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Should you buy a house, or start from scratch and choose to build? Weighing the pros and cons of both options, can help you make an informed decision about the best course of action.

Buying is the more common option, and there are advantages in doing so. The pre-approval process that comes along with buying a home, ensures that you have a verified loan budget. This opens up the opportunity for you to tour several homes. Even though the process of buying is multi-faceted, a real estate agent can guide you through the process quite easily. By and large, the most beneficial aspect of buying instead of building is cost. In most circumstances, you will find buying a house to be the cheapest option. This is not always the case, but if your budget is a bit more restrictive, building a house will usually be the less cost-effective decision.

Building allows for complete customization. Building a home allows you full creative reign of your space. You won’t need to worry about an out of place bathroom on the main floor, or a basement that doesn’t have a second kitchen. When it comes to building, you decide how everything will look down to the minute details. When buying, you run the risk of viewing older homes that can be functionally or aesthetically obsolete. You may find a home that ticks all of your boxes, but is just one bedroom too short.

When it comes to building, what you gain in customization, you may lose in convenience. If you choose to build a home, you will be tasked with different issues that are often more time consuming and involved. For example, building requires finding an empty lot, which may not be possible in every neighborhood. You will need to be prepared for a long process of interviewing and vetting people to work on the home. This involves hiring an architect. The process can be expedited if you join an existing development, however, starting from scratch will be more time consuming. Additionally, you will be on the hook for making sure you have access to systems such as water and sewage. You will also need to be aware of any environmental permits.

The health of a new home is decidedly a large selling factor. Older homes may be susceptible to more health issues and toxic materials like mold, lead paint, and asbestos. When you build your own home, you are substantially lowering the risk for health issues that often come with older homes. Additionally, you can make your home more environmentally friendly by investing in green or energy saving appliances. Should you choose to sell a home you build in the future, these investments will certainly help boost the appeal.

Consider: Do you have the time and patience that it requires to build a new home? Despite technological advancements, building a home remains a time-consuming process. If you’re looking to size up or move immediately, you will not be able to do so if you choose to build a home. When building, you may be faced with surprise issues that will add time to the entire process. Depending on where you live, weather may also permit how quickly a home can be built. Essentially, there are far more aspects of unpredictability that come with building a home.

Let’s further discuss unexpected costs of building. Buying a home can be unpredictable in certain ways, but you more or less know what you’ll be looking at from a monetary standpoint. When it comes to building you can never be certain of the costs until it’s all over. If you are in a tight financial situation as is, it is not a good idea to build from scratch. Certain surprise fees may be enough to put you in serious financial strain, or worse, debt.

For some buyers, location and neighborhood means everything. While building allows for complete customization, it is also far more prohibitive when it comes to picking your neighborhood and location. When looking at a specific neighborhood, you’ll probably see various homes for sale at any given time. This is not the case when looking for a plot of land, as they may not even be available in a location to begin with. Location is important for many homebuyers, and building can force you into areas that are less developed, or further away from the center of your city or town. For many, an undesirable neighborhood can keep buyers away from an otherwise perfect home. Be mindful that your options will be substantially more limited with building.

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the situation, the decision is yours. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, although the process of building is much more involved. If you do choose to build, be aware that the process may be far more time consuming and costly. However, if you’re seeking complete customization, building will always be the more logical option. Weigh the options, and if necessary, get a second opinion. Whatever you do, don’t make an impulse decision when it comes to building.