May 11, 2022


An increasing number of people are turning to building their own homes to reduce costs and avoid spending money on monthly rental payments. It is a worthy investment and a dream to achieve for those who want to live in a home they have built themselves. However, this is not for everyone as some cannot afford it or do not have enough time for this long-term project. For those who do not want to bother with this kind of project at the moment, another option that has been an increasingly popular choice in recent years is buying an already built property. This process may seem simple enough, but there are still many things to consider when buying a house. 

The good news is that below, you will find all the information needed if you are interested in making either type of investment. Keep reading to learn more.

Build Or Buy A House?

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Building A House vs. Buying A Dream Home

Whether buying an already built house or building a new one, both options require time and money. That is why it is essential to think this decision through. Before you even pick an option, it is crucial to ensure that you have the funds to start this process. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Ensure you have a good credit score: Your credit score is a number that is based on the information in your credit report. It is used to predict how often you'll pay back the money you borrow for things like cars or houses. If your score is good, you will probably get lower interest rates when borrowing money.
  • Save money well in advance: A few months before you decide whether you want to buy or build a house, you should have most of the funds in your bank. Alternatively, you should know which loans you will be applying for to get the money. Calculate all potential costs thoroughly, including building costs, purchasing costs, down payment, interest, as well as the average price of recurring payments (such as your mortgage banking or construction loans). You need to calculate all costs to understand your spending habits better and get an idea of how this may affect the timeline of your home-buying plan.
  • Create a budget sheet: A budget estimates your income and expenses over a specific period. Creating a realistic budget can help you get out of debt, manage your finances, and save for the future. In this case, specifically sticking to a budget can help you get to your brand-new home faster.

To help you decide which option is better, below, you will find a list of pros and cons for both buying and building a house.

Pros And Cons Of Building Your Own House


Design Your House Just The Way You Want To

You can design your house any way you want, adding luxurious amenities or opting for simplicity. Plus, being in charge of the building process forces you to be more organized and plan further ahead, which will help you save money in the long run. 

If you do choose to hire a contractor, it's still wise to have a hand in construction yourself because many benefits come with homebuilding - not to mention that this gives homeowners pride of ownership. Building your own home comes with the tremendous satisfaction of customizing every room according to how you would like it to appear. From choosing paint colors, flooring tiles, hardware, and lighting, to ensuring that the dimensions of one room flow into another, you’ll be in full control of what your home looks like.

Pros And Cons Of Building Your Own House

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High Quality

Since many aspects of the home building process are overseen by the homeowner (who is more invested in having it done right), there is generally a high level of attention to detail and focus on both fit and finish, as well as careful selection of materials and finishes.

Cost Effective

Homeowners can leverage their construction choices to save money during different building phases, such as choosing appropriate materials and finding valuable resources like used fixtures or reclaimed wood. They can also negotiate better prices with contractors, which would otherwise require hiring additional skilled subcontractors or helpers.


Long Wait To Move In

Building a home takes time - not only am I speaking about the physical construction of the house but also all the permits and approvals that you need well in advance. This can take longer than one year in some instances, so this might not be the best option for you if you need quick housing.

Unexpected Costs

Building a house might lead to additional costs depending on how big of a house you are building. Do you want fancy styles? A huge kitchen? An indoor pool? How much square foot do you want your house to be? Based on what customizations you are adding to your home, the construction costs can add up a lot faster than you may think.

Unexpected Costs?

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Pros And Cons Of Buying An Existing Homes

Building a new home can be thrilling, but buying an existing home can make you feel more at home (quicker). See what may tip the scale in your decision-making process as you search out your next real estate investment.


Peace Of Mind

In many cases, buying an existing home is a lot simpler than building it. To build a house, you need to buy land, create floor plans, hire a contractor and so on. You must consider every aspect of the house building process. However, when you buy a house, all of this is taken care of for you. You can simply move into a ready-built house, usually within a couple of months!

Loans Are Readily Available

It can be easier to finance if you use part of your savings or take advantage of lower interest rates to buy what you need instead of building your dream home from scratch. Alternatively, many lenders will offer financial incentives for people prepared to buy an existing property.

Loans Are Readily Available

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Cost Savings

Depending on what type of house you buy, you can save more money than building a home. When you buy an existing home, you don't have to pay for the raw materials, an architect, bricks, labor costs, and other fees that come along the way.

Also, once you find the right house, you can request an early closing date and move in as soon as you'd like!


More Maintenance

There's a good chance that you will have to deal with maintenance concerns because ancient properties are prone to leaks and other problems. However, to keep your property in good condition, you must speak with a certified home inspector and get a report on the house you are looking to purchase. This will save you a considerable amount of money and time. 

Tip: your local real estate agent can recommend a reputable home inspector.

More Maintenance

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No Room For Customizations

While you can improve an already existing home, you cannot make significant changes. Changing the counters or tiles, raising the ceilings or changing the home's exterior are not quite possible. As a result, you have fewer renovation alternatives available to you.

Low Energy Efficiency

It is possible that existing homes may not have the most modern and up-to-date features and technology, such as security alarms and energy-saving systems, which can help you save money both in the short and long term. Having an energy efficient home is more important than ever before, so keep things like this in mind when calculating the total cost involved in buying a house.

How To Make A Decision On Building vs. Buying An Existing House?

Deciding between new construction homes or figuring out whether it's cheaper to build (or even what will be more time-consuming) is not an easy decision. Home prices are higher than ever before and don't seem to be coming down soon. However, keep in mind that other buyers in the market may be in the same position as you, so don't stress.

It will be much simpler for you to decide which option is the best for you once you have considered the critical factors that go into your decision of purchasing or constructing a single-family home. It's essential to balance your financial burdens and your desires. If you are building your own house or buying an existing one, each of these scenarios has its own set of consequences.

Three Factors To Consider

Here are the three important factors you should consider before making your final decision.


Location affects both the pricing and enjoyment of a house. The area of your real estate will not increase as quickly in the median sales price if it's far away from all roads and grocery stores. However, the ideal location of a home varies from person to person.

Consider your placement within a friendly community close to schools and shopping centers. Make sure to check the location and run a quick neighborhood survey before buying or building a house.

Builder Reputation

Choosing home builders with an excellent reputation will help you avoid a home-building nightmare. Tour a few of the builder's existing neighborhoods. Ask for referrals from current residents, and then trust your instinct. Ask your real estate agent for further guidance if you don't feel comfortable.

How Much Money And Time Do You Have?

Do you have money to build a new house from scratch? Or is purchasing an older home a better option for you right now? Speak to your financial advisor and your real estate agent to weigh your options. The answer to this question will ultimately help you figure out the best option for you.


The most important considerations you should make when building or purchasing a home are mentioned above. Ultimately, your personal choices and financial situation will determine which option is better for you.

You might end up building a house even if you started out looking for the perfect existing home because you couldn't find what you wanted. On the other hand, you may decide that an existing home is a better fit for your needs after planning a new construction project. There is no right or wrong answer. Do what is best for your future and happy house hunting.

About the Author

As a native Washingtonian, Carlos Reyes’ journey in the real estate industry began more than 15 years ago when he started an online real estate company. Since then, he’s helped more than 700 individuals and families as a real estate broker achieve their real estate goals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Carlos now helps real estate agents grow their business by teaching business fundamentals, execution, and leadership.

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