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Building a Home vs. Buying a Home

Whether you decide on building or buying your first home, there are some major considerations you will need to make before making your choice. Before deciding on whether building your own home versus buying one is right for you, consider the following:

1. Your Timeline

If you are looking for a quick move-in date, buying an existing home could be your best option. If you are planning to build it yourself, this will take time to coordinate the building of your home and find a place to stay in the meantime. While prefabricated houses can reduce the design and coordination time needed to get into your new place, you still need to set up utilities and finalize any necessary inspections before moving in.

For most people who choose this path, however, they plan well enough ahead that living somewhere else is not extremely difficult or expensive. On average, it takes from 4 months from breaking ground until one is able to move into their newly built house if everything goes smoothly with permits, etc.

2. Your Budget and Goals

a house under renovation

Building a home is certainly not for everyone — it can be very expensive, and you need to have a savings plan in place before even embarking on the journey of finding your lot and architect. It will take years (likely longer than you anticipate) until the house is paid off, but once it is, each subsequent mortgage payment becomes pure profit at that point.

A benefit of building your own home if you are on a tighter timeline would be that since labor costs are lower compared to those spending thousands of dollars on labor costs per day during the construction period (which often occurs if hiring an outside company to build vs. doing it yourself), there is more money available for purchasing high-quality building materials and appliances. There are various houses and land packages available; you can contact a reliable real estate service for more information.

3. Your Priorities

If you are planning to start a family or need more space soon, buying an existing home with the size and number of bedrooms you require could be your best bet. If your priorities lie in building exactly what you want out of the ground up, however, then constructing is likely the most affordable option since it is not necessary to work with preexisting structures or buy land that someone else owns -the lot itself will cost less than if trying to purchase one already built on it.

Rather than having to settle for what you can find through searching online or even by walking around neighborhoods, once everything is complete, this home truly becomes yours; no one else’s fingerprints are present besides those who helped construct it (and the residents who will be living there).

4. Your Quality Requirements

If you are looking to build a home with great quality, it is absolutely best for most to do it yourself. A common misconception about building your own home is that one can cut corners and save money by hiring subpar contractors; the truth of the matter is subpar workmanship will cost you in the long run if done by just any company/individual.

Experience really does make all the difference when deciding on one’s contractor or construction team — check out which ones have been around for years vs. just jumping on board due to the current popularity of prefabricated homes (which they may not be experienced in constructing). There are many companies now building better than ever, so doing some research now could potentially save you thousands of dollars later.

5. Your Lifestyle

If you love the idea of changing your house to fit your mood and personality, construction is likely your best bet. Since most custom homes are built on a larger than average plot of land (due to permitting requirements), there is usually enough room to add square footage in the future if desired; making it easier for future home changes and additions. Owning a preexisting structure may be cheaper, but it does not allow for such vast possibilities and flexibility later on (unless remodeling or renovating).

There are many things to consider when deciding between building vs. buying a home. Building your own home can be a very affordable option, but it is not for everyone. You need to have a clear budget and goal in mind before starting the process. Priorities, such as needing more space soon or wanting to build exactly what you want, should also be taken into account when making this decision.

Quality requirements are another important factor to consider — if you are looking for great quality, it is best to do it yourself. Your lifestyle should also be considered; those who love changing their house to fit their mood and personality may prefer construction over buying an existing home.


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