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Do I want to buy or build my new home?

Congratulations on your plans to move into a new home! Before you go all in designing your dream home, there are a lot of factors to consider before opening up your wallet to a home-builder.

Location, location, location

Location is probaby the most important aspect of home buying process

Does the home location fit into your life patterns and needs? In some areas it can be hard to find a lot that’s a good price, near your work, in a good school zone… You will be more likely to find a favorable location if you shop for an existing home. But market availability for existing homes is low. If location is your most important objective, you should consider both options while shopping with a knowledgeable local realtor.


Cookie cutter development houses might not yield the returns similar to custom homes

Due to global supply chain issues, material costs are highly variable - and emphasis on high! While a new home has many advantages, you’ll be paying a premium to build in 2022. The National Association of Home Builders says that in most American markets, building is more expensive than buying. However, sometimes you can find the right existing home that you can renovate to fit your needs at a lower overall price than building new.

If your budget is a little lower, you can buy an existing home and live in it for some time before renovating, to use the house’s appreciation in value to pay for the renovations and avoid too much money coming out of your own pocket.

Resale value

If you are planning to sell your home after some time, the resale value is an important thing to keep in mind. A newer home tends to appraise for a higher value, thanks to its updated code and energy efficiency. A newer home tends to have fewer and more predictable maintenance costs. And a brand new home usually comes with a warranty.

But if you buy a fixer-upper and renovate with an eye to resale value, you should be able to get a good return on investment with an existing home as well. It just tends to have more variable challenges than a new build, and will require more work than a new home to create and prove its worth.

Energy saving

Energy saving through Solar is trending upwards in the market

You might have nostalgic feelings for that 1870s farmhouse standing on the edge of town. But the energy costs will be high, and so would the renovations necessary to upgrade it to modern energy efficiency. You can add historical-feeling touches in a new build and be sure to include all the energy saving details much more easily. An even more important advantage is that you have a chance to future-proof your house – you can run conduits to easily swap out internet cables, design for solar electricity, and install energy and water efficient appliances.

Market trends

Realestate Market trends is changing everyday

If you are good at seeing the potential in an existing home that you might want to repaint or renovate, go for it! You can also partner with a designer like Building Data Labs to make concept plans for If you have specific tastes that don’t match the HGTV trends, then a new home is the right choice for you.

Property condition

Location is cruicial in making this decision

With so few existing homes for sale this year, you might feel forced to take a lower quality house than you want, or get into a price war for the one perfect home on the block. Building a new home will help you control all of these aspects so you have exactly what you want.


Development projects take shorter time than custom houses

It will take longer to build a new home than to buy an existing one and move in. Especially with material delays, some contractors are saying “It will take as long as it takes.”

If you have a time crunch on your hands, you should definitely buy an existing home - after going under contract, it usually takes about a month to close. But you’ll be living there for years to come - if you don’t want to compromise, building a new home is the best option.

Complicating factors

When building a new home, not only do you have to find the land, which may not be in an existing neighborhood, you also have to factor in the time to find an architect or builder, and choose every element of the new structure. Making sure that you choose the right architect and builder, and making sure your contract is all in order, is a job in and of itself! But if you are sure about building a new home, it’s well worth the effort.

The Bottom Line

Even if you start out expecting to buy a house (or build it!) the process of searching for the right property may result in you choosing the opposite. It’s important to know what your deal-breakers and deal-makers are. Keep your bottom line in mind while searching - that bottom line is different for everyone. In either case, working with a knowledgeable professional — whether that's your local real estate agent, a general contractor, or an owner’s rep—can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Want to know more? Schedule a free 1-hour consultation with our real estate and construction experts!


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