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Buying a home vs. building a new home

Trying to decide between a new build or a new buy? We break it down the pros and cons for you.

Whether you’re in the process of building a new home or buying an existing home, the steps to get into your new home can seem complicated and a little tricky. If you’re on the fence between building a house and purchasing an existing home, there are several things to consider on each side. We’re breaking down the good and the bad when it comes to both building and buying so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your future home. 

Building a house

The benefits of building a new home

  • Your new home is customizable from the beginning. When you build a new home, you are the one to personally decide on the big and small options for your home, from the finish on the doorknobs and the floor plan to the brick on the outside and the type of wood on the floor. You are in charge of creating your dream home, down to the colour of a light switch and the appliances in your laundry room. When you’re building a custom home, you’re the one who gets to work with home builders to create your dream build.
  • Enjoy added efficiency and technology. When building a new home, you can create a more energy-efficient through technology and building materials. Whether you want to install solar panels, start fresh with energy-efficient appliances or windows, building a new home gives you the ability to incorporate energy-efficiency.

The drawbacks of the home building process

  • Building a new home is a slow process. While customizing and beautifying seems to be easier in a new house, it’s a long process and detailed process. If you’re in a big hurry to move, building a new home may not be for you. From ordering materials to filling out paperwork, you need to be sure to account for the time that building a new home can take up.
  • The home building process is a higher, upfront investment. From the contractors and the building materials to the water heater placement and mouldings, building a custom home is a big undertaking. During home construction, seemingly good ideas can cost a lot of money. Whatever money is in your initial budget probably needs to be adjusted for extra costs.

When building a new home, things to consider:

  • Add home automation into the design
  • Install a security system
  • Choose energy-saving appliances
  • Add plenty of outlets, even in spaces you usually wouldn’t consider: such as under the kitchen cabinet and behind the bed in the master bedroom
  • Design window areas for exposure of natural light
  • Focus on adding plenty of storage space
  • Spend extra time designing important rooms like the master bathrooms

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Buying a home

The benefits of buying a home

  • The process of buying an existing home is much faster. While closing on a home is never a quick process, buying an existing home is a relatively fast process. The house is already built, even if you want to make changes, and getting inside the front doors is much quicker.
  • You get more for your money. Buying an existing home is typically much more cost-efficient upfront than a new build. You can also usually talk down an asking price. A lot of the times, existing homeowners will work with you to make adjustments and fixes to get to a purchasing agreement. Also, when you buy an existing house, you’re purchasing it with the investments and improvements that the previous owners put into it. 

The drawbacks of buying a home

  • It’s harder to customize an existing home to your liking. When buying a house previously lived in, you’re purchasing a home that already has been specifically constructed to another homeowners specifications. While you can eventually remodel, renovate and change almost anything you want, your level of customization can be fairly limited. You also can’t decide ahead of time the way things are wired and routed, potentially causing issues later on.
  • More money may be spent on maintenance, repairs, and updating. While upfront costs are typically lower than building a custom home, purchasing an existing house also means that you’re inheriting existing problems. Even in a home that has been well taken care of, there will be routine maintenance and repairs that will come up much sooner than in a new build. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is something to consider and to budget for.

Things to remember when buying a house

  • Go over every detail of the property inspection
  • Before buying, price out the repairs and rewires you need to make
  • Consider replacing dated appliances with ones that conserve more energy
  • Remember that the sticker price can often be talked down
  • Look for homes that already have the expensive features you’re looking for, such as landscaping and a fence for the yard

When it comes to building a custom home or buying an existing house, there are a ton of things to consider. However, the most important thing in the home buying and home building process is surrounding yourself with an incredible team that can help you with the entire process. The Gilbert + Burke team helps you from start to finish as you embark on the voyage of building a custom home, from architectural details and hardware to building materials and floor plans. If you choose to purchase an existing home, Gilbert + Burke’s incredible home designing services will have your home looking and feeling stunning in no time.

 

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