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Buy vs. Build: Which Should I Choose?

To buy or to build? We’ve got your guide on whether or not you should buy or build your next house!


Buy vs. Build: Which Should I Choose?

Buying a new home is an exciting life event, but it’s also a complicated one. After all,Build a house or buy this is likely the largest purchase you’re going to make in your lifetime. Things like which neighborhood to choose, how much money to spend, and how many bathrooms you really need are questions you’ll have to consider in full.

You’ll also need to consider whether it’s better to buy an already existing home or build one to suit your specifications. Both options are equally viable, but depending on what you’re looking for out of a residence and how much money you’re willing to spend, one may be the better choice for you.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you start your search for the perfect home.

> How tight is your timeline? If you’re moving for work, coordinating the sale of your current home, or moving a large family, you might not have much flexibility in your moving timeline. You need a new house on a certain date, and there is no wiggle room. Because building a home often comes with delays and setbacks, they’re rarely ready to go when you are. Houses that are move-in ready, however, provide an ideal solution. Take this into account when searching for a new home. Living in a hotel or with a relative for a few months while your home is being built is always a possibility, but it can be emotionally rough (not to mention expensive).

>  What do you want in a neighborhood? Although there are exceptions, almost all new-build homes can be found in up-and-coming neighborhoods or developments that are just getting started. They’re usually further away from city centers and focus more on family living than urban pursuits. If this is a lifestyle you want, then building your own home can be a great choice. If, however, you like to know exactly what kind of neighborhood you’re moving into (and prefer the look of mature landscaping, diverse homes, and more established residences), then buying an existing home might be better.

>  How excited are you about DIY? It can (and does) happen that homeowners find homes that exactly suit all their needs. The paint colors are perfect, the appliances don’t need updating, the floorplan suits their lifestyle, and the landscaping is on point. In most cases, however, you’ll need to do at least a little DIY to get an existing house into shape. New build homes, on the other hand, can be designed and decorated according to your exact specifications. If you want to move into a house and literally do nothing else to update it, then building a house could be the ideal solution.

> What kind of modern updates do you want? Homes today feature all kinds of technology, from heated floors and built-in sound systems to solar panels and energy efficient windows. The newer the house, the more likely you are to have these sorts of things included. Building your own home gives you the freedom to update and modernize according to your own desires, including wiring for complicated tech and heating systems.

> How do you feel about toxins? The older the home, the more likely you’re going to have to deal with things like asbestos, mold, radon, lead, and other health hazards. Although you’ll likely pay more for a new build home, you’re guaranteed a home free of all (currently known) toxins.

Of course, you’ll also want to pay attention to things like room size, home hazards, and accessibility—especially if you have young children, elderly relatives, or someone with special needs in the family. Those who have custom needs tend to fare best with homes they can customize to their exact requirements, though there is always an option to update older homes, as well.

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