For those looking to join the ranks of homeownership, the question about whether to buy an existing home or to have one built can be a big one. There are pros and cons to either option and which will be better for you depends on your situation. Finances, tastes, family needs, and several other factors will have an influence on whether it’s best for you to build a new home or buy an existing one.
The best thing about building a new house is that you get to be in control of the specs, and have everything exactly how you want it on move-in day. From floorplan to countertops to appliances, you’ll be calling all the shots, and everything will be fresh and new just for you.
Builder incentives make building a house easier than ever, and being some of the first to arrive in a new neighborhood is fun. You’ll also have access to the newest grocery stores, schools, parks, and other community features when you build in a new neighborhood.
Building a home takes a lot longer than buying an existing home, and you’ll be waiting months for your move-in day to arrive. If there are any delays in your timeline, you could see your move-in day pushed back, and extra money going out of your pocket. That’s bad news for homeowners who are already spending more than an existing home would cost, and who may not be able to comfortably afford to make the payment on their old home and their new home at the same time. Other additional costs associated with building include landscaping, upgrading finishes, and association fees that are often part of newer neighborhoods.
Buying Existing Pros
When buying an existing home, you get to move into a neighborhood that is already established, and that you’ll be able to get a feel for before you buy your home. Mature landscaping and architecture make established neighborhoods charming and unique. You save a lot of money with an existing home because they cost so much less per square foot than a new one does.
The landscaping will already be done as well, so you won’t have to spend much on that. Another big perk of buying an existing home is that you’ll be able to move in usually within 30-60 days of purchasing the home, which can save you money and anticipation. Buying an existing home also reduces your carbon footprint by not using all those new building materials, and makes Mother Nature happy.
Buying Existing Cons
Although it’s possible to find your dream home when searching through the existing house market, it’s more likely that a home of this type won’t be exactly what you’re looking for in every way. Someone else’s preferences and tastes will have dictated the building of this house, and you’ll probably want to make some changes to make it your own.
The home may also need some updating to make it more energy-efficient, and you may need to bring in appliances. Painting, replacing the flooring, and updating fixtures are all common changes that need to be made when buying an existing home, and the cost on these projects can add up. These are all things to consider when you’re trying to decide which home will be best for you.