If you are in the market for a new home, one of the biggest decisions is whether to buy or build. More often than not, first-time homeowners chose to buy, for many reasons, some of which we will cover shortly. However, for the more experienced homeowner, building a home may be a great option. As with any other major decision in life, there are of course pros and cons to both options that need to be seriously considered before choosing.
Presumably one of the most important factors in the home buying process is the budget. It is vital to set a budget and to also discuss how firm that budget it, as there are many associated costs with buying and building that are not included in the list price. When buying a home, the price listed is more or less negotiable, and the seller should have factored potential negotiation into the list price. Offers can be made below listing price, with the knowledge that closing costs and a pending inspection may raise this. However, an inspection can also shed light on potential fixes or improvements that will need to happen upon moving in, which can quickly add up. When building a house, the list price is typically the lowest, most standard price without much, if any, room to go lower. In actuality, the cost of building typically will be higher than the list price as you add customizations and upgrades. The benefit to this is that an inspection should not show any needed repairs or renovations, as the house is brand-new, saving you money down the line.
Most people hunting for a house are working with a deadline. This could be that they want to move their family in before the school year starts in the fall, or have a lease expiration approaching and want out before they are locked into another. Regardless of the reason, time is certainly an important aspect to consider. After making an offer on an existing home, the closing process is typically only a few weeks long, and the buyer can move in anytime thereafter. However, the buyer may be working with a difficult schedule based on when the seller needs or wants to move out. With a new construction home, the wait to move can be significantly longer, as most homes take an average of 7 months or more to build. Other living arrangements may need to be made, but if you are flexible with your current situation, this long wait time can be ideal.
The style and aesthetic of your home are what makes it your own. When buying a home, you are limited as to the design and layout. It is likely already painted and designed how the seller wanted. Renovations and changes to a home are costly and time-consuming, even if you hire professional help. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, because it gives you the chance to change your home and adds your own personal touches. If you are passionate about DIY projects, most homes offer the opportunity. Should you choose to build a home, a part of the process is selecting various customizations and styles of the home as it is being built. This offers a great opportunity to make your home your own, and there is less chance you will need to make updates or renovations later on. However, adding customizations quickly drives up the price of the home and can even further delay the date that it will be finished.
Technology and Maintenance
The technology that is placed in your home is more important than one may realize. Technology heats and cools a home, it offers security when you are gone, and can generally make your day to day life much easier. When building a home, you can choose to add up-to-date technology in the build and most often little to no maintenance is required. A new home will have a new roof that less likely to leak, new windows that will insulate better, or a new foundation that should not crack. These things will come at a price though. When buying an older home, the roof may need fixing, or new windows may need to be installed. However, older homes tend to provide character and charm that newer homes do not. They also will more likely come with matured trees and landscape in your yard rather than saplings.
While you cannot always directly pick the perfect neighborhood to buy or build in, this is a factor that weighs heavily in the process. Building a home can sometimes come with the option to pick your ideal property in the community. This also means that most of your neighbors will be new to the neighborhood as you. This is a great way to meet new people and become involved in the community. On the contrary, though, many new construction neighborhoods are, well, under construction. Even after your home is built, there is no guarantee that more homes will not be continuing to go up around you. Buying a home usually means that you cannot pick a particular plot of land, as there is likely only the one house for sale. However, an established neighborhood usually comes with neighbors who know the area and are welcoming to new buyers. If you are new to the city, they can offer the best advice on where to eat, or what grocery store is closest.
Regardless of the home, the buying or building process is not one that should be taken lightly. Both options come with potential negatives, but both can also reap great benefits.