If you're reading this, you're likely toying with the idea of building or buying a new home. You're not alone! While we'd like to nudge you towards BUILDING a new house rather than buying one that is already constructed, both have their pros and cons. For instance, building a new custom home from the ground up will give you the floorplan and layout that you want, however, it will take months to construct. If you purchase an existing home, you will likely need to compromise on what you're truly wanting in a floor plan, but you'll get to move in right after closing. Before making your decision, it's important to do your research and then decide what the best option is for you and your family. Don't be afraid to reach out to local home builders or real estate agents! We've put together the pros and cons of each argument below to help you in your quest! Read on!
Building a House
- Competition in the Housing Market - According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average time an existing home is on the market is only about 30 days! Knowing that homes are moving through the market that quickly, competition to find an existing home that meets your needs can be difficult. When you build a home, the competition is not as much of a factor.
- Customization Options - When you build rather than buy, you get to personalize the details of your new home from the ground up! The layout, cabinets, flooring, sinks, lighting, paint colors, doorknobs, and every last detail are yours for the choosing!
- New & Modern Amenities - When you buy a home, you'll likely have to deal with some maintenance issues in the first few years like leaking roofs, failing heating & cooling systems, etc. However, with a newly-built home, you shouldn't have to deal with anything like that for the first several years! Not to mention, many homebuilders also offer a limited warranty. Besides that, your home can be built with all of the latest & greatest systems! When you purchase a new home, it's unlikely that all of the systems will be new or updated.
- Energy-Efficiency - Your new home will likely be far more energy-efficient than a home that's already 5+ years old. Windows, doors, HVAC equipment, and even the lighting are all factors that need to be considered! A home that's already built may not have energy-efficient items in place and will cost you in the long-run.
- Built Up to Code - New homes are built under the newest building codes, ensuring that you are receiving a safe-to-live-in home. However, when purchasing a home, there is a chance that the building codes have changed and the house may have lead paint or even, what would be seen today as shoddy craftsmanship. Building a house is definitely the safer bet.
- Time to Build - Building a new home takes, on average, about seven months to construct, according to the United States Census Bureau. If you don't have the patience to wait it out, building a new home may not be the best option for you. Of course, closing on a new home can take several months as well, but not quite as long as the building.
- Unwavering Price - There's not a lot of leeway on closing costs and purchase price when you build a house. While it's commonplace in the resale market to negotiate the sale price down, this isn't as easily achieved when building a new home. It's a good idea to work with a realtor that can help you negotiate incentives into your contract, but the price itself is difficult to negotiate.
- Cost of Upgrades - This is one isn't really a con of building a new home, but it is often overlooked. The sticker price of your new custom home may not reflect all of the changes and upgrades you'd like to add to the design down the line. Consider your budget when making these kinds of decisions! Of course, when you purchase a home that's already built, you know what you're paying up-front. However, you're also paying for the house as-is, and you may want to install upgrades after your purchase. Building a home really isn't all that different when you consider this.
Buying An Existing Home
- Less Stress - When buying a home, you'll need to purchase land, decide on a design, and choose flooring, fixtures, cabinets, countertops, etc. Doing all of this and staying within your budget isn't always easy and some may find that the easier option is to buy an existing home.
- Realtor Help - As mentioned above, while a real estate agent usually can't help you negotiate the price of your custom home, they can help when it comes to buying an existing home. Depending on how important your needs are for your new home, you could end up with a more affordable option that also meets your needs.
- Established Landscaping - Purchasing an existing home includes all of the landscaping! With an established lawn, trees, shrubs, etc., you only have to worry about changes to the landscaping as you see fit! When building a new home, your landscape is vacant. Often, you won't even have a lawn when moving into your custom built home. However, this is only a pro if you don't enjoy building a landscape! It's true. Building a landscape takes time and effort, and maybe you'd prefer to inherit a lawn and landscape rather than building it up the way you want to from scratch. Then buying a home is probably more for you.
- Maintenance - Purchasing an existing home, you're far more likely to run into maintenance issues. Maybe the air conditioner only has a few months of life in it! Perhaps your heater will go out on the coldest day of the year! These are risks that you won't have to take when building a new home.
- Outdated Features - Your purchased home likely won't have all of the features you want. While you may save at the time of purchase due to the shag carpet in the living room, you'll still have to deal with paying to replace it! When you build a home, you get to choose the carpet and other features!
- Higher Energy Costs - Like we said before, if you purchase an older home, it is not likely to have energy-efficient features in place. However, building a new home can save you in the long-run when it comes to efficiency.
- Buyers' Remorse - When you purchase an existing home, there is a chance that you will learn to hate the floorplan. Or worse, you could hate your neighbors! When you choose to build a house, you choose the floorplan! Not to mention, when purchasing land to build on, you can meet the neighbors beforehand, or choose a plot where you have no nearby neighbors!
Ready to Decide?
Every market is different and so is every buyer. Make sure to do your research before making your decision! We hope that the above info helped you to some degree, and if BUILDING a house seems right for you, contact Hagen Homes today! We'll be with you every step of the way, from concept to creation, and offer excellent customer service, communication, craftsmanship, and honesty! Thanks for reading and please reach out if you have any questions about our process!