Building a House vs. Buying a Home: What is the Best Value For You?
March 19, 2021
By Julie Schmidt
V.P. of Mortgage Lending
To buy or to build? It’s a question that faces many who enter the housing market. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’re looking for something that better fits your family’s needs, making a decision to buy or build your house is worth a fair amount of consideration.
Whatever direction you decide to go, it’s important to compare the positive and negative aspects of each option. That way, you can make the decision that best fits your needs.
In this article, we’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of building a house vs. buying a home:
Build or Buy a House: Weighing the Factors
||Buying a Home
|Building a House
(national median home value)
(average national cost)
More Room for Negotiation?
|Move in as soon as you close.
||Can take months to complete.
You have complete control.
Immediate Repairs Needed?
||No (or covered by warranty)
|| You'll likely face competing bids.
Good Reasons to Build a Home:
When you build a home, it's yours! That means you get final say over the design and construction, including all the features you've always wanted in a new home. Do you want an open floor plan? Two sinks in the bathroom? Extra space in the garage? Have it your way.
2. Energy efficiency
A new home means new appliances, better insulation and other energy-efficient benefits that could lower your monthly utility bills. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average annual energy use per home has declined despite the fact that we use more air conditioning, appliances and consumer electronics than ever before.
3. No competition
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is on the market for just a little more than one month before being sold. That shorter time frame means you're more likely to face competing bids. But when you build your own home, you don't have to worry about that competition.
4. Less maintenance
With a new home you'll avoid the usual wear and tear that comes an existing house. You won’t have to worry about scheduling repairs to fix issues found during a home inspection, and you likely won't need to budget for renovations (for a few years at least).
If any repairs do pop up, your new home should come with a builder's warranty that should cover any repairs during the first year (and sometimes up to 10 years, depending on the plan you purchase). That will give you some peace of mind when you buy an existing home.
Advantages to Buying a Home:
1. Typically lower cost
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of building a home is just over $300,000. Meanwhile, real estate website Zillow.com shows the median home value of a single-family house is a little more than $270,000.
2. Takes less time
Building from scratch can take months to complete. Buying and closing on an existing home can take far less time and you’re able to move in as soon as you’ve closed on the house.
When building a new home, you have to consider every detail, including where to purchase land, the design of the home, and all of the fixtures and trims you want included. These decisions are already made when buying an existing home, which can make it a less stressful process.
4. More room for negotiation
A real estate agent can help negotiate the price of an existing home so you get the best deal possible. There is less room for negotiation when dealing with contractors on the build of a new home.
5. Make upgrades over time
While an existing home may not have every feature you want, you can take time to make upgrades as they become necessary and as you are able to save for them.
Thinking About Buying or Building?
Whether you choose to buy or build, Security National Bank can help you with financing along the way. With our new Mortgage Hub, you get the convenience of applying online, without losing the human touch of your trusted hometown lender.
Reach out to us today to learn more about your home financing options!