On your homeownership journey, several questions will arise as to what is the right decision for you, but one of the possible questions is: Should I build my own house or buy one?
It is a pretty loaded question as their complexities in both, along with a host of benefits. The average cost of building your own home in the US is $302,687 and the cost of buying a home is $306,000 according to Casaplorer. Therefore, the price differential cannot be the only factor you consider, here is a list of pros and cons for both building and buying your own home that can help you in your decision-making process.
Building your own Home
1. Customization: If you choose to build your own home, you are in full control of the layout, fittings, rooms, and design. You can satisfy your every need and want without having to sacrifice an exorbitant amount of money. The way you can get all your designs is by reducing on areas that are not as valuable to you. For example, if you want a large master bedroom with two walk-in closets, you sacrifice an additional bedroom that you had no plans to use. Customization even works in semi-ready homes where you determine the floor plan and design from the contractor’s options.
2. Reduced Competition: The market for purchasing homes is extremely competitive in 2021 with low-interest rates and government support. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes are on the market for less than 22 days! This makes it difficult to get the house you want at a good price, making building your home a viable option!
3. Less Maintenance: The new home is built with all new construction, appliances, HVAC systems and more. Maintenance costs in the first few years will be minimal.
4. Save on Green Energy: If you are environmentally conscious and want to save in the long run you can build your home green. This is possible with certain types of construction, installing solar panels, and getting better windows. It might raise the upfront cost but will definitely pay off in the long-run.
1. Construction Time: It takes around 7 months to build a house according to census data. Now, if you are looking to move into a house immediately, that will not be possible.
2. Less Negotiation Power: Builders will not give that many discounts as prices are pretty set, hence if they are beyond your budget it will be difficult to negotiate.
3. Time and Stress: At the end of the day building your own home is not easy, there are a lot of steps involved from the designing stage to the actual construction stage along with financing such as construction loans which might be required. Therefore, if your full-time job is extremely stressful and hectic, it will be difficult to devote your time to building your own home.
4. Hidden Costs: It is very hard to accurately estimate the total cost of building your own home because of the number of variable costs involved. Fittings and appliances can raise the cost, landscaping, and upgrades will also drive up the price. Therefore, always keep some additional funds for the construction process.
Buying your Home
1. Timing: You can move into the home immediately! If the home is ready and cleaned the period to move-in can be a matter of weeks. This can be an important point if your rental lease is ending soon and you do not want to resign.
2. Convenience: There will be no stress or headache of dealing with contractors or architects, as the home will be ready for you.
3. Negotiations: Although in the current market environment it is very difficult to negotiate the selling price, it is possible to negotiate the variety of closing costs that come about at the end of the transaction.
4. Cheap Upgrades: If you are unhappy with some of the appliances, you can spend funds on certain appliances to save for the future.
1. Higher Maintenance: If the home is old or has older fittings, within several years’ things will start breaking down and will need to be changed. This will result in higher maintenance costs even though you save on upfront purchase costs.
2. Sacrifice Wants: Most homes that you view might not have everything that you want, you might need to sacrifice certain needs and wants in order to close a house within budget.
3. Competition: Homes are on the market for very few days, coupled with bidding wars, limited supplies, and rock bottom rates, it’s a hot market making it very difficult for home buyers.
Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of doing both, you can take an informed decision that best suits your needs. Building a home is a great option for potential homeowners who have time to spare which can be dedicated to organizing and building a home. If you have very intricate needs from your house such that existing homes do not have them, then building can be great for its customization feature. The seller’s housing market is another point in favor of building as the market rates and prices are going to push you beyond your budget in most cases.
Purchase should be an option if you want convenience first, the home is ready for you to move in as soon as the closing process is over. It can also be too difficult for people to develop their own homes with other commitments.
Therefore, both are viable and great options that can satisfy people’s checklists in different ways. Whichever option you ultimately do decide to take, always think about the short-term liquidity impact on your bank account in terms of down payment and construction costs, along with long-term savings. This will allow you to maximize the outcome of any decision, Good luck!