Deciding Between Buying a Home or Building a New One

a couple and sold house

The decision to purchase a home or build a new one can have a profound effect on the quality of life for years to come. The following are some key points that should be considered before making this decision.

1. Time

When you are deciding between building a home and buying an existing one, you need to take into consideration the amount of time that is involved in each process. Some people may only be able to afford a smaller lot and will choose to build a new home simply because they can wait for their dream house to be built. Others may want more space and opt for an existing home. Some factors that add to the time factor are:

  • Time of year for construction
  • Availability of a contractor
  • Availability of subcontractors and suppliers, including permits
  • Availability of lot options if building from scratch
  • Conditioning time for new homes versus existing homes

2. Financing options and budget

Another key factor when deciding between building a new home or purchasing an existing one is the cost of each option. There are many residential properties for sale in the market but people ultimately make a decision based on the price tag. The price for a lot with utilities, in some areas, plus the cost of building a home can be very expensive and beyond many budgets. On the other hand, buying an existing home may require renovations but will be less expensive than building one from scratch. With these in mind, homebuyers can look into different financing options to aid in their task of acquiring a home. Some financing options include:

  • Short-term construction loan for land and home combined
  • Construction mortgage (interest only during the building process)
  • Permanent mortgage (combines land and house)

3. Lifestyle changes and family dynamics

a family

When making such an important decision as to whether to build a new home or buy an existing one, it is important to consider all aspects of your lifestyle. Besides the cost factor, you should also take into account what the home will look like and how it will meet your family’s needs. Some questions that might be considered are:

  • Will the neighborhood have schools that are good for my children?
  • What age group lives in the neighborhood?
  • Is it close to the desired commute time into the city or nearby amenities?
  • Is it close enough to family and friends that I can be part of their lives, or does it present a strong sense of isolation from loved ones?
  • What is my greatest dream for myself, my spouse, and/or children in terms of quality of life, family relationships, and personal pursuits?

4. Extras

When you are building a home, there are many extras that can be added to the house or lot. Some of these items may come in the form of upgrades and appliances, while others may include certain construction features. Most of the time, these extras are easier and less costly to have built into a home during the construction period, so buying an already-built home may pose some challenges. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do I have specific items that I need/want, such as a spa tub or fireplace?
  • Do I want to upgrade the home with certain high-end finishes?
  • Do I have any desires for additional on-site features, such as a gazebo on the lawn or an outdoor kitchen?

5. Personal preference

When it comes down to the final step in making a choice between building a new home and buying an existing one, it is important to consider your personal preference. You should choose what will make you happy and comfortable because at the end of the day this is something that you will live with for many years. Whether it means having more space than you need or living near your family, you should choose what is best for you. For example, if it would bring you happiness to have a swimming pool then that option should be available even though it may mean that the home prices are higher.

Making the decision to build a new home or purchase an existing one is part of the journey that every individual goes through when they decide to take on homeownership. This journey can also include personal growth along with making adjustments for lifestyle changes. Making this decision, after weighing all the factors involved, will be based on the needs of each family. Whether you choose to buy an already existing home or build one from scratch, it is important to consider all options and make this decision together with your family.

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