Should you build, or should you buy?
As a buyer, deciding between building a new home and buying an existing one is a choice that requires consideration. Both options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages which can greatly impact your lifestyle, budget and long-term goals moving forward. In this blog, we’ll delve into the key factors to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences.
There are several reasons why building can be incredibly beneficial for you and your household — one of the most significant advantages being the opportunity for complete customization. From the layout and architectural style to the interior finishes and fixtures, you have absolute freedom to create a living space tailored to any specific preferences or lifestyles. Here are some features that benefit greatly from being customizable:
- Landscaping and Outdoor Design – Building allows you to customize the landscape design, including your selection of plants, trees, and outdoor structures such as patios, walkways and fences. Incorporate features that enhance privacy, create livable outdoor space and reflect your desired look. Consider pools, hot tubs and sheds.
- Flooring – you can easily customize the flooring by installing durable hardwood, carpeting, laminate, or tile. The choice of flooring materials, patterns and colors can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your home.
- Energy-Efficiency – You can incorporate energy-efficient features into the design of your home to reduce utility costs and environmental impact. This can include installing solar panels, choosing energy-efficient appliances, maximizing insulation and optimizing your ventilation.
- Storage Solutions – You’re likely able to work with a designer to create custom storage solutions that maximize space and meet your specific organizational needs. This can include built-in shelving, walk-in closets, pantry organization systems and storage areas tailored to accommodate your hobbies or interests.
- Accessibility – If you have specific accessibility needs or anticipate accommodating family members or guests with mobility challenges, you can incorporate accessibility features into the home’s design. This can include wider doorways, ramps, grab bars and other elements that promote ease of movement.
Building also allows you to incorporate the latest advancements in technology, and ensures your home is up to date with the most recent building codes for structural integrity, fire safety, electrical wiring and more. This can result in lower utility bills, reduced environmental impact and enhanced comfort through features like smart home automation and sustainable practices.
Why not build?
Oftentimes, the main deterrents for those looking to build are the high costs and time-consuming processes. This can include land acquisition, architectural design, permit acquisition, locating and purchasing of materials, labor costs and other unforeseen expenses. Construction delays and cost overruns are also entirely common, often causing some added frustration if you aren’t prepared. If you’re looking to build, make sure you have a flexible budget and a considerable amount of spare time.
The main perks of buying an existing home mainly revolve around convenience and cost minimization. Buying means moving into an established neighborhood with established amenities, such as schools, parks, shopping centres and other helpful infrastructure. This provides an immediate sense of community and convenience, especially if the location aligns with your desired lifestyle.
If you’re still looking for a personal touch, it’s not uncommon for buyers to search for fixer-uppers and put them through extensive renovations. These buyers are often drawn to the potential and value that lie within these properties — whether it be location, property value or simply the potential to reach their life goals. By purchasing a fixer-upper, you can customize and transform the home to your exact specifications, incorporating your personal style and design preferences without having to build from the ground up. Consider one or more of the following:
- Remodel your kitchen
- Re-style your bathrooms
- Finish your basement
- Renovate your garage
- Redo the exterior
- Repaint indoors and outdoors
In real estate, there is also often room for negotiation. This can sometimes open the door to better purchase prices, especially if your REALTOR® has strong negotiation skills or your desired home is in a buyer’s market.
Why not buy?
To an extent, your creativity is limited when you buy. You will eventually need to compromise on some aspects in order to stay within a realistic budget and timeframe. Occasionally, having an older home can result in some unexpected expenses, especially if the major systems (such as plumbing or electrical) need upgrading or replacing in the near future.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and work with one of our qualified REALTORS® to help you every step of the way.