SHOULD YOU BUY OR BUILD A HOME?

SHOULD YOU BUY OR BUILD A HOME? we are here to help

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The process of acquiring homes involves several important choices, one of the very first decisions buyers need to make is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one. Each path has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at both sides.

Buying an Existing Home. SHOULD YOU BUY OR BUILD A HOME?

This refers to the purchase of an already built house. Most home buyers end up spending lots of time and energy either searching for or designing “the perfect home” before signing any contracts or laying down funds.

Location, price, market trends, property taxes,  home owners associations fees, and the condition of the property are usually factored into a house hunt. Also, each buyer typically has a wish list that includes specific needs (the things the buyer has to have) and wants (the features the buyer would like but could do without if necessary).

There are two primary advantages to buying an existing home: convenience and cost. Once you are pre-approved by your lender, you can shop around, pick out a home, and make an offer.

A qualified real estate agent can streamline the process by helping you find appropriate properties, guiding you through negotiations, and assisting with the paperwork. Once your offer is accepted, you may be able to close on the deal, and then move in.

Even though the process involves numerous steps—such as financing, viewing homes, making offers, home inspections, and closing—the convenience of being able to move in right away is compelling enough for many people to choose an existing home over a build.

Schedules and Cost. SHOULD YOU BUY OR BUILD A HOME?

The need to buy a move-in ready home may be especially true for buyers on a tight schedule, such as those relocating for a new job or whose children will be starting at a new school. Then there’s the cost. In many (but not all) cases, it’s cheaper to buy an existing home, according to data compiled by the National Association of Home Builders.1

Convenience vs. Customization 

Another reason an existing home may be a better option is if you would like to be in a particular established neighbourhood—near work, school, friends, and/or family. Odds are, too, that the home will have mature landscaping, so you won’t have to worry about starting a lawn, planting shrubs, and waiting for trees to grow. And if you want to live close to town, your best bet will be an existing home since most, if not all, of the land, will have already been built upon.

On the flip side, the most significant disadvantage of buying an existing home may be that you won’t get exactly what you want. You may not be in love with one thing or the other.

Key Takeaways

  • It may be challenging to find a home that is in perfect condition, so if you are buying a home, you may need to factor in the costs of any updates or renovations.
  • Building a new home allows buyers to put energy-saving measures in place.
  • If you are on a specific timetable, buying a home versus building one, is usually a safer choice.

Older homes, in particular, may be functionally obsolete, no longer meeting the needs of most buyers. For example, an otherwise beautiful four-bedroom house may only have one bathroom, or the kitchen may be too small, with no room for expansion.

Unless you find an existing home that has exactly what you want and is in perfect condition, you will have to spend additional money on remodelling, repairs, decorating, and/or landscaping. These additional expenses should be factored into the overall price, especially when choosing among various properties or comparing the cost of building your own house.

Advantages of Building a New Home

Building a new home doesn’t offer the same convenience as buying an existing house. Not only do you have to find the land, which may not be in an existing neighbourhood, you also have to factor in the time to find an architect or builder, and choose every element of the new structure.

Joining an existing development may streamline the process, though it may limit your degree of choice. You also need to worry about systems, such as whether the land gives you access to municipal water and sewage, or requires a well and septic system, along with any environmental and other permits.

The big advantage is you are much more likely to get exactly what you want. For many, this factor alone is enough to choose to build over buying. Still, there are other advantages, too, like the ability to create a more efficient home that meets new energy codes and standards for heating, ventilation, and cooling, plus insulation, and air filtration. Better efficiency is good for the environment and can save you money on your utility bills each month.

Even though the upfront costs of building can be higher, it may be easier to recoup your investment. “You can have more significant profits with the resale of your new home. A newer home is typically more appealing than an older home to most people. In addition, a new home will require fewer repairs and less maintenance, which can save both money and time. And, as Burtt points out, you’ll have a warranty with a new home, so even if something does go wrong, you may still be covered.