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Building vs. Buying: How to Make the Right Choice

by Alice White 12/27/2021

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Is it better to build or buy a home? A home is a sizable investment, perhaps one of the largest in your lifetime, and you want to ensure you are investing well. Both buying and building have benefits and drawbacks to consider. Here's what you need to think about as you make this decision.

Pros and Cons of Buying

When you buy a home that's already been built, you have some benefits. First, the home already exists, so as soon as you can arrange financing and set a date with the seller you can close on the sale. You will not need to spend months waiting just for the home to be completed. Buying an existing home often costs a bit less. In addition to not having construction costs, you will not have to pay for landscaping, a deck nd many extras you will want in the home.

One major drawback to buying is that you are not going to have everything in the home just the way you like it. Often you will want to put in new flooring, paint the walls or remodel in some way. The costs of these changes may offset the savings you get from buying an existing home. Existing homes almost always need some sort of renovation. You may struggle to find exactly what you want, especially with older homes. For example, modern families often need more than one bathroom but it's not uncommon to find an older property with four bedrooms and just one bathroom. Great rooms are popular today but uncommon in homes built in the 1970s or earlier.

Pros and Cons of Building

The key benefit of building is the ability to customize the home. You can get exactly what you want including the floor plan, flooring and paint colors, and even exterior look when you build. You have the freedom to choose every element in the new property as long as it fits within your stated budget. Building also means you can improve the efficiency of your home. Adding smart home features in during the building stage, like choosing eco-friendly appliances and HVAC systems, means you won't have to install them separately later. You can also choose sustainable building materials.

When you move in to a newly built home, the home is fully yours without any prior damage or dirt. You are the first people to walk on the carpet and use the restroom. You are the first people to put things on the wall. Also, most newly built homes come with a builder's warranty. If something does go wrong you may be covered for the repairs.

The main drawback of building is the higher cost. Freedom to customize often makes it more difficult to stick to your budget. Financing can be difficult to obtain, and building often takes more time. You will need to have good financial standing and patience.

The Bottom Line

Overall, if you have the freedom of time and are not on a super tight budget, building gives you greater flexibility and freedom to get exactly what you want. If you do not have time or extra money to spend, then buying may be the right choice.

About the Author

Alice White

Hi, I'm Alice White and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.