Homeownership: Buying vs Building

This is a collaborative post

When it comes to purchasing a home, there tends to be two main choices. You can either purchase a home, which arguably is the most popular choice, or you can purchase a piece of land and build your own home. Of course, your choice will depend on a number of factors, including your timescale and your budget. Although the truth is that there are pros and cons to both, let’s take a closer look.

Buying a Home

Most people choose to buy an existing home, especially as their first home. The truth is that there is a number of benefits in doing so. Firstly, it is often the quicker of the two, so if you have a deadline or a timescale that you need to keep, buying an existing home will allow you to move forward more quickly.

Secondly, buying a home also tends to be cheaper. This is because a mortgage or home loan is seen as less risky and therefore requires less of a deposit and tends to have a lower interest rate too. Buying a home does also often provide you with more choices in developed areas. This is because, for some areas, all of the suitable lots have already been built on.

Finally, buying a home doesn’t mean that you have to live in it as is. You can choose to renovate, build extensions, or upgrade your home in any way that you choose.

This isn’t to say that building a home doesn’t come with its own set of drawbacks. Searching for a home that suits your needs can be an incredibly time-consuming effort. The housing market is also competitive, which means that you may enter into a bidding war and either lose the house or end up paying more than you wanted to for it.

Buying a home does often mean that compromises have to be made because it is unlikely that you will find your dream house. In addition, older houses can come with their own set of challenges. Often you end up inheriting maintenance issues that can be costly to rectify.

Finally, older homes also tend to be less energy efficient, which means you may end up paying out more on your bills.

Building a Home

Choosing to build a home as opposed to buying one also has its pros and cons. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, you are afforded total control. The home will be as you make it. You can think up your ideal floorplan, and all other decisions come down to you. after you have purchased the land, there is no risk of competing bids compromising your chances.

Newer homes are built to be more energy-efficient. Your energy bills will be lower, as will your impact on the environment. New builds are also subject to stricter regulations meaning that your home won’t be built with harmful or toxic materials. All work will be up to code, so there shouldn’t be any ongoing maintenance costs.

Where there are pros, there are cons. It might be harder to secure the capital you need to obtain the land and build the home. You will likely need to agree to a higher interest rate and offer a bigger deposit in order to secure a loan.

Building work is often subject to change, and despite the fact that you will receive an estimate for the work, it is likely that you will encounter an issue or two which can affect the price. Obviously, choosing to build a home also requires a lot more time and effort to be dedicated to the project. 

The Costs

The costs will vary wildly depending on your plans. If you chose to buy a house, you could choose an older, smaller house that would cost significantly less than a new build. It is even more difficult to predict the cost of building your own house because there are a lot of factors at play. 

When it comes to buying, a few costs can soon mount up. Firstly, if you choose to buy an older home, then you will likely inherit a few expenses like the maintenance or replacement of older elements within the home. Older appliances are generally less energy efficient which can lead to higher bills, and in time they are likely to need replacing too. 

Building a home comes with its own unique costs, such as building materials, utilities, and appliances. However, before you can even get started with your build, you will likely need to have a number of surveys and studies conducted to ensure that the land is fit for purpose.

They are often a legal requirement, and for good reason. Building without them can be a waste of time and money, not to mention dangerous. For example, a topographical survey is used to locate all salient land features which could impact your build. Therefore, you should request a topographical survey quote from a business like Arbtech who can promise a quick turnaround as well as feel protected with their planning permission or money back promise.

The Bottom Line

The question is then, should you buy or build a house? In truth, this is a hard question to answer because it depends on a lot of personal factors.

It comes down to you. To put it simply, building a home is often one of the only ways to ensure that you will get the home of your dreams. It is entirely customisable and built to your specifications. That being said, it is often a pricey process that requires more time and energy on your part, but you can typically expect a good return on investment should you decide to sell. Whereas buying a home is generally a quicker process, it does require compromises on your part.

Buying a home is often easier and may be less stressful, so it is probably the better option if you are working towards a time frame. Think about your circumstances and your ultimate goals in order to work out which choice will work best for you.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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