Build or Buy? Important Factors to Consider

By Real Estate Experts

|10 min read

Which is better: Build a new home or buy an existing one? It’s a tough question to answer, as there are pros and cons to both options. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you’re looking for in a home and what your budget is.

In this article, we’ll break down the different processes of each, the advantages and disadvantages, and the cost of each option so you can make an informed decision.

Do You Want Custom-Made or Convenient?

If you want complete creative control over the design of your home, building from scratch is the way to go. You’ll be able to control everything from the layout to the materials used. If you’re working with a good architect, they’ll be able to bring your vision to life.

The downside of this option is that it will take longer and cost more than buying an existing home. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a home that doesn’t suit your needs or that goes over budget.

You’ll also need to factor in the cost of land if you’re buying a lot to build on. The price of land can vary greatly depending on the location, so do your research before making any decisions.

If you’re looking for a home that’s move-in ready, buying an existing home is the way to go. You’ll be able to find a home that is suitable to your needs and budget much more easily than if you were building from scratch.

The downside of this option is that you might have to compromise on certain things, such as the layout. While you can remodel many areas of the home, ultimately, you’ll be limited by the existing structure.

You’ll also need to be aware of any potential problems that come with an older home, such as outdated wiring or plumbing. These problems can be expensive to fix, so make sure you factor them into your budget.

Custom Home Pro: Freedom of Choice

The cost of building a house varies greatly depending on the size, materials used, and location. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 per square foot.

The cost of land must also be taken into consideration when building a house. The price of land varies depending on the location, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 for a lot.

Pre-Fab Homes Can Reduce the Cost, But Also Depreciate

There are many innovative ways to save money when building a house. One option is to purchase a pre-fabricated home.

Pre-fab homes are homes that are built in a factory and then assembled on-site. This can save you money on labor costs, as the assembly process is much quicker than traditional construction.

You can also often purchase pre-fab homes for less than the cost of a traditional home, as they are often made with lower-quality materials. What that means is, that while you may save money upfront, your home will depreciate in value more quickly.

3D-Printed Homes

As technology improves, so does the construction industry. One of the latest innovations is 3D-printed homes.

3D-printed homes are built by a machine that lays down layers of material to create the desired shape. This technology is still in its infancy, but it has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry.

The main advantage of 3D-printed homes is that they can be built very quickly. A 3D-printed home can be assembled in a matter of days, whereas a traditional home can take months to build.

The downside of 3D-printed homes is that you are very limited in the choice of building materials. That’s not to say there is absolutely no variety, but you’ll be much more limited than if you were building a traditional home.

You’ll also need to factor in the cost of the 3D printer, as well as the cost of the material used to build the home. Currently, 3D-printed homes are only being built for wealthy individuals or companies, but as the technology becomes more accessible, that will definitely change.

When you build a house, you have complete control over the design. That means you can build a home that is completely unique and tailored to your taste.

The downside of this is that your taste may not be popular with future buyers. If you ever decide to sell your home, it may be more difficult to find a buyer who likes your taste.

It’s also worth noting that building a home to your own taste can be very expensive. If you’re not careful, you could easily end up spending more than you can afford.

Custom Home Con: Building a House Is a Big Responsibility

Building a house is a big responsibility. Not only do you have to worry about the cost, but you also have to worry about the quality of the workmanship. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a poorly-built home that will cost you a fortune to repair.

Building a house is also a huge time commitment. If you’re not prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to the project, it’s probably not the right decision for you.

You Need to Be Organized

Building a house is not a project you can wing. You need to be organized and have a clear plan from the beginning. If you’re not organized, you’ll likely end up making expensive mistakes that could have been easily avoided.

You Also Need to Be Patient

Building a house is not a quick process. It can take months, or even years, to complete. If you’re not patient, you may get frustrated during the process and end up making poor decisions.

Building a House Is Not for Everyone

Building a house is not for everyone. Many things can go wrong in the process, and it’s not unheard of for even major corporations to abandon massive construction projects. Before you decide to build a house, you need to ask yourself if you’re really up for the challenge.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind for Custom Homes

Building a house is a huge investment, and there are many factors to consider before you begin. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

1. Make sure you have the financial resources in place before you begin – Building a house is not cheap, and you need to make sure you have the money to cover the cost of materials, labor, and permits.

2. Do your research – Don’t just jump into a construction project without doing your homework first. Make sure you understand the process and have a realistic expectation of what it will entail.

3. Hire a reputable contractor – This is probably the most important tip of all. A good contractor can make or break a construction project. Make sure you hire someone with experience and a good reputation.

4. Be prepared for the unexpected – Things will inevitably go wrong during the construction process. Don’t let it throw you off course; just be prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Are There Closing Costs if You Build a House?

The short answer is yes, there are closing costs associated with building a house. However, the amount you’ll pay will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the state you live in and the type of loan you get.

For example, if you’re getting a construction loan, you’ll probably have to pay for things like inspections, appraisals, and title insurance. You may also have to pay loan origination fees and other closing costs.

The best way to get an estimate of your closing costs is to speak with a loan officer. They’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate based on your specific situation.

Buying a Home Pro: Typically Cost Less

The cost of buying a house depends on the age, condition, and location of the home. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 per square foot.

Older homes will usually be less expensive than newer ones, but they may require more repairs. Homes in good condition will also be more expensive than those in need of repair.

The location of the house is also a factor in the cost. Homes in urban areas will generally be more expensive than those in rural areas.

Just like a custom home, when you’re buying a home, you also have to factor in the cost of things like real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and closing costs. These costs can add up, so it’s important to factor them into your budget.

Buying a Home Pro: Easier to Get Financing

When you’re buying a home, it’s usually easier to get financing than it is when you’re building a custom home. This is because lenders are more familiar with the process and there’s less risk involved.

There are a number of different loan programs available for buyers, so you should shop around to see what’s available. You may be able to get a better interest rate if you have good credit.

Closing costs can also be rolled into your loan, so you don’t have to pay them out of pocket. This can make it easier to afford a home, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Buying a Home Pro: Move-In Ready

One of the biggest advantages of buying a home is that it’s usually move-in ready. This means you won’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of making repairs or renovations.

If you’re building a custom home, on the other hand, you’ll likely have to do some work before you can move in. This can include things like painting, flooring, and landscaping.

It can also take longer to build a custom home than it would buy an existing one. This is because you have to factor in the time it takes to get permits, find a contractor, and actually do the work.

So, if you’re looking for a place to live right away, buying a home is probably your best option.

Buying a Home Con: Less Flexibility in Design

When you buy a home, you’re usually limited to the design and layout of the existing house. This means you may have to make some compromises in terms of your ideal floor plan or the features you want.

If you’re building a custom home, on the other hand, you have complete control over the design. You can choose the layout, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and all the other details. This flexibility comes at a price, however.

Buying a Home Con: May Not Appreciate as Much

The value of your home will appreciate over time, but there’s no guarantee it will appreciate as much as you’d like. This is especially true if you buy in a soft market.

For example, if there’s a housing downturn, the value of your home could drop. And if you need to sell before it appreciates, you may end up selling for less than you paid.

Of course, this is just one risk of buying a home. If you’re planning on living in the house for a long time, it may not be as big of a concern.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know the pros and cons of buying a home vs. building a home, you can decide which is the right choice for you. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to speak with a loan officer or real estate agent to get their opinion.

With FastExpert, finding the right real estate agent is easy. Just enter your information and we’ll connect you with top-rated agents in your area. Browse their profiles to find agents who are knowledgeable and experienced in new construction homes. They can guide you through the process and help you make the best decision for your needs.

Get started today and find a local agent to help you buy or build your dream home!

Real Estate Experts

Real Estate Experts

FastExpert is a real estate agent directory that ranks agents by location according to client ratings and past home sales history. Our goal is to give you all the information you need to choose the right real estate agent for your needs. Users can search by specific traits that are important to them as well as see specific addresses of homes agents have sold in the past. Let FastExpert help you find an agent!

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