Your new Home: Should you buy or build?

If you're thinking about moving, you are probably trying to decide whether to buy a home or have one built that meets your specific needs. And since a home is usually the single largest investment most people make, it's important that you spend some time performing your due diligence so you can make an educated decision about which route is best for you.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in July 2016 there were 654,000 new homes sold and 5,570,000 existing homes sold. 

Here are some of the pros and cons you should consider when trying to decide whether to buy a home or have one built.

Pros of Buying a House

Building your own home often means adhering to a pretty strict timeline. Not only do you have to wait until your new home is inhabitable, you also have to sell your current home before moving, which can mean having to move to temporary housing if your current home is sold before the new one is complete. When you buy an existing home, generally you won't have to move twice since there are fewer factors in terms of the timing.

If you want certain upgrades, building a new home means having to pay retail price for those upgrades. With a pre-existing home, someone else has already paid for the upgrades. Although those upgrades will be reflected in the price of the home, it won’t cost you nearly as much as hiring someone to install them. That means you will usually get more for your money.

If you choose a pre-existing home, you already know what kind of neighborhood you’re buying into. For example, you will be able to see how well your neighbors take care of their homes, what amenities are available, and who your neighbors are going to be. Additionally, the crime rates, if any, for that neighborhood will have already been established. You will also enjoy the benefit of mature landscaping and other area conveniences that newer neighborhoods might not have established yet.

Cons of Buying a House

When buying an existing home, you won't have the option of adding upgrades to that home. You will have to settle for the home as is or plan on shelling out some extra money (and time) to get the upgrades you want.

If you don’t want to upgrade, then you’ll probably have to live with outdated amenities and features. If you want all the newest technology and conveniences, you’ll probably want to opt for a custom home.

Since an existing home isn't new, you will have to perform repairs as the home continues to age. Additionally, depending on the age of the home, replacements are another factor to consider. This is why it’s important to hire an inspector you trust before signing on the dotted line.

The Pros of Building a House

Just about everyone loves the idea of building a home to their exact specifications. However, you should weigh all the facts before deciding which route to go.

When having a new home built, you can customize it to fit your specific wants and needs. This means that you can have the kitchen and master bedroom of your dreams, all in a specified floor plan that best meets your needs. You won’t have to knock down walls to achieve an open floor plan, nor will you have to pay for an expensive renovation project prior to moving in.

A new home will typically have the latest in technology and energy-saving appliances, which will save you money in the long run. Even if you don’t want the latest technology, a brand new home will be better suited to accommodate those upgrades in the future.

If you build a new home, it's likely you will receive a new home warranty which means you won't be spending much time making repairs. You certainly won't have to worry about paying for any major replacements due to equipment malfunctions throughout the life of the warranty.

Cons of Building a House

New homes are generally farther from large urban areas, making your commute times longer or, at the very least, harder to predict.

With a new home, there is generally no landscaping, which means you will have to spend money to have your landscaping installed and then you will have to feed and water it until it's established.

When you build a house, you will have to select which upgrades you want. And if you have high expectations, you could find yourself spending a lot more than you bargained for after adding all your chosen upgrades to the base price of that home. Then you will either have to settle for less or decide to pay more for that home than originally anticipated.    

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