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Building New vs. Buying an Existing Home

Should You Build a New or Buy an Existing Home?


In today's real estate market, you may wonder if it is best to custom-build your house or purchase an existing home. There is no easy answer, as each method has pros and cons.

Because we assist clients in building their dream homes, of course, we would certainly prefer you to build a house.

However, we understand that it is not for everyone, as every client's needs differ. Whatever your situation, we can help you navigate the best solution for you and your family.

Here are the main things to consider about each option as you decide. 


Buying an Existing Home



Here is why some people prefer going the more traditional route of purchasing an existing home rather than custom building one.

More Predictable

The costs for building your own home can be variable, while purchasing an existing home tends to come with more set costs. While you must negotiate the price of any home, there typically are not any expenses that pop up randomly throughout the process. Homeowners on a stricter budget, or those who like predictability, often prefer things this way.

Established Yard

If you are big on gardening, buying an existing home might be appealing because of the landscaping. This is especially true if a home is a few decades old, as the trees in the area have had plenty of time to establish themselves. Often, custom-built homes are not on lots of land with existing landscaping and instead have newer trees and bushes, which can take some time to settle in.

Shorter Timeline

Building a home takes a lot longer than reality tv makes it seem. Building schedules are highly dependent on the weather and the availability of supplies – a big storm or a back-ordered item can halt construction for weeks. When you purchase a house, there are fewer extenuating circumstances like this.

So, the process of viewing a home, making an offer, securing financing, and closing is a lot more compressed than putting together a property from scratch. This is the more attractive option for some homeowners because it offers a shorter, more concise timeline.

A charming front porch welcomes you to this fabulous country ranch plan that offers three bedrooms, two baths, and over 1500 square feet of living space. The open floor plan includes a great room with an optional fireplace, a dining area, and a spacious kitchen with a pantry and an island with a breakfast bar. The split bedroom layout provides plenty of privacy for the homeowner. Plan #141-1332



Buying an existing home might not be for you if these setbacks are deal breakers.

Not Customized

The most significant con of purchasing a home instead of building one is that it isn't precisely customized to your needs. There will always be a few things you wish you could change or update, sometimes as soon as you move in. Because of this, you might need to build more money for renovations or additions to your home into your budget.

If you choose not to renovate the home, you may have to compromise with an odd layout, fewer bedrooms, outdated appliances, and other features you don't prefer.

Competitive Market

Buying an existing home means you are subject to the whims of the housing market. This could mean going over your budget to secure a property in need of extensive renovations, especially if inventory is low in your area. Searching for a house can be stressful, as every decent property vanishes from the market moments after its initial listing. This may lead you to lower your standards and compromise on your ideal home, ultimately settling for a less desirable property.

Maintenance Issues

Pre-built homes often come with a range of maintenance issues, particularly if the property is older and major components of the structure have worn out. The costs of repairing or replacing items like the roof or foundation of an older home can be exorbitant. Even more minor repairs, such as repainting the walls and replacing the flooring, can quickly add up and become quite expensive.

This stylish European house plan with Acadian influences offers three bedrooms, two baths, a 2-car garage, and over 2000 square feet of living space. The open floor plan includes a great room with a vaulted ceiling and a fireplace, a hearth/dining area, and a kitchen with a large island with seating. The optional bonus room would provide an additional bedroom, bath, and game room. Plan #193-1241


Building a New Home



This is why most of our clients choose to work with us.

Getting Exactly What You Want

Nothing is better than living in a home that fits your needs perfectly. It has the exact number of bedrooms that you want. It has a Work-From-Home space that's better than your old office. The large windows at the front of the house perfectly frame the nearby mountains. The paint on the walls is your favorite color. Countertops are your favorite material. Everything is perfect.

Because we have thousands of plans to choose from, you can create the exact home that works best for you. If you can't find something exactly as you would like it, it's possible to edit an existing plan or start from scratch. Those who build their own home enjoy control over the final design.

No Need to Negotiate Offers

When you build a home, you are not competing with anyone else. Once you've purchased the lot, the pace of building the house is a lot less stressful because you are not trying to outbid other desperate homebuyers for a place to live. Instead, you can rest easy knowing that you are building your dream home – not fighting others for it.

Home is Ready on Move-In Day

A newly built home is ready for you when you move in. You won't have to think, "Oh, we just bought this cute place…but now we need to make it our own!" There are no repainting or other renovations needed. Newly built homes are entirely turnkey.

A gorgeous wrap-around porch welcomes you to this stunning farmhouse plan that offers three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and almost 2100 square feet of living space. This one-and-a-half-story home has an open floor plan with a great room, a vaulted ceiling, a kitchen with a large center island, and a main-level owner's suite. The second floor has two additional bedrooms (one with a balcony) and a full bath. Plan #196-1065



These are the most common complaints that occur when building a home.

Unexpected Costs

While you always have an original budget when building a house, it's very easy for that budget to change on a whim. You never know what will happen, and sometimes things come up. You might find that the land under your home is unstable; thus, certain parts of your home need to be reinforced, which costs extra. Or perhaps a pipe bursts during construction, and the clean-up costs thousands of dollars in additional labor and lost supplies.

If you are a fan of HGTV, you've seen these situations play out dozens of times. When building a home, you need to expect the unexpected.

Extended Timeline

Sometimes when building a house, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. You might encounter terrible weather, which extends the timeline. Much-needed supplies might be on backorder for months, so you can't move things along. You might even sever a gas pipeline on your property and need to get third parties involved to fix things.

Even if everything goes perfectly, it takes much longer to finalize a design, interview contractors, build a home, and pass inspections than it does to find a home you like, make an offer, and move in.

Lots of Design Effort

Choosing a home plan and building it from nothing comes with much effort. You must think about more and make more decisions than someone buying an existing home. For example, when touring houses, all you need to think about is, "Do I like these countertops – yes or no?" However, when you are building a home, you must make the same choice for potentially dozens of options and then choose your favorite. Then do it all over again for the paint colors, light switches, and doorknobs. 

For some, this level of involvement in the building process is great as they walk away with a home that perfectly suits their tastes. Yet, for others, the process leaves them feeling mentally exhausted and decision fatigued. 

This gorgeous contemporary style home offers two bedrooms, three baths, a 2-car garage, and over 2200 square feet of living space. The open floor plan on the main level has a great room with a fireplace, while the kitchen boasts a huge center island and a walk-in pantry. With tons of windows and natural light, this home is perfect for a view lot. Plan #214-1000


How To Decide What Is Best For You


Deciding between constructing a new home or purchasing an existing one is a profoundly personal decision. Nevertheless, it ultimately boils down to three key factors: time, budget, and personal preferences/style.

If you are pressed for time, have financial constraints, and are willing to make some compromises regarding style (or perhaps intend to renovate in the future), then purchasing a pre-existing home is likely the best course of action. However, if you have a more flexible timeline and desire a home that perfectly fits your tastes and lifestyle, then constructing your own home, regardless of budget, is the way to go.

Finally, a minor aspect to consider is the anticipated length of residency. If you intend to reside in the home for less than ten years, purchasing a house instead of building one may be preferable since there may not be enough time to enjoy the benefits of constructing a custom home.


If you have any questions about our house plans, please don't hesitate to contact us. We have thousands of customizable plans available, and our customer service team can help answer any questions you may have.


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