Mary Crane's Blog
Build or buy is the age-old question humanity has asked ourselves since the dawn of time, or since real estate became a thing. So which should you choose, and why? Ask yourself the following questions to help simplify the decision for you and your family.
How long do you want to wait?
Buying a finished house has the advantage of almost immediate occupancy. It only takes the drafting of a contract of sale and its signing by you and the seller in the presence of your attorneys for you to become a homeowner. Constructing your own home can take a fair bit of time, depending on the availability of funds and the complexity of the design.
How much do you have?
At first, it might seem more economical to build your own home, but that is almost always not the case. Studies have shown that constructing your own home could cost 30% more than if you bought a similar ready-made structure.
The opposite might also be true, mainly if you bought a house that has been standing for a few decades and doesn’t have the newest construction. The cost of sprucing up and maintaining an old house might be quite high as some fixtures may have outlived their usefulness while a newly built home requires little to no maintenance.
How ‘you’ is the house?
A ready-to-occupy house will have some features and design decisions that you probably don’t suit your aesthetic. You might have chosen to buy it anyway because it was the next best thing to your dream house, and its mortgage repayments were manageable. Moreover, with the squeeze that saving for the house’s deposit and the monthly repayments put on your budget, you might not be in a position to change those features immediately.
Building your home gives you the luxury of dictating where every last screw will go. You can pick the color scheme that reflects your personality and the tile design that makes you feel most at home.
How long for that dream garden?
Another downside to constructing from scratch is that you might have to wait a couple of years for your dream garden to take shape. That pretty rock garden you saw in that house available for sale took months and months of tender loving care to look that way. Moreover, it probably contributed a fair bit to that asking price.
Still not sure of the best choice for you? Take your answers to these questions and sit down with your real estate agent to review your purchase and building options.