According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate is currently at around 64.3%. However, as much as owning a home is the American dream — the process is both fun and terrifying.
Is it better to build or buy a house? This is the biggest puzzle many prospective buyers find themselves in. Here, we flesh out the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Buying a Home
The two significant advantages of purchasing an existing home are convenience and cost. To make the work easier, you can get help from a qualified real estate agent. They will assist you in finding the best property, handle the paperwork, and take stewardship in negotiations.
Once the seller accepts your offer, you can even move into your new home in two months. Although the whole process can be quite exhausting, moving in right away makes it worth the struggle.
Buying an existing home is especially ideal for people on a tight schedule. For instance, if you are taking up a new job or your kids have to enroll in a new school, buying an existing home proves more convenient.
Do you want to move into an established neighborhood? Or do you want to live close to your family or place of work? If yes, then buying an existing house could be the best option for you. The good thing is, you don’t have to start a lawn or grow trees from scratch.
In most cases, buying an existing home is cheaper compared to building one. The cost might, therefore, be another compelling factor when it comes to making the decision.
The Flip Side
Although buying an existing home sounds like a good bargain, it is not all rosy. It might be quite hard to find everything you want in one house. For instance, the floor might not be exactly what you wanted, or the kitchen is too small and no room for expansion.
Unless you find a home that perfectly meets your needs, you will end up spending so much trying to recreate the house into what you like. Ensure you factor in these additional expenses to the overall price then weigh your options.
Building a Home
Building a home, on the other side, is not as convenient as buying one. Besides the struggle to find land in a perfect neighborhood, you have to take time finding an architect. You also have to pick every element of the house as well as factor in the 3D rendering price.
You also have to install various utilities such as sewage and HVAC on your land. However, some new homeowners are taking their homes off the grid. Therefore, they no longer rely on local services for utilities.
While some are choosing to get a partial off-grid installation, others are going off the grid entirely, making their homes self-sustaining.
Unlike buying an existing home, you can be sure to get what you want. This reason alone makes some people forego the option of buying due to satisfaction.
A new house could also be safer since it does not contain toxic materials such as mold and lead paint. You are also more likely to invest in green appliances, making your home environmentally friendly and efficient in the long run.
Although building a new home is likely to cost you more, you would gain more in case of a resale. Since new buyers are more attracted to more modern structures, you might get a buyer sooner. It also requires less maintenance.
Money aside, there is some level of satisfaction that only comes with building your home. The idea of being the first one to live in there is on its own exhilarating. Therefore, if you want to feel the connection with your house, and get one that matches your personality, build a new home.
Just like buying an existing home, building one has its disadvantages too. The significant drawbacks are higher costs as well as the project taking longer. Let’s look at what makes building a new home cost more.
Expectation of Profit
Any home builder will factor in their profit margin before giving you the final price. On the other hand, sellers of old homes pay less attention to replacement costs since their property has appreciated.
Buying a home saves you the trouble of hunting for land. However, if you choose to build your home, you have to get land first, which can be quite expensive.
The land is particularly expensive if you are buying property from a high demand area. If you add the cost of land and the construction itself, there is no comparison to buying an existing home.
A home on sale is most likely to be in existence for quite some time. Therefore, the building materials could have retailed for a much lower price. On the other hand, building your own house requires you to use the new stuff which costs more.
Building materials increase in cost as time goes by. Besides, building permits are also quite expensive.
The Hidden Costs
Besides the commonly known costs, other expenses make building a home more expensive. Let’s take a look.
The cost of landscaping is directly proportional to the size of your lawn, and the detail. The entire process might see you parting with thousands of dollars.
If you are building a new house, chances are, it is bigger than the one you are currently in. That necessitates purchasing new furniture, which is not cheap. In other cases, you might find that your old furniture does a blend with the new home. Hence you need a replacement.
If you want some privacy, you need to invest in a fence. How much you pay depends on the size and the type of fence you want.
Final Verdict: Is It Better to Build or Buy a House?
Having weighed both options, it is still hard to take sides when asking yourself the question, is it better to build or buy a house? Your choice will be influenced by what you expect from the home, or what best suits your pocket. Check out our other blog posts for more insightful tips.