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Is It Better To Build Or Buy A Home?

Is It Better To Build Or Buy A Home?

At some point, home buyers ask themselves whether or not it's better to build or buy a home. There are number of different considerations ranging from price to location to your personal level of patience which determine what option is best for you. Sometimes the decision is made for you such as when there are limited financial resources and the only option is a starter home. Most home buyers will consider all available and appropriate options of which buying or building a home are just two. There is also renting, leasing and home remodeling just to name a few others. If you find yourself in this position, it may help to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages to help determine if you should build or buy a home.

Buy a Home

Buying a home has a number of advantages over building of which the most prominent is normally price. When homes are constructed by national or regional home builders they can use economies of scale to keep prices down by buying land and construction materials in bulk. This however creates a homogenous framework where all homes have a similar look and feel. For most families, this is not an issue since a custom built home is often cost prohibitive. Communities with multiple developers also ensure a certain level of infrastructure with regards to sewer, water and electrical.

The flexibility lost in customization is usually offset by standardization and peace of mind. Many first-time home buyers or home buyers with families are more concerned with pricing, warranties, location and civil services. Is my home close to a school for my kids? Where are the fire and police departments in case of emergency? Will the builder replace or repair something that breaks after I move in? Some of these answers may not apply to a custom-built house which is more expense and places an increased responsibility on the home owner.

Build a Home

High income individuals or those who may be on their third or fourth home are more likely to build a home to meet certain specifications that they've come to rely on over the years. An artist may need a custom studio or certain size space to facilitate their craft. A race car driver may desire a large warehouse size space to store vehicles, auto parts and automotive rewards. An author may need a large custom-built library with multiple levels and ample bookshelf space. It really depends on personal situations and whether or not custom construction fulfills certain requirements.

This comes at a cost however since homes built to specification can be significantly more expensive. No home buyer realistically takes a tract home and slaps on a single expensive custom addition. Every home buyer who is going to take the time and expense of having a custom home built is also going to customize all aspects including flooring, roofing, driveways, light fixtures and pretty much everything else. This level of detail also creates another problem for home buyers looking to build. Custom built homes can take upwards of a year to complete and many home buyers either don't have the patience or the luxury to wait that long.

Final Thoughts

There is no right or wrong answer when deciding if it is better to build or buy a home. There is only the answer which applies to your situation and where and how you want to live. There are incredibly impressive and expensive pre-built homes from national builders which sometimes rival custom homes. If tweaking every aspect of your personal residence is important then building your own home will provide the additional flexibility when making decisions. If you're okay with available floor plans and customization options provided by a builder then it may not be necessary to spend the additional time and expense, let alone the additional stress, to build. Evaluate your current situation such as finances, time horizon and particular needs when deciding if it is better to build or buy a home.

Image by: Brock Builders