Buy or Build? How to Weigh Your Options

If you’re ready to move, you may be trying to decide whether you should buy an existing house or build a brand-new home. Making the right choice in an ever-changing real estate market can be challenging, but both options certainly have pros and cons. Below, we’ll share some reasons to consider both scenarios and see which fits your lifestyle best.

Building a Home

Pro: Customizations. When it comes to building, one of the perks is the fact you’ll be able to select your ideal decor scheme. From paint to cabinets to flooring and many things in between, you will have a say in how the home comes together. If you’re into home design and decor, this is a win-win scenario!

Con: Limited-to-No Negotiation. When purchasing an existing home, there tends to be more wiggle room with negotiating on price, repairs, and other items, but when you’re building a home, the price can’t exactly be negotiated. In fact, in some cases, it can increase throughout the building process depending on material costs and other additions you make to the construction.

Pro: Inventory. Depending on the real estate market, inventory can make purchasing an existing home quite challenging. If the inventory is low, that means prices increase and it can be more challenging to ‘win’ the house with a reasonable offer. The nice thing about building a new home is that you can generally find a plot of land even when the existing home inventory is tight!

Con: Location. Often, the most desirable locations are already filled to the brim with existing homes. If you have your heart set on a particular location, building a new home might be a bit more challenging. Depending on your budget, you may be able to buy an old home and raze it to build a new home, but this can be a little bit pricey!

Buying a Home

Pro: Typically More Cost-Effective. This is not to say that buying a house is cheap! However, you can set a budget and stick to it more effectively than building a house, where costs can be variable throughout the process.

Con: Lack of Customization. Unlike a new build, where you get to select colors and styles for the home, an existing home may have features you aren’t thrilled about upon signing the contract. Not that it can’t be updated, of course, but that will require money and time. When purchasing an existing home, you will likely either learn to love the home as it is or start saving up for a remodel!

Pro: Move In Quickly. One of the best things about an existing build is the fact that you can find your ideal house and move in within a month in most cases. While new homes can take several months, an existing house only requires you to wait until the mortgage process is finalized. If you need to move quickly, finding a home that is already built and ready to move into might be your best bet.

Con: Less Energy Efficient. This isn’t always the case, but most older homes are not nearly as energy-efficient as brand-new ones. Occasionally, you’ll stumble across a home that was completely renovated with energy-efficient finishes, but it may not quite be on the level of a new build. Between insulation woes and older windows and doors, you’ll find that a lot more air flows in and out of an older home – making it a bit harder to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter, potentially increasing your utility costs.

There are so many factors that go into choosing the perfect home for you, and much of it comes down to your personal preferences and finances.

At C&F Mortgage, our team of dedicated local industry experts is here to help you with your home buying journey, from start to finish and every step in between. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can assist you with your dream home purchase.

The information contained herein (including but not limited to any description of C&F Mortgage Corporation and its lending programs and products, eligibility criteria, interest rates, fees and all other loan terms) is subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. This is an advertisement and not a commitment to lend. C&F Mortgage Corporation NMLS# 147312 Equal Housing Lender.
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