You’ve envisioned building your dream house for as long as you can remember. But, is this really a possibility? Do you have the time, money, and patience to put those dreams to the drawing board? Or, is your life too busy, are you constrained by a budget? These questions are incredibly important when you are considering, should I build or buy my next home.
Either option has its advantages and disadvantages! Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of building vs. buying your next house.
The major advantage of buying an existing home is time. Are you on a tight schedule, do you need to relocate for a job, kids need to start school immediately? Then purchasing would be right for you, average time from offer to closing is 60 days. A home that is for sale, may also have a lower price point than building a new house.
There are definite disadvantages to buying an already built home, which usually comes in the form of hidden costs. Wear and tear happens in any home, but it’s the unknowns which may cause pain to your pocket book. What if, after immediately moving in, the HVAC system goes out? Do you know that could cost you almost $5,000? Not the sticker shock you are expecting.
Another consideration with a pre-built home, compromising on the floor plan, which may not meet your specifications. Additionally, the neighborhood you want could be out of your price range or inventory on existing homes could be non-existent.
Older homes can also be less energy efficient, consisting of out-of-date windows, doors, appliances, incomplete or lacking insulation and HVAC. Lead-based paint or asbestos may be present, which is cause for health concerns. All of these issues point to pricey renovations. Which can balloon the original cost of the property, but cause inconvenience with dust, dirt and workers in your home
Advantages to building your home come in many forms; more for your money, move-in ready, energy and comfort efficiency, health concerns alleviated, just to name a few.
When you plan your own home, you are designing for how you live today, tomorrow and the future. There is no need for remodeling, less repairs and maintenance, and the extra bonus of years of warranties.
Comfort and energy efficiency reflect well for your wallet too. Installing water saving plumbing fixtures, insulation and air sealing, radiant and zone heating, helps reduce your energy use and costs. According to Energy.gov/Energy-Efficient Home Design, “before you design a new home, consider investing in energy efficiency. You’ll save energy and money, and your home will be more comfortable and durable”.
Indoor air quality is improved by using non-toxic or low-toxic building materials, installation of air filtration systems and radon-resistant construction.
During the initial construction is the perfect time to customize for the future. Especially as some upfront costs or technology upgrades may not work into your initial budget. Adding wiring for home automation or solar panels, during the build, eliminates the need to punch holes in drywall later.
The final and most important questions. Do you have the capacity to build a home from the ground up? Or, does your personality suit a home that is already completed?
Do you work a 40+ hour a week job, do you have multiple kids in sports or activities, are you caring for an aging relative, do you find it hard to compromise, do you have a difficult time making decisions? If two or more of these answers are a yes, you may not have the room in your life to accommodate building a home.
However, maybe your temperament is the kind where you can be busy, you can make and hold firmly to choices, you are easily adaptable to change, meeting in the middle on common ground is attainable. If you can see yourself in this likeness, you are ready to build your dream home.
The question still remains should I build or buy?
The bottom line when deciding to build your dream home or buy the next best thing, you need to figure out what works best for you and your family, your budget, your time and your lifestyle.