Deciding that it’s time to purchase a home is the first of many decisions a prospective buyer needs to make. The next is whether to buy an existing home, or to build a new one. There are, of course, pros and cons to each.
Buying a home
The biggest advantages to purchasing an existing home are convenience and cost. Buyers can even choose to forego an agent and purchase a home via for sale by owner internet services. When buying an existing home, if your offer is accepted, you can occupy the home in some cases within a month. Purchasing an existing home can mean savings in areas like landscaping, where trees, lawns, and other plants are likely already mature.
Existing homes are generally cheaper and usually come without unexpected expenses. You generally have more latitude to negotiate and the home will often come with big appliances such as refrigerators included in its cost. Older homes are often built of better materials and display superior craftsmanship, where new homes are generally produced with lowest cost per unit as first priority.
On the other hand, it is extremely unlikely that a pre-existing home will be exactly what you want. The older the home, the more likely it will need costly and time consuming repairs and renovations. You may find that pests have moved in before you. In very old homes, upgrades are virtually mandatory as the houses are not built with the newest wiring specifications or with stringent ecological standards in mind. It is also for this reason in most cases; older homes are more expensive to heat. In addition, older homes are not necessarily built with the fire-safety features that are standard in newer homes.
Building a home
Deciding to build your own home comes with its own list of advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage to building a home is that it is built to your exact specifications. This gives the house tremendous sentimental value. A new house will also be built to the latest building specifications and safety standards. Your appliances will likely be new and under their original warranties. They will certainly be more “green” than their older counterparts, resulting in energy savings. It will probably be decades before you need to retrofit or upgrade.
The difficulty with building your own home is the sheer number of things that can go wrong. You will certainly not be moving in in a month’s time. Costs can exceed expectations. Materials can become difficult to obtain. Projects can be delayed for any number of reasons, from inclement weather to a contractor who is simply busier than they’d expected.
It is virtually always more expensive to build a home than to purchase an existing one. Odds are, if you’re building a home, others in your area are doing the same. You can find yourself living with the dust of nearby construction sites as well as the noise of their earth movers and other machinery. It is possible that you can be limited to a pre-made floor plan by your developer.
Building your own home can also put you into the unenviable position of paying mortgage or rent on both your existing home and the one you’re building.
Once your house is built, you must now consider whether you’re willing to wait for new saplings to mature? It will take a couple decades. Many newer homes are built in areas with neighbourhood associations, who will sometimes charge fees as well.
Starting a lawn is an enormous effort. Will you purchase turf or try to start one from seed? Either way, you will either have to do this yourself or factor it into your financial considerations. New homes are unlikely to be near the city centre. How do you feel about a long commute? Your house may not appear appreciably different from that of your neighbour on either side. Will this bother you? Your house is also likely to be on a smallish parcel of land. Do you need an enormous garden? How concerned are you about privacy?
So which is better?
There is truly no right or wrong option. A well-built older home is superior to a new home built of sub-standard materials. A newly-built home is usually more expensive than its older counterpart, but it will likely be a long time before it requires maintenance. There are advantages and disadvantages to both building and to buying. In the end, the most important thing is that whichever option you choose, you are sure to have a sound financing plan. It is imperative to allot extra funds for hidden costs, whether they be equipment delays or unanticipated repairs.