February 6, 2020

To Build or To Buy | Pros and Cons of Building a Home & Buying a Home

If you’ve finally made it to a point in life where you feel comfortable and financially ready to buy a house, then chances are you’ve also considered building one. Building a home isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and neither is settling for something that only has some of your “must-haves”. Have you ever watched an episode of “Love it or List it”? Many people find that with some proper home renos, they actually love the space they are already in and couldn’t find a perfect new home. This shows a bit of insight into what it’s like to buy a home or build a custom one.

So let’s jump right into the pros and cons of both buying and building a home. 

Building Pro #1 | You get exactly what you want

When you’re building a home, the first and most appealing pro is that everything in the home is completely custom and to your preferred taste. Tile, flooring, layouts, storage space, kitchen set up, cabinet design…everything! You get a clean slate and get to design it all to perfectly suit your needs.

Con: It’s extremely time-consuming to make all those decisions. Does this countertop match the cupboards and flooring? Do you really want a fully open concept main floor? Should you have the master bedroom on the main floor? How many bathrooms do you need and where should they go? The choices and decisions are almost endless when you build a home and it can be stressful, especially if you’re having a hard time envisioning the end result.

Building Pro #2 | You can build in your most ideal location

Do you want to be near the lake? A certain park or school? When you’re custom building a home, most times you can customize the location as well. You can choose a fully-treed lot, or something more open, you can build just outside of town or in your dream neighbourhood.

Con: Depending on your location, you might be adding weeks to the building process. Does your lot need utilities set up? Trees removed? Consider these things before choosing a location. 

Building Pro # 3 | You don’t have to worry about renovations 

When you move into a brand new custom built home, you are starting fresh with the newest finishings, energy-efficient materials, sturdy foundations and no 90’s shag carpet to rip up. Once your home build is complete, you can move in and simply begin to enjoy your new place.

Con: Take into account the small costs that can sneak up once your home is built. Have you factored in new furniture, appliances, blinds or landscaping?

Are you feeling better about building yet? Let’s take a look at some pros of buying to help you decide. 

Buying Pro #1 | Potentially way less stressful than building

Buying a home can be relatively painless, as long as everything goes smoothly. You take a few weekends out with your realtor to look at some homes that could work for you, you narrow it down to your favourite and place an offer. Next thing you know, it’s moving day! 

Con: You may end up settling. You may get lucky enough to find a house that already has all of your “must-haves”…but you might not. You might have to settle for a smaller garage, or basement laundry. Make a list of what your new home needs in order to make it perfect for you and decide if there’s anything on that list you can live without. 

Buying Pro #2 | There’s usually wiggle room in the price

Not always, but most times there is room to negotiate the price of a house. If you find a house that’s been listed for a long time, the sellers might be glad to finally get it sold, even if it means taking a hit on their asking price. 

Con: There can be a lot of surprises in an older home that even the seller may not have been aware of. During your inspections, you could run into mould, leaks, cracks or other concerns. Sometimes these fixes can be negotiated with the seller, but you need to be prepared to pay for them yourself if you’ve decided this is your dream home. 

Buying Pro #3 | Your yard is probably already beautifully landscaped

If trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens are on your list of “must-haves” then buying is ideal. An older home will typically have mature trees and established gardens. You don’t have to do the extra work (or pay someone) to plant trees or lay sod. 

Con: Your dream home might come with the perfect yard, beautiful trees and the ideal layout,  but it might also come with neighbours who like to cut their lawn at 4 am on a Sunday or a noisy main road directly behind it. Building a home and buying a home both have their ups and downs. There is no wrong way to go, only the best way for you and your needs. When it comes down to it, you need to decide which pros and cons you can live with. Are you okay with 7 months (or longer) wait time? Are you okay to do some minor renovations on an older home? Is location on the very bottom of your list or the first thing?

Stuck on deciding?

If you’re still having trouble deciding which route is the best for you, talk to a professional.

Realtors have dealt with all kinds of situations and they can sit down with you and go over all the details to aid you in making the right choice.

Contact us today if you’d like to discuss your options. We’re happy to help!

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