Home ownership is an admirable goal. It can take many years or even decades to work up to this achievement. Once you’ve decided that you want to own a home, there’s a lot of work that has to be done.
A common question that many prospective homeowners have is: should I buy or build a home? This subject usually comes up when people either aren’t finding the home of their dreams on the market, or when they have a vision of what their ideal home should be.
Buying a home in Texas can sometimes be as difficult as building a home. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to each option.
Here’s a brief rundown of the pros and cons of each:
Buying a resale home – Pros
1. You may be able to move in sooner.
One of the more popular advantages of buying a home that is already built is that you can usually move in much faster than you would if you you were to build your home from scratch.
You should be able to move into a new house within a few weeks or months. It may take six to twelve months or longer to get settled when building your new home.
2. Upgrades and repairs can be easier.
If you’ve decided to purchase a home, it may be more efficient to make any necessary repairs or renovations. Some of these issues may even be handled by the home seller.
You can also elect to make these changes yourself after you’ve moved in. You don’t have to wait for everything to be built before making changes.
3. Landscaping can also take less time.
Unless you’re planning to plant trees or create a new garden in your backyard from scratch, you likely won’t have to do a lot of landscaping after buying a resale home.
Most of the landscaping should have already been done for you by the previous owner. However, that shouldn’t deter you from adding your own touches to make your property unique.
Buying a resale home – Cons
1. You may spend more time and money repairing or replacing appliances.
One of the primary disadvantages of buying a home is that often times the major appliances won’t be in new condition. Many sellers leave their washing machine and dryer, microwave, stove, refrigerator and other appliances behind.
This means that you’ll be responsible for the maintenance and subsequent replacement of these items as needed for as long as you own the home. The costs of this can be minimized, but there may be a time and convenience factor to consider.
2. Your heating and cooling costs can be more expensive.
Depending on the home that you buy, you may also find that your heating and cooling bills are more expensive than anticipated.
This can be especially true if you have an older home or have a furnace or air conditioner that are in desperate need of repair or replacement.
There are proactive steps that you can take to reduce these bills, such as upgrading to energy-efficient systems, replacing doors and windows and sealing entrances and ducts.
3. You might not be able to buy the house you want.
If you’re trying to buy a home in a seller’s market, expect to see some competition. Other interested parties may have their eyes on the same home that you want.
They could make an offer that’s more appealing to the seller. This could also delay your search for the perfect home.
Now let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of building your next home.
Building a home – Pros
1. You can create the home you want.
One of the main reasons why people decide to build their homes is that they can craft just the home that they want.
They don’t have to search through listings in the hopes of finding a property that has most of the amenities on their list. You have the complete freedom to build the home that you’ll be proud to live in, so long as your budget permits.
2. Everything is brand new!
Most home builders add all new appliances and sometimes even furniture to their homes. It’s all in line with the look and feel that they want to accomplish.
You typically don’t have to worry about things breaking down or needing repairs for several years at least, or at a minimum won’t likely incur the cost of anything that needs fixed.
3. You won’t have to compete with other bidders.
The nice thing about building your own home is that you don’t have to compete with people looking for homes.
There’s no mad rush to scout out properties, attending open house showings or placing aggressive bids on popular homes for sale.
Building a home – Cons
1. It’s a lot of work!
Building a home usually takes an awful lot of work! Everything has to be created from the ground up.
There will also be electricians, plumbers, general contractors and more involved to help along the way, unless you have the knowledge and expertise to tackle all of those issues yourself.
2. Building a home can be expensive.
Building a home isn’t cheap. There are materials, appliances, furniture and other things to buy. Total costs can run between $150,000 to $300,000 or more on average, depending on the square footage of the home.
Once you’ve decided to build your home, you should start scouting out materials and purchase them as soon as possible to avoid potential future price increases.
3. There are many decisions to make.
You have to make a lot of choices before you can even break ground on your new home. You’ll have to decide where you want to live, how big your house will be, who you’re going to work with for landscaping, installing plumbing and electricity, what kind of building materials you want, where you’re going to purchase them from and a lot more. Planning for this process will likely take months, if not longer.
These are just some of the more immediate advantages and disadvantages of buying or building your home. The route you take will depend on what you’re most comfortable with. If you’re up to the task of creating your own home, then you should plan on building. On the other hand, if circumstances line up that won’t make that work, then buying a home is a perfectly reasonable solution