Building a Home vs. Buying a Home: Pros and Cons



Finding the perfect home isn’t easy. But when it comes to getting the right house in the right neighborhood at the right price, is buying the best way to go or is it better to build from scratch?

If you’re in the market but not sure which way to go, it definitely helps to know more about how these two options compare. Here’s what to know about building vs. buying, including the pros and cons of both so you can better decide which is your ideal way to go.

Building a home

Does the idea of building a new home from the ground up sound appealing to you? You’re not alone. Interest in new construction builds is on the rise, and regions across the U.S. are seeing an increase in the number of permits for new residential builds.

From the flooring to the finishing touches, building from scratch gives you a unique opportunity to choose exactly what you want in a home. Depending on where you live, it might also give you a chance to break ground in a neighborhood that’s otherwise limited insofar as desirable housing.

So what are the pros and cons of building new? Here are some of the big ones to consider.

Pros

Options. When you build new, you get to make a ton of decisions on how your home looks and functions, which could be a plus if you’re struggling to find what you like.

Value. New homes tend to increase in value as the areas around them get further developed. This can make them a good investment, especially for first-time home buyers who intend to sell in the somewhat near future.

Cons

Price. Growing interest in new builds plus rising prices in lumber, steel, and other building materials means that it’s certainly not cheap to go this route. You’ll have a base price to consider, plus additional costs for any upgrades.

Competition. Waiting lists for a new build are thousands of people long in some areas, meaning that even if you’re ready to buy you may not have the opportunity.

Buying a home

This is the go-to option for a lot of home buyers, but has gotten a bit tricky with what seems like an endless seller’s market driving up prices and creating a ton of competition for every property. Is it worth it though? Here’s what to keep in mind.

Pros

Convenience. Once you buy, you can close and move in a month or two, versus the six months or more it might take to move into a new build.

Quality. Older homes may be made with higher-quality wood, steel, and stone materials that are harder to come by in new construction.

Cons

Wear and tear. A lived-in home may have some issues that need to be dealt with, including pricey fixes to roofs, plumbing, or other key systems.

Competition. As it turns out, competition is just as steep for existing homes. Today’s market is defined by high demand and low inventory, and it’s buyers who are having to make concessions if they want to close a deal.

It’s up to you to decide whether buying or building is preferable. We recommend working with a real estate agent and/or a financial planner to figure out what you can spend and what your must-haves are so you can narrow in on your best option and move forward toward the home of your dreams.

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