“Building vs Buying”

To build a home, or to buy? This may be one of the most important questions in the quest for your next home. The options of building a home or buying an existing home is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each choice in the building vs buying decision has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore each of these here:

Building a Home vs Buying a Home

Buying a Home

Usually the more common option, the most obvious benefit of buying is its convenience. Although the process involves several steps – steps like viewing, comparing, making offers, home inspections, financing and closing – the convenience of moving in quickly is enough for many to choose an existing home over a build. And here real estate agents can assist you by helping to find the best properties for you, as well as guide you through negotiations and paperwork, further accelerating the process.

Another advantage can be location, depending on your preferences. Most existing homes are in established, mature neighborhoods and communities, with developed landscaping like trees and shrubs, and often greater community infrastructure and amenities. It’s also far easier to live close to a town or city center since most, if not all of the land immediately surrounding will have already been built upon.

Buying a Home

However, buying does come with no shortage of drawbacks – like choice. For the most part, you get what you buy, good and bad. When you buy a home, it most likely won’t be exactly as you might have imagined it and you will have to compromise. You may even have buyer’s remorse if you settle or compromise on too much. There’s also competition, especially if you’re looking in a sought-after neighborhood or buying a home in a seller’s market. A good house may not even stay on the market for a month.

Furthermore, very many existing homes are more than ten, twenty or thirty years old. At worst, it may even be functionally obsolete, no longer meeting all the needs of most buyers. Older appliances, pipes and electrical systems may require more maintenance, repairs and replacements. And an older heating and cooling system may be less efficient, resulting in higher energy costs throughout the year. Assuming you don’t find an ideal home in perfect condition, you will likely spend additional money on remodeling, repairs, decorating, and/or landscaping. All of these additional expenses should be factored into the overall price.

Building a Home

So what about building your home? For a start, the greatest advantage of building is that you can get exactly what you want for what fits in your budget. You’ll get to personalize the details large and small to suit your lifestyle and tastes – creating the layout, choosing the flooring, picking the colors and customizing features to meet your needs. You’re the first owner of your home and have simply unparalleled choice and customization in its creation. This factor alone is enough for many to choose to build, and allows for niche wants and needs to be better fulfilled.

Building a Home

And a new home is just that – new. New homes are built with up-to-date materials and technology, in accordance with modern building codes. They are more energy-efficient, usually with better heating, ventilation, cooling, insulation, and air filtration, which keeps costs down and ensures safety. Safety (and health) is another strong factor in favour of a new home. You shouldn’t have to worry about repairs or replacements for several years, and will avoid the risk of mold or infestation, toxic materials like asbestos or lead paint, or structural faults that may not even be readily detectable in an old home. Additionally, modern materials and appliances are often more environmentally-friendly, and you have better options for technology upgrades, such as home automation or solar panels. There’s also no competition among other home buyers.

New homes are more energy-efficient, usually with better heating, ventilation, cooling, insulation, and air filtration.

Of course, building is not entirely without its drawbacks as well. It takes time: usually 5 months to 2 years depending on the project in question. This means you may have a gap in living arrangements between the time you sell your old home and build your new one. Also, most new homes tend to be part of new developments which can in some cases lack the depth of amenities or sense of community of older, more mature neighborhoods. And if that new development is not yet fully developed, inconveniences like noise from nearby construction should also be considered.

Furthermore, when you build a house, you’ll have to purchase the land, decide on a home design, pick out the flooring, fixtures, cabinets, countertops et cetera. The freedom of choice comes with a considerable degree of responsibility for all the details and decisions to be thought through in the home building process, including variables in costs.

Questions About Building a Home?

Ultimately, your building vs buying decision needs to satisfy your living requirements and timeline to move. If you have questions about building a home, DeVries Construction can help. With nearly 4 decades of building homes in the Okanagan, we bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you with each step on the journey to building your ideal home. Contact us for a no obligation consultation to help you define your custom home building goals.

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