Building or Buying?

When it comes to deciding on a home, there are many questions the typical person asks themselves. Some wonder whether to rent or to buy. Others wonder whether to live in the excitement of the city or try out the serenity of the country. Then there are those who can’t decide between purchasing an existing home and having one custom-built.

In regards to the latter, it should come as no surprise that – like most things in life – both buying and building come with their fair share of pros and cons. In other words, it ultimately comes down to which perks and drawbacks resonate best with you.

Construction Plan

Why Building is Both Good and Bad

In many ways, the advantages to building a new home are similar to buying a brand new car: you know exactly what you’re getting and what shape it’s in. A brand new home is less likely to need repairs – there’s less chance of the garage door breaking, the water heater flooding, or the air conditioner failing.

Another advantage to a new home is that you can have it built to your individual specifications. Want a master bathroom with a granite shower? Fine. Want a basement that’s a walk-out? Can do. Want a slide that goes down the stairs? Just clear it with the family first. The ability to customize is something many people find appealing and perhaps the number one reason people build rather than buy.

However, according to US News, customization isn’t always what it’s made out to be: tract housing is popular, and this type of housing allows for small variations, but not large creative additions. These tract houses are erected in built-in communities and look similar in styles to all adjacent homes.

The other drawback with building a home is that it’s often a lot more expensive than buying one. There are two reasons for this. First off, new homes have the latest and greatest in technological advancements. While this means that they will be more energy efficient (and help you save on utility bills), it also means they will be more expensive initially.

Building a home also requires that – in addition to material and very expensive labor – you pay for the plot of land the home will stand on. Depending on where this land is located, it can be quite pricey.

Finally, the last drawback has to do with time: building a home definitely takes lots of it. Some home builders can build quickly, but others can take months to get things done.

Why Existing Homes are Both Good and Bad

Like building new, buying used also has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest drawback is that old homes are more likely to have issues, be less energy efficient, and aren’t able to be customized, at least without a major remodeling project.

Even with this, purchasing an existing home is typically more financially feasible for most people. This is especially true in tough markets.

In the most recent years, new home sales have been some of the lowest on records: construction companies were unable to secure loans and thus unable to build. They’ve ultimately over-corrected and still sell for less than they cost to build. This means buying an existing home will get you a better return when you go to sell. You can get deals and bargains on existing homes, something not really feasible with newly-built ones.

Buying an existing home is also much less stressful than building and reduces the odds of something going wrong – you don’t need to buy appliances or wonder when your home will be ready, either. This ultimately makes existing homes simply more appealing for most home buyers.

The Investment Lie

Most Americans assume no matter what they buy – new or existing – a home is the smartest investment they can make. However, this might not be necessarily true. According to USA Today, from 1890 to 2012, home prices adjusted for inflation did not appreciate much at all. In fact, between 1890 to 1980, home prices actually went down by ten percent.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase a home – inflation can be enough to make you a solid profit – but it means that when deciding whether to buy new or existing, don’t put too much credence into what will resell better. Instead, decide what to buy based on what you will enjoy the most.

This article was contributed by Billy Dunham, a home improvement expert who hopes to help you have an even better home. He writes this on behalf of Bend-It Inc., your number one choice when looking for affordable coiling services. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

Joanna S. Tyler

Joanna S. Tyler has designed to allow guest bloggers to post their unique, interesting and informative content for peace park readers. He does blogging himself and contributes to several blogs including

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