Building versus buying is a major dilemma in the new home market. The freedom to make decisions about the details of your home and watch it take shape holds undeniable appeal. But there's also something to be said for the security of comparison shopping, walking through a house and "kicking the tires" before you sign on the dotted line.
When it comes to buying a new home versus building a new home, is one option really better than the other? Not necessarily. It all comes down to preference. Only you can decide which option will work better for you. To help you decide whether you should build or buy your new home, use this handy guide outlining the pros and cons of both choices.
Building a new home
When you build a new home, you'll work with a builder to create a custom home that has all the features you want. Depending on your budget, you can customize every aspect of your new home down to a T or you can choose from a range of already-existing floor plans and features. The home building process can take as little as a few months or many as a few years.
Home building pros:
Control: Building a home lets you have control over all the features and options that will affect you on a daily basis.
Knowledge: As you monitor the construction process, you'll learn useful things about home construction and gain a sense of ownership that can only come from watching your house take shape step by step.
Expert advice: You'll have the expertise of the builder, contractors, and an architect to guide you. Have peace of mind knowing that the pros are thinking about code, permits, and energy efficiency -- not you.
The eco-friendly edge: You have the option of using environmentally sound materials and energy-saving features that will both make your conscience feel good and keep more cash in your wallet over the years.
Home building cons:
Cost overruns: You could have to pay extra for unexpected expenses. Unexpected costs can occur in any home construction project.
Time: Waiting for construction to finish can be disheartening, not to mention that having to come up with alternate living arrangements while you wait can be costly.
Stress: Every time a decision has to be made or a problem arises, you'll hear about it. Dealing with those considerations on a daily basis throughout the home building process can take their toll unless you've got a positive mental attitude.
Buying a new home
Buying a new home involves scouring real estate listings with an agent to find a home that suits your needs. The process can take a few days or a few months, depending on how fast you want to move.
Home buying pros:
Shopping around: You get to be a critical shopper, comparing different features until you find exactly the right combination at the right price.
Bargaining: You can drive a tough bargain and get the best deal possible, knowing that, in a competitive market, there are other options waiting for you right up the road.
Taking your time: When buying a new home, you get to work at your own pace. You can take your time house hunting. And when it comes to moving in, you work with the seller to choose a date that's soon or a few months away.
Home buying cons:
Concessions: When buying a home, may have to make concessions in regards to features you want. You may not find the "perfect" house since you didn't design it yourself. And you may need to spend money making updates or repairs.
Stress: Finding and making an offer on a new home can be stressful, especially if you are in a seller's market. You may need to act fast or make an offer that's more than the listing price if you get stuck in a bidding war.
In the end, buying a new home and building a new home both involve some headaches. But if you've done your research and planned carefully, the end result is sure to be rewarding no matter which option you choose.