The Pros and Cons of Starting from Scratch:
A Home Buyer’s Guide
Making the decision to purchase your first home is substantial in more ways than one. It is far from inexpensive, so it is a huge commitment to make. The occasion typically calls for seemingly endless weeks of preparation, research, and planning because, of course, you’d want everything to be just right.
There are many options when choosing a home, but the first choice you have to make is whether you want to buy a house on the market or build a house from scratch. Both contenders reap their own benefits and possess important qualities that you should take into consideration before starting your search for the perfect home.
Let Your Home Do the Talking
According to the National Association of Realtors, approximately 1 in 10 home purchases were of a new construction throughout 2017. The main benefit that typically entices homebuyers to have a house built from scratch is the ability to make the house your own from the foundation and up.
When building a house, the homebuyer has the ability to choose everything. Seriously, everything. From the location of the house to the color of the ceilings and carpet - your wish is your builder’s command. They get to pick not only what subdivision they want to be in, but also where in the subdivision they want to be.
Perhaps you want a corner lot so that you only have a neighbor on one side. Or maybe you want to be away from the main street so that you don’t have to deal with as many cars passing by. After choosing the lot, the buyer gets to choose just about every part of the inside as well. Some choices include light fixtures, paint colors, and tile patterns. In doing so, they are able to get a home just the way they want it.
In comparison, buyers are less likely to find every aspect they want in a home from the ones listed on the market. Instead, they may have to compromise on certain aspects in order to settle on a home they want to make an offer for. For instance, maybe you’ll have to pass on a house that is perfect on the inside because it’s too far from the schools you want to be near. Or maybe the house in your prime location is lacking the open floor plan you want.
Tick Tock Goes the Clock
However, customization takes time. In fact, having a home built can take anywhere between 6 to 10 months. Depending on the complexity of the floor plan you choose, this number can go up or down. This timeframe leaves buyers paying rent for a few more months prior to being able to set out into their new house.
When purchasing an older home from a seller, however, buyers are able to move into it within several weeks. The time spent waiting is for the previous owners to vacate the location. Therefore, purchasing a home that has already been built is more ideal for someone looking to move quickly.
This or That or Those or These?
Having the ability to choose everything that is installed in your home comes with a lot of responsibility. I mean, that is a lot of choices! Some upgrades cost more money than the general starting price given to you by your builder, so you’d have to keep track of your spending while you sift through all of your options.
Trying to build your dream house and stay under budget can be stressful. By purchasing an older home off the market, a buyer is able to not only manage their budget more effortlessly but might even be able to snag a deal, too. With the help of a real estate agent, the buyer can negotiate to get the best deal possible and maybe knock off a few zeros. When building a home, the starting costs are typically more cut and dry.
Don’t Worry About the Squeaky Wheels
New constructions are also great because they’re, well, new. Newly built homes are more up-to-date with technology, building codes, and are even more energy efficient. For several years, the buyer wouldn’t have to deal with things like a leaky roof or bad flooring. When buying an older home, there is always a possibility that the house suffers from some unspoken issue you would have to fix after purchasing it.
In comparison, new homes shouldn’t cause as much trouble. They are freshly built, so the wear-and-tear damage has yet to occur. In fact, homebuilders often provide a warranty for their projects. If something were to go wrong within the agreed time period, they would be able to come back and make repairs. For example, if a window doesn’t close properly, or if a doorknob comes loose, the builder is able to come back to the house to fix the problem for you.
The Ball is in Your Court
The best way to come to a decision is to do research on your options. A real estate agent would be able to assist you through the process and even point you in the direction of some builders to meet with prior to coming to a final choice. If you know what area you would like to stay in, perhaps the agent would be able to show you some potential lots for you to build on and some homes in the area for you to compare to.
Purchasing a house is a major milestone in your life, and you want to make sure you are happy with your choices. After all, you will be living between those walls for decades to come.