To Build or Not to Build

There are many questions that come up in regards to making a move.  Many times the question is the price, location, size of the property, needs versus wants, and the list goes on.

One question I often hear clients debate in their mind, and in some form of question ask me, is it better to build or buy resale?

There is no easy answer to this question as everyone’s circumstances are different. However, I hope to give you some things to think about as you move forward in this process.

Building done the right way can be a very exciting time. Emotions are high and in some houses, you can pick your colors, details, plans, etc. It is all new and soon to be yours!  If you try to take the work on yourself, it will depend on you, your experience, time available, and resources as to how stressful it might be.

Going through a Realtor, and new home builder can take many of those stresses off your plate and give you a peace of mind that if something is wrong you have an advocate to have it corrected.

This leads many potential buyers to the question of would it be cheaper to buy resale or build?

As with any product, buying new is going to look on the surface as though it costs more because it is newer and the materials purchased to build costs more today than in the past. However, I would suggest that all things should be considered.

Buying a resale does not always ensure a well-maintained house. The maintenance of the home is where you likely will find part of the answer to this question. If a house has been well maintained,  then you may have to look deeper into the circumstances in regards to your situation.

If a house has deferred maintenance and there will be a lot of upkeep, you may find yourself in a money pit.  This is why we rely heavily on our inspectors who can find potential “red flags” to advise you of possible repairs needed.

I mentioned that with a well-maintained house you may want to look deeper. I would suggest looking into your short-term situation. Are you going to live in the house for 2-5 years and then sell it, or is it a long-term plan to stay there?

The reason this is important is that I think many times people look at the monthly payment and maintenance but fail to look at the big picture. The big picture may look different for everyone,  but I would suggest considering longevity due to interest being paid, the resale value in the future, and what upgrades you intend to do to get it the way you want it.

If buying new gets you there quicker without having to take out a second mortgage or other loans, it might be a wise option. 

If you really love a location of a resale, how much do you value that?

There is really so much to consider, more than just the cost, especially when there is possibly more than one person’s feelings to consider.

My advice to my buyers is generally, each decision maker makes a list of the top 5 items that are most important in buying a house, resale or new, and bring your list together.  Focus on the one that matches on both lists first, unless of course, it is a criteria such as prequalification. Make your pros and cons lists as to one house over the other and hopefully, this will help you eliminate some of the emotions out of the buying process and more importantly the stress that many seem to have.

To build or not to build?

Once you go through the thought process and truly considered your situation unique to you, there you will find the answer.


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