Building Custom vs. Buying Existing: What You Should Know
Buying a new house is an opportunity full of new memories and challenges. The world is your oyster, but that means you’ve got a lot of decisions to make. One of the first ones you’ll need to cast your die on is whether to build a custom home or buy an existing one. There are many factors to weigh out, including your needs and budget.
When it comes to customization options, you’ll have many more options if you build a house. You can choose from thousands of house plans to find the floor plan that perfectly suits your needs. You’ll also enjoy the opportunity to pick all of the materials in your house, from flooring to paint to cabinets.
When you buy an existing home, you have to choose from what’s already built and in front of you. Chances are, you won’t find the exact house you want, but you may find something pretty close. Depending on your budget, you can also renovate after moving into the home.
If you buy a house in a new development, you may have some customization options if you buy the house early enough in the building process.
In almost every circumstance, it’s cheaper to buy an existing home instead of building custom. The average price of new construction was $336,900 in 2020, while the average cost of purchasing an existing home was $300,000.
When building custom, you often run into a lot of unforeseen expenses. You won’t have any room to negotiate like you do when buying existing, and you’ll pay total closing costs. That said, an existing house may also have some hidden expenses.
Older houses (even those less than ten years old) may have maintenance issues. If the home requires repairs or renovations to be livable, that can add a lot to your sale price. You won’t have to worry about appliances or infrastructure requiring replacement for several years with new homes.
If you need to move into a house immediately, an existing home is the better option. You can sometimes be an existing home as soon as a month. With new construction, it can take a few months or more.
New homes take time to build. You have to find and purchase property, secure loans, and contractors, and then wait for construction to complete. You can also face setbacks at any time. You’ll likely have to deal with bad weather, late materials, and more when constructing a new home.
Building custom or buying an existing home may be better, depending on where you want to live. In some areas, the most desired neighborhoods are already full of houses. There’s nowhere to build a new home. If that’s the case, you’ll be better off buying an existing house.
However, you may have a location that doesn’t have a lot of houses yet. There may be plenty of lots for you to buy, and you may even negotiate a good deal on one, depending on the market in your area.
Whether buying or building a home, you can expect some stress. When building, your to-do list is neverending. Securing loans and permits can require you to jump through many hoops. Inevitable setbacks and other problems can also cause you to lose sleep while you’re waiting for your new digs.
If you’re buying a home, you’ll have to go on a lot of home tours before you find the one you like. You may not be the only person who wants the home and find yourself in a bidding war, especially if you’re in an area where the real estate market is hot.
When it comes to building or buying a home, neither option is better than the other. You have to consider your budget carefully and what’s most important to you. Either way, you’ll find a home where you and your family can be happy.
Check out: Your Step-to-Step Guide of Buying A House
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