So you’ve made the decision that you want to move- but now what? Considering whether you want to buy or build may be a large decision in establishing your new home, and there is a lot to consider. Luckily we have the pros and cons of buying v. building to help you and your family to decide what’s the best decision for your needs!
First Things First, Consider Your New Needs
You’ve likely made the decision to make a move for a number of different reasons. For example, space constraint due to a new family member, relocating due to employment, or moving to be closer to family. Once you have pinpointed your main reason for moving you will also want to consider the following,
- What is your total budget for your new home and move?
- How long do you want to wait to move? Do you have an end date in mind?
- Are you looking for something new and move in ready, or a home that could use some renovation?
- What is your ideal location?
- What degree of customization for your new home are you looking for?
Buying a Home- The Good, The Bad and The In Between
Buying an existing home is a great option for many, and certainly has some advantages. You will need to partner with a great realtor in order to help find the best home for you and your family, and take into account all of the considerations listed above.
The Pros of Buying:
1. Convenience: Generally speaking buying a home is the more convenient choice, as you are typically able to outsource a lot of the required work in finding a new home to your realtor (i.e searching, scheduling showings, etc.). The process is typically pretty streamlined to closing, and can all be done on a relatively short timeframe if needed.
2. Timing: As stated above, if you are looking to make a move (relatively) quickly buying is definitely the way to go. Even though the process of buying involves many steps (i.e inspections, closings, etc.) it is much faster than building a new home from start to finish. This may have a higher degree of importance if you are relocating for a job and have an ideal end date in mind for your move to be completed.
3. Cost: Purchasing an existing home is often times cheaper than building, especially if the home is move in ready and requires little to no renovation. You can have a general idea of your monthly expenses using a mortgage calculator, and interest rates in today’s current market have been pretty favorable.
The Cons of Buying:
1. Compromising Your Wishlist: When buying an existing home, you will likely need to sacrifice items on your wishlist, especially if you are adhering to a certain budget, or looking for a home in a certain location.
2. You Aren’t the First Owner: Like purchasing anything used, you cannot be 100% certain that there won’t be issues that arise later on. This is why home inspections are such an important step in the home buying process. When buying an existing home you should plan on budgeting for upcoming repairs.
3. Sustainability: It is more difficult to come by energy efficient homes, or those with sustainable practices. This can not only have positive impacts on the environment, but on your utility expenses as well!
Building a Home- The Good, The Bad, and The In Between
Building a home can be a great choice under certain circumstances as well. Although building does not necessarily offer the same convenience that buying does, it certainly has its perks!
The Pros of Building:
1. It’s Built to Your Liking: One of the biggest perks of building a new home is that it is designed specifically to your families needs and taste! The layout, size, and aesthetic of your home are in your hands and can be tailored to you by your builder or contractor.
2. Sustainability & Efficiency: Newer homes are likely more prone to meet updated building codes, and are likely more energy efficient and sustainable. As stated above, this is a pro not only for the environment but for your checkbook as well!
3. The Market: Building a new home eliminates the stress of competing for an existing home (especially in today’s market), and you may be less prone to overpaying for your new space.
The Cons of Building:
1. The Time Commitment: Building is a very large time commitment. Not only waiting for the actual home to be built, but the time it takes to find all of the professionals that it takes to build a home specific to your liking.
2. Cost: Generally speaking, building a home is more costly than purchasing an existing home. The cost you will incur while building is not as fixed as buying simply because of unexpected costs or price increases.
3. Sacrificing Location: When building, you are only able to look where there are empty lots. This may rule out highly desired neighborhoods, school districts, etc.