to nature-lovers all year round. You’d be hard pressed to find another growing metropolis that offers all of those activities! And that’s just in Peterborough — hop in your car and take a short drive out of the city to experience the countless adventures awaiting you in the surrounding area. It’s a short two and a half hour drive to Algonquin Park, and if you don’t feel like travelling that far, the Kawarthas are nearby (so are the Warsaw Caves!). 

Aside from its natural beauty and a wealth of outdoor recreational activities, Peterborough also offers new business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to thrive. The city is well-suited for growing families, with three school boards, a university and a college. Peterborough boasts a lively  food scene with restaurants and cuisines to suit any palate.  Into art and culture? With a thriving community of musicians and artisans, you’ll find no shortage of live shows and entertainment — at a far lower cost of larger neighbouring cities, like Toronto.

2. A Fresh Start

There’s something about that new-home smell that can’t be beat. It’s a sensory signifier that you’re moving into a new space that’s all your own. New homes are free of any remnants of owners’ past — smells or otherwise — offering you the ultimate clean slate. Like a blank canvas, you can customize and decorate to your heart’s content. Maintain a baseline of cleanliness with handy modern hacks, like stove gap covers and easy-to-clean tiling. When purchasing a previously owned home, you often have to deal with the baggage that comes with them, like outdated plumbing and bathroom fixtures, stained carpet, buckling roof shingles, or hidden patches of mold. Whether you are moving belongings from your previous residence or filling the space with all things new, you’ll feel the weight lift off your shoulders once you settle in and get organized.

3. The Freedom to Customize your Home

When it comes to customizing your space, you have free reign to make your home a reflection of you — but the options aren’t so endless as to be overwhelming. When you’re in the market for a new construction home, builders often have a selection of models, each with varying lots, layouts, and design features that make each model unique. There are a few differences — mainly benefits — when customizing a new build compared to a previously owned home. New construction homes usually include some customizations, and if you want to upgrade, the cost is typically nominal. However, customizations at a previously owned home are called renovations, and you’ll find yourself hiring contractors and spending countless hours as well as tens of thousands more. Another plus to buying a new construction home like Maplewood’s is that they come with modern fixtures, layout designs that maximize your space, have energy saving features, and include details as thoughtful as Soffit light plugs for exterior holiday lighting. 

4. New Homes are Energy Efficient

New homes are outfitted with the latest technology and appliances. As such, they’re usually more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than older homes equipped with lagging, money-and-resource-sucking systems. From properly sealed doors, HRV’s and Drainwater heat recovery systems, to thermal windows and insulation, new homes have you covered environmentally and financially. New homes take into consideration sustainable design, and set your home up to leave as little a carbon footprint as possible. Overall energy consumption in new construction houses is much lower than older builds, and with utility costs rising as of this year, this is a major bonus.  Lower gas and hydro bills mean less stress over extraneous expenses when you’re settling into your new space. 

5. No Renovation or Repair Costs

Since newly built homes in Peterborough have to adhere to current Ontario building code, you won’t have any unpleasant surprises requiring last-minute repairs and renovations. No need to worry about hiring roofers, updating your electrical or plumbing, or underpinning and making other foundation repairs. This gives you ample room to breathe and focus on moving into your new house. Maplewood Homes also offers a seven year warranty, so if any issues do come up down the line, you’re covered. 

The Cons

1. Finding the Right Home Builder 

Entrusting someone to build the home that your family will be living in for years to come is a heady commitment. You need to ensure that your home builder has the experience, work ethic, loyalty and commitment to construct your dream home. You should also feel comfortable advocating for yourself and your family’s preferences when it comes to designing your home, so you need to work with someone you can communicate with easily. At Maplewood Homes, our builders have over 30 years of experience in the industry, ensuring high quality results. 

2. Longer Move in Time

Because you’re building your home from scratch, you may not be able to move in as quickly as you would be able to settle into a pre-existing home. However, renovating a pre-existing home takes time too, so this drawback can apply to both types of home purchases. 

3. Community Development 

Moving into a newly built neighborhood means that you might miss out on the old-school charm of an established community. While overarching, tree-lined streets may be out of reach for a few years, neighborhood camaraderie doesn’t have to be. Establishing connections and solidifying roots takes time, but you have the opportunity to grow together in a new community finding its footing. New developments are thoughtfully designed with a balance of public and private space, so between your freshly tended backyard and the pothole-free streets, you may find that living in a newer development is just what you were looking for. 

When considering whether or not to purchase a new build home or a resale, feel free to get in touch with Maplewood Homes for more information on the growing Trails of Lily Lake community. Purchasing your first home, while daunting, is incredibly exciting! You’re building the foundation for your family’s future and you deserve to create a space that feels authentic to you. Maplewood Homes is committed to turning that dream into a reality.

Buying a New Construction Home in Peterborough

The process of buying a new construction or new build home is a little different from buying a previously owned property. One of the key differences is that you minimize the risk of sudden changes in the negotiation process because there isn’t a previous owner. There have been countless instances when previous homeowners increased without warning the property’s asking price because emotional attachment often causes sellers to overvalue their homes. When you opt for a new construction house, you deal directly with a builder of your choosing. This flexibility allows you to research builders based on reviews, look at their completed projects, and make an informed decision based on their reputation, track record, and designs that align with your ideal home. Successful home builders have many years of industry experience, are talented, and pride themselves on developing properties that buyers would be proud to call home.

Buying a new construction home in Peterborough is exciting, and if you have decided to do so, you might not know where to begin. Having an idea of the type of new construction or pre-build home that would suit your lifestyle is a good place to start. 

Types of new construction homes in Peterborough


Bungalows are one-story detached homes that are generally smaller in size compared to other types of detached houses. New construction bungalows offer incredible versatility for growing families, couples, and individuals wishing to downsize. From large windows that flood your space with natural light to spacious modern kitchens, choosing a new build bungalow in Peterborough offers layouts that maximize the amount of living space — in other words, not one square foot goes to waste.

Detached Homes 

While detached homes come in various sizes, they are generally larger than attached or semi-detached homes. New construction detached homes, in general, will provide more space for growing families or if you plan on having elderly relatives move in at some point. Single-detached houses are typically built on larger lots, which not only gives you yard space, they offer residents more privacy as you and your neighbours are not directly connected. 


Townhouses are multi-story dwellings with private entrances that share one or more walls with neighbouring properties. This is a fantastic way to get into property ownership and investing, and several new developments in Peterborough are selling pre-construction townhomes. Pre-build construction or newly built townhomes in Peterborough are the perfect alternatives to condominiums or apartments. Unlike high-rise condos, townhouses have private entrances and no common hallways, but still come at a lower cost than detached homes.

7 Steps to Buying New Construction Homes in Ontario

Just as you would when buying a previously owned home, you must complete key steps to buy a new build home.

1. Establish a Budget

Calculating your budget is a critical step in the home buying process. Ensure that the purchase of a new construction home works with your financial situation before you begin browsing for a property. If you need help, you can set up an appointment with your financial institution to discuss affordability, and mortgage financing options. A search for a new home would be fruitless if you could not afford it. Just as you would when buying a previously owned home, you need to consider the affordability of the property. When investing in a new home, don’t forget to include additional costs such as furniture or window coverings — things add up quickly and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself carrying more debt than you had anticipated. 

2. Mortgage Pre-Approval

Once you have determined a budget that works for you, the next step would be to get a mortgage pre-approval to present to your builders. A pre-approval mortgage letter from your lender proves that you are a viable loan candidate who will be able to purchase the home and keep up with monthly payments.

3. Sales Process

Typically, real estate agents play an essential role in the home buying process. However, when you buy new construction, having an agent isn’t really necessary. Builders have dedicated sales reps who can help guide you through the ins and outs of the buying process, especially if you are a first time home buyer. Also, they have extensive knowledge about the properties, and can help you with upgrades and other options to build the home of your dreams.

4. Read up on Neighbourhoods in Peterborough

While Peterborough is a beautiful city with a lot to offer as a whole, some neighbourhoods might suit your lifestyle better than others. For example — if you have children or teenagers, you would want to consider an area that is a close drive or bike ride to school. One of the best things about Peterborough is that roadways and pedestrian walkways make stores, restaurants, medical centres, and attractions easily accessible.

5. Research Reputable Builders in the Neighbourhood of Your Choice

Once you’ve found your perfect neighbourhood, take a look at builders in the area. This step is critical, as you want to find a reputable builder that has a proven track record, positive reviews, and of course, extensive industry experience. With over 30 years of experience in home building, Maplewood Homes is a recognized partner of the Canadian Home Builders Associations, The Ontario Home Builders’ Association, and The Peterborough and The Kawarthas Home Builders’ Association. Further, Maplewood homes are backed by Tarion, an organization dedicated to enforcing  Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and Regulations. Tarion provides home buyers peace of mind through deposit protection, delayed closing compensation, and requires the construction of homes to meet high-quality standards, protect against Ontario Building Code violations, and ensure that your home is free from defects in material.

6. Signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS)

A New Home Builders Sales Specialist should walk you through the Agreement and fully explain all the different aspects. Maplewood Homes wants you to feel completely at ease throughout your home purchasing process and encourages you to ask any questions that you may have prior to signing. 

7. Working with the developer to customize your home

Customizing features of your new home is one of the most fun parts of the buying process. This step also takes careful consideration, as these features will be with you for years to come. Incorporating upgraded Features and Finishes will give an opportunity for new home buyers to get creative and infuse their personal style which you wouldn’t get in a pre-owned home.

For most people, buying a home will be the single most significant financial investment of their lifetimes. When all is said and done, you should be satisfied not only with the purchase price, but also with the manner your new house will support and enhance your family’s lifestyle. Consider all aspects of the home purchase thoroughly and have an open conversation with any family members or partners involved to ensure that you are on the same page. At the end of the day, you’re purchasing much more than a house — you are creating a home where you can thrive, which is an investment for your future, and the future of your family.