Should you BUY or BUILD your home? | homify

Should you BUY or BUILD your home?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Park Slope Townhouse Sarah Jefferys Design Modern Houses
Loading admin actions …

There is something magical about walking into an existing, empty house and dreaming about where you can place your furnishings, what colors you will splash on the walls, etc. Then again, building instead of buying your own home can present more design opportunities.

But which is the right choice for your lifestyle? To help you with your answer, we’ve taken the liberty of comparing the pros and cons of building a house.

You’re welcome!


1. Which is cheaper: Buying or building a house?

For 2019, Americans were expected to pay over $485,000 for average building costs. That was a strong figure compared to $309,000, which was the average purchasing cost of an existing home. 

And if you decided to opt for a new, semi-custom tract house, you still would have paid approximately $50,000 more than you would for a previously owned house. 


2. The pros of building a house: Customization

Old Montauk Highway House SA-DA Architecture Modern Houses
SA-DA Architecture

Old Montauk Highway House

SA-DA Architecture

Building a new house from scratch means you get to personalize a range of elements, from furniture layout and kitchen cabinets to hallway flooring and bathroom finishes. 


3. The pros of building a house: Little competition

In August of this year, houses for sale flew off the market after about 22 days. But if you already own the property where you plan on building your home, needless to say you have zero competition to worry about. 


4. The pros of building a house: Lower maintenance

Usually, the first few years of living in a newly built house means not having to worry about big repairs or costly maintenance issues. That’s because everything was built/bought new by your homebuilders, many of whom also offer limited warranty on their products and services.

Don’t be shy – see which of our professionals on homify can help you with your dream construction/design project. 


5. The pros of building a house: Saving on energy

Dangle Byrd House, Koko Architecture + Design Koko Architecture + Design Modern Kitchen
Koko Architecture + Design

Dangle Byrd House, Koko Architecture + Design

Koko Architecture + Design

Since most newly built houses feature the latest energy-efficient systems and materials/finishes (it is 2020, people!), homeowners are privy to lower energy bills than those who just moved into an existing (and possibly much older) abode. 


6. The cons of building a house: More waiting (and paying)

All about ease: Family home in Bridgehampton, NY Darci Hether New York Modern Living Room
Darci Hether New York

All about ease: Family home in Bridgehampton, NY

Darci Hether New York

As it takes about seven months to construct a new house (not including the planning- and approval stages), there will likely be a gap between when you sell your old place and when you build/move into your new house. This means that you’ll also need to cover renting costs (if applicable) before you move into your newly built space. 


7. The cons of building a house: Negotiating prices

Custom Colonial, Greenwich, CT by DeMotte Architects DeMotte Architects, P.C. Colonial style house
DeMotte Architects, P.C.

Custom Colonial, Greenwich, CT by DeMotte Architects

DeMotte Architects, P.C.

Almost all property buyers look to lower the asking price on a new home, yet when it comes to building, there usually isn’t a lot of playing field on closing costs (although it can also depend on the professionals aboard your building project). 


8. The cons of building a house: A messy noise

Collins Model Home facade seen from the Street Outer Banks Renovation & Construction Modern Houses
Outer Banks Renovation & Construction

Collins Model Home facade seen from the Street

Outer Banks Renovation & Construction

Are you really down for months and months of construction noise, strangers tracking dirt in and out of your home, etc? Yes, eventually that building project will end, but really consider beforehand if those noise levels and the accompanying mess is worth it. 


9. The cons of building a house: Hidden costs

Salt + Pepper House KUBE architecture Modern Garden
KUBE architecture

Salt + Pepper House

KUBE architecture

Don’t discount how quickly upgrades (like countertops and appliances) can drive up a price. And these upgrades might not even be included in the final contract price (which is why open communication between client and professional is crucial). 

Avoid this nasty surprise by budgeting only for things you can pay with cash (that includes landscaping, which can really sneak up on a person).

Next up: 3 Reasons To Conduct Pest Inspections Before Buying A New Home

So, which will it be for you and your family: building or buying?
Casas inHAUS Modern Houses

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!