Should you Buy or Build a House?

It’s time to take the plunge and buy your own house. It’s an exciting time! Before you start the process, though, you have to decide if you should buy or build a house.

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There are many factors that go into this decision. Do you want to buy a home that’s ready to go or do you prefer to design your own house? Are you very picking regarding the features the home has or do you have some flexibility?

These are just a few of the factors that go into the decision regarding whether you should buy or build a house. Keep reading to see which factors you should consider to make your decision.


Buying an existing home definitely has its benefits. Even though you are buying a home someone else lived in, you reap the following benefits:

  • Quick process – If you find a home you love and already have a mortgage preapproval, you can get the process done in a short amount of time. It’s not unheard of to move into a home within 30 days of signing the contract. Of course, everything must fall into place, including the seller agreeing to a move in date so quickly, but it’s definitely possible.
  • Cost savings – The cost to buy versus build a home will differ based on area, type of home, and amenities. However, typically, buying an existing home costs less than building a home. Of course, you can find high priced existing homes that would cost you more than building a smaller home, but comparing apples-to-apples, you’ll generally save more money buying an existing home.
  • Established area – If you build a house, chances are it’s in an unestablished area. It could be months or even years before you have neighbors or even a nearby grocery store. You may have to travel far to get to any of your normal errands or you may find yourself without anyone nearby for quite some time. Buying an existing home usually means buying into an area that is already established. Of course, you still have to get to know everyone in the area, but at least there are people there to get to know.

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If you decide to build a house, there are several benefits you may experience including:

  • Customization – The largest benefit of building your own house is that you get exactly what you want. You call the shots when it comes to the design. If there’s a specific floor plan you want or a specific amenity you have to have, you have a better chance of making it happen when you build. You’ll have to work out the cost and logistics of the design with the builder, but generally you are in control when it comes to the design of your home.
  • Energy efficiency – Homes built today are often much more energy efficient than existing homes. Of course, you may find an existing home that went through some energy efficient changes, but it won’t cover the entire home. Building materials today have come a long way from what they were before. This could mean a smaller footprint in the environment and lower utility bills.
  • A better investment – You may make more money on a new home than you would an existing home when it comes time to sell. This assumes that you would sell in the near future. If you think you’ll stay in the home for the next 30 years, the home will be ‘old’ no matter what. But if you are the type that moves often, your newer home may have more appeal and provide a greater return on your investment than an older home with several previous owners.

Deciding whether to buy or build a home really is a personal decision. Some people prefer the control that building a new home allows, giving them access to the features they want in a home right away. Other people prefer the benefits of moving in right away when buying an existing home. They figure that they can make any changes they want to a home if something is that big of a deal to them regarding the home’s design.

You have to decide which end of the spectrum you are on and see what is available out there. Sometimes there is just nothing available on the market that suits your needs, leaving you with no choice but to build a new home. Other times, you have many homes at your disposal, giving you many options and decisions to make.


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