Buying a home is one of the biggest, most expensive, and important decisions that a person will make in their lifetime. One of the first choices to make is whether buying an existing home or building a new home is the right choice for you. How do you decide? Let’s look at both options to determine which path is right for you.
Pros of Building a House
There are definitely huge advantages to building your own home – the biggest of which being that you can get exactly what you want that fits within your price range. Building your home gives you the ability to create the layout, choose all of your flooring and features from the get-go, and customize the features of your home to meet your unique needs (for example: making your home wheelchair accessible). Some other pros to building a new home:
- Newer homes are built using the most current building codes, and are typically more energy efficient.
- You shouldn’t have to worry about unexpected problems or repairs because everything in the home is new.
- New homes are not built with outdated and toxic materials like asbestos and lead.
- The world is your oyster! This is your opportunity to build your dream home. There shouldn’t be any remodel costs because you are starting from scratch to get exactly what you want.
Cons of Building a House
While building your home seems like the perfect option, there is also a fair share of disadvantages. Along with having to wait longer to build a home from scratch and potentially paying for 2 living spaces or finding a new living arrangement while you build (it can take 4-7 months or longer to build a new home from the ground up), here are some other things to consider:
- Building a new home can be expensive. Once construction begins, if any changes or upgrades are made, additional costs can add up pretty quickly and can add more time to your initial timeline. Make sure you have done the appropriate research and that you are completely happy with what you decide.
- There are a LOT of decisions to be made. Plotting the land, floor plan, fixtures, paint color, etc. will all need to be decided upon by you in order to complete the project.
- Landscaping. Since you will be building on an empty lot, you will need to budget for your greenery if you’re not inclined to do it yourself, and potentially a driveway, etc. depending on what your agreement with your builder will be.
As exhilarating as it can be, building a home can be a stressful experience if you hire a home builder that lacks communication, industry experience, and quality laborers. Hiring the right GC to manage your project is critical to the success of the home building experience!
Pros of Buying an Existing Home
Move-in ready! We’ve all heard the phrase. When you buy a home that already exists, you don’t have to worry about purchasing land, finding a builder, or making decisions about upgrades right away. Here are some other advantages to purchasing an existing home:
- You may be able to move in sooner because it takes less time to close, build, etc. This is a great option for people who are relocating or families with children who have limited time to move into their new home
- You can renovate and upgrade the home on your own timeline and as your budget allows.
- You may be able to negotiate with the sellers and pay a lower sales price than what is being asked.
Cons of Buying an Existing Home
While building and designing your own home can take project dedication and appear time-consuming, you will get exactly what you want, how you want it. When buying a home that already exists, it’s likely you will not get everything on your wishlist from the getgo and may have to make some compromises on a few things. Some other drawbacks to consider:
- Remodeling costs. Depending on what you remodel, or if your home needs some work, renovation costs could get into the thousands easily. Even remodeling a small bathroom can end up costing $5000-$10000 dollars.
- Older appliances, pipes, electrical, etc. can need more maintenance or replacing faster than in a brand new home.
- Less energy efficient. The use of older or outdated building materials and an older heating and cooling system could lead to higher energy costs throughout the years.
As you can see, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding whether to build a new or buy an existing home – but you can be well informed. Here are some good questions to ask yourself to put yourself in the right direction:
- How long can I wait before I move into my new home?
- Do I want everything on my wishlist right away or am I willing to compromise?
- Do I have money/time to make repairs or replacements in an older home?
- Do I want everything in my house to be brand new?
- What’s my budget?
No matter which path you choose it will be just right for you! Whether you build a custom home or purchase a house off the market, you will be able to make the space your own and create memories that last a lifetime, which is the best part of homeownership.