Build or Buy? What To Do With Your First Home

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Whether you’re moving out of your smaller apartment, or moving out for the first time, owning your own home is a dream that many people share. Most think that the only option is to buy a house that is already built and never consider building their own home, but with the housing market as volatile as it is there are more advantages to building your own home than ever before. There are advantages to both so, in the end, you should do whatever makes the most sense for your specific situation. Before we dive into the differences, there are some things to remember that apply to both buying and building a home.

Location, Location, Location

Location is the first rule of real estate, you need to consider many different things before buying a house or property in an area. Some things to consider would be crime statistics, access to highways and roads, along with proximity to entertainment, food, and grocery stores. You’ll also want to research the school district if you have or are planning to have children as well as how safe it will be for them. These are just a few things to keep in mind but there are many more. Knowing how to research the area of your future home is the most important step to take before putting any money down or breaking any ground.

Being aware of the location is also important before you decide to build or buy. For example, let’s look at a large city like San Diego. Many San Diego real estate agencies will be able to show you houses, apartments, and condos within the city limits for sale, but you may be hard pressed to find available land to build on. If you’re looking to build a home, be sure to check with your real estate agent to also look in suburban or rural areas surrounding a major city. The restrictions on building property may also be different within the city limits than if you were to look in the suburbs.

Building a Home

There are a lot of advantages to building a home instead of buying an already-built property. One of the biggest advantages is customization and freedom. You can arrange rooms wherever and however, you want (within housing code). Do you want a place with only one floor so you don’t have to walk up stairs or have three full bathrooms? Easy enough! You can choose to build hardwood floors or carpet, decide how many floors and bedrooms and more, anything in your budget and up to code you can do. Another advantage is that you won’t have to renovate the home after you buy it. Some renovations can cost more than construction costs for building a new home.

One of the risks with building your new home can be the dangers that come with construction. Unless you have the skillset and time to do it yourself you are going to have to hire someone to build your house for you, this leads to the risk of things going over deadlines and over budget. Making sure that you are conservative with your budgeting and seeking the help from a team that specializes in construction management services can help mitigate these risks and ensure the project gets executed in a timely fashion.

Buying a Home

The advantages of buying a home are the opposite of the risk in building a home. You won’t have to worry about contractors or construction crews going over time or over budget, and because you are buying from a person instead of starting from scratch there is the advantage of “haggling” or potentially getting the home for a price lower than market value due to the volatile housing market. The volatile market can be a risk as well, since the value of your home can rise or fall relatively quickly. Another risk can be renovations that have to be made before moving in, you can avoid some of these by getting the house thoroughly inspected before you buy.

As we mentioned earlier, there are advantages to building and buying a home. Every situation is unique, so remember that you have the freedom to choose whichever one works for you.

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