Pros and Cons of Building a Home

Learn about the pros and cons of building a home. Is it right for you?

If you’re in the market for a new home, the thought of building has probably crossed your mind. Have you ever wondered about the pros and cons of building a home? Doing so can be a rewarding endeavor, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Read some of these reasons for and against building a new home and see how they apply to your own unique situation.

Pros

No Need to Worry About the Market

If you’ve ever tried to buy a home in a seller’s market, you know it can be extremely competitive and downright tough. Homes go under contract almost as soon as they’re listed for sale, and sometimes it feels like you’ll never find the right one. When you decide to build your own home, this part of the equation goes out the window. Although you’ll still be stuck to the builder’s schedule, you won’t have to search through dozens of homes for sale, and you won’t have to scramble to submit an offer when you finally find the one. This added time can allow you to get more involved in planning your new home’s layout and furniture arrangements, organizing a housewarming party, or just allow you to take time to relax prior to move-in day. Along the same lines, another benefit is that you won’t have to worry about the fickleness of real estate transactions—forget about your deal falling through because the seller isn’t willing to meet your inspection report demands! Everything will most likely be hashed out prior to breaking the ground, so you won’t have to worry about your transaction going wayward. When it comes to pros and cons of building a home, this is an overlooked value that many people don’t fully appreciate.

You Can’t Can Always Get What You Want (…Within Reason)

Probably the best part of building a home is that you can customize it just about however you want! One of the biggest hangups when it comes to purchasing a pre-existing home is that it’s just that—pre-existing—meaning you can’t really modify it a whole lot. Because of that aspect, many buyers will look for months and months until they find something that fits all their search criteria. When you build your own home, you can work with the builder to lay out every detail and feature that you desire. Don’t expect them to do the impossible, but as long as you stay within your budget, you can generally design the home to the best of your liking. When you get to this stage, it’s also important to think about resell value for the future. Does everyone want a giant water slide that runs from the roof to the floor in the center of the home? Probably not. Focus on features that you and other future buyers will love. Feel free to get creative, but keep in mind your budget’s limitations and the home’s future resell value.

You Get to Be the First Owner

When analyzing the pros and cons of building a home, don’t forget about this one: you get to be the first owner of that home! What does this mean for you? Aside from being able to claim it as your own (think Highlander), you’re inheriting a space that’s in relatively perfect condition. This means that there are (hopefully) no hidden defects that a seller has previously repaired or taken measures to hide.  Your home should be structurally sound and well-built, and even if something were to become defected, your builder might be able to repair it as part of their company’s warranty or commitment to you. To further that point, you’ll rest easy knowing the odds of a major repair bill coming your way are pretty low. Part of that stems from your home’s new materials, greater standards for efficiency, and overall construction. The elevated standards mean that you’ll live healthier in your home and experience lower utility bills. You’ll probably also enjoy low maintenance costs for the first several years—and who doesn’t love that?

Cons

Get Out the Check Book

Any time you talk about the pros and cons of building a home, almost everyone mentions the cost—and for good reason. Although you can occasionally build for close to (or sometimes even less) the amount you’d have to spend on a comparable pre-existing home, it’s pretty common for a construction project to quickly add up. When you think about all the customization you’d want to add, it makes sense that the price would increase accordingly. Another contributing factor is that there isn’t usually much room for price negotiation like there may be with a pre-existing home sale. That being said, it’s still important to make use of a real estate agent—they can usually help you negotiate for certain benefits or upgrades, even if the builder is unwilling to budge on price. On top of the general price of construction materials and labor, you have to factor in the cost of the land ($$$) as well as added costs like new landscaping or blinds for windows. Sometimes you can get the builder to include these add-ons as part of your home package, but you’ll usually still get billed for them. You have to be diligent in sticking to your budget, otherwise you can quickly find yourself in an expensive money pit that is hard to escape.

You’d Better Have a Seat

Did you know the average construction time on a new home is anywhere between six and ten months? You read that correctly. This time frame can vary depending on many factors, including the style of the home and the level of customization that has gone inside, but generally speaking: you’re going to be waiting for quite a while. Even in the most tilted seller’s market, there’s still a high probability that you would be able to find a suitable pre-existing home to purchase in that time span much faster than if you waited for your construction project to be completed. If time is not on your side or you’re an impatient person, building a home may not be right for you. It’s also important to note that unlike some specific real estate deals where possession can be negotiated, most builders won’t allow you to begin bringing in your personal property until the home is finished and possession has been transferred. You may be able to work with your chosen builder to create a schedule and slightly ramp up the completion process, but even then your’re still going to be waiting at least several months.

Get Used to Beeps and Dust

In order to include this item on our list of pros and cons of building a home, we have to preface it by saying that this issue won’t apply in all new construction situations. If you’re going to build a home in the country, outside a subdivision, or on some acreage in a more remote location, there’s a good chance that your home is the only one in the immediate area. That’s not usually the norm when it comes to highly residential construction. If you’re building into a pre-existing subdivision, there are probably other homes being built next to yours. With that being the case, you’ll definitely have to get used to all the ambient construction sounds that accompany those projects. There will also probably be a fair amount of dust and construction equipment lying around, both literal and figurative eyesores. And that’s just in a pre-existing neighborhood. Are you feeling elated because you’re one of or maybe the first person to move into your subdivision? You might want to rethink that. If your subdivision is just getting established, you can expect to be surrounded by all that construction for several years to come. This isn’t a problem for some people, but others find it obtrusive and annoying—it’s all about your personal preference!

At the end of the day, it’s your decision whether or not new construction is right for you. This list of pros and cons of building a home is just the start; there are many other great reasons for and against constructing a new home. Want to learn more? Send us a message and we’ll get you in contact with a local expert!

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