To Build or to Buy - The Pro's and Cons

So you have finally decided to make the move – literally and figuratively, but now the question becomes, should I build a home or buy a home? While each option definitely has it’s pros and cons, it is completely necessary to explore both options before you finally make your decision. We have put together a brief overview of the pro's and cons of both building and buying a home below. Although this only scratches the surface, it is important to always consider both sides, and ultimately make the decision that is right for you.


BUILDING PROS
  • Customization – In choosing to build your home, you have complete control over the floor plan, design features, and feel of your new home. You have the ability to work closely with a designer to make sure it is the home of your dreams. Regardless if you start with a floor plan already in mind or from scratch, rest assured each detail of your home will be unique and designed to fit your dreams.

  • Energy efficiency – As with all new construction, a new home will be built to the highest energy efficiency and safety standards. Thus, the heating and cooling costs of a new home will likely be lower than that of an existing home depending on when the existing home was built. 

  • Newest technology – From smart home security technology, to an incredible sound system integrated throughout the entire home, you will be able to implement the newest smart home technology throughout your entire home during the build. By pre-selecting these features prior to construction, your home will be built and integrated with the newest technology into its very walls saving you from ever needing to rewire or tear into the drywall in the foreseeable future.

 

BUILDING CONS

  • Construction costs – As the construction begins on your home, unexpected costs due to weather-related issues or even defective materials can and may come up. While it is rare, unforeseen circumstances can and should always be considered when building a new home. 

  • Building timeline – The average timeline for new home construction can be anywhere from four to six months; however, the construction timeline of your home is entirely dependent many external factors including the weather. A week or two of rain may create a delay in the construction process of your home and should be accounted for as you consider building from the ground up.

  • Potential gap in residences – Although you can try to plan to and have a seamless transition between your old home and your new home,  there is always a possibility that there may be a gap in your residences should there be a delay in construction. Although the probability of such an occurrence is small, it is definitely something to consider as you begin to schedule to relocate.


BUYING PROS
  • Definitive move-in date – By purchasing an existing home, you can have a definite close date from the moment you sign. The home you are planning to purchase is completely finished meaning the chance for any construction related delays is almost zero. By and large, when you sign the purchase agreement for your new home, your close date is just about guaranteed.

  • Upgrade at your own pace – Purchasing an existing home allows you to take your time in making changes and updates to your home. This may be a more favorable option especially if your budget is tight. Unlike purchasing a new home, you can slowly make changes to a specific space rather without breaking the bank.

  • Mature landscaping – This one is a no brainer. In purchasing an existing home, it also means that you are purchasing existing landscaping. Whether it’s in the form of a 100-year-old oak tree in the backyard or a mature, maintenance-free yard, your landscaping will be more or less established upon move-in.

  • Less stress – Purchasing an existing home removes many of the inherent decisions that can be associated with building a new home. Your home is already complete, and you only need to worry about closing and moving in. The only real variable to consider in this case is in the financing of your new home. Be sure to meet and work with your lender to ensure everything goes smoothly. (And of course, make sure the movers show up on time!!)

BUYING CONS

  • Less energy efficiency – Dependent on when the home was built, you may experience slightly less energy efficiency than that of a brand new home. While much of this can be remedied after move in, your heating and cooling costs will be slightly higher and should be considered as you budget for your new home.

  • Maintenance issues – As with purchasing any home, time will take its toll meaning  unexpected maintenance issues can and will arrive at any time. Whether it’s a sewer line backing up immediately after you move in, a faulty water heater, or a furness that just won't turn on come freezing weather, many of these maintenance issues cannot be anticipated or predicted prior to close, and must be addressed when they arise. 

  • Negotiating – More often than not, you will be working with a realtor who will help you find the best bang for your buck on an existing home. While they will help you to make a competitive offer, it may mean multiple days of going back and forth on offers and can impact which home you are able to purchase and may potentially affect your desired closing date.

Whether you purchase an existing home or build from the ground up, it is important to consider all aspects of both options. While both ultimately end up producing the same result, it is crucial that you think critically about both possibilities to ensure you make the best decision for you.