Building vs. Buying a Home: Which One is the Right Choice For You?

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Should you build a house or buy an existing one? This question has always been at the top of the mind of every home buyer, and for good reason. There is no right or wrong answer, but you do need to weigh the pros and cons of each choice.

Before you decide, here’s a close look at building versus buying a home.

Building a Home: Pros and Cons


  • Customization. One of the biggest advantages of building your own home is the ability to personalize its details — from the layout and flooring to the roof tiles, plumbing fixtures, and paint color. You get exactly what you want. You can choose the providers you use — from material suppliers to contractors — and thoroughly vet them yourself.
  • New construction warranty. Because everything in a built home is new and under warranty, there is less upkeep needed. Compared to an older home which may have more wear and tear, and thus needs more maintenance, your upkeep cost is zero for the duration of the warranty.
  • No horror stories. Some home buyer stories involve surprising issues that are found only after the purchase. If you choose to build a new home, you will not have the risks and surprises that come with buying an existing one.


  • Building a new home takes a long time. On average, it can take around seven months before a new construction home is finished. Between selling your old home to moving into the new one, you may need to rent a place to stay.
  • More upfront cost. The biggest drawback of building a new house is the higher cost compared to buying an existing one. When you build a home, you will need to find and purchase a lot where it will be built. Customization and upgrades from a basic home will also have a significant cost.

Buying a Home: Pros and Cons


  • Convenience. Buying an existing home has a streamlined process, especially if you have a real estate agent and mortgage lender to guide you. Once you are pre-approved by your lender, you can immediately shop around, make an offer, and move in within a month or two.
  • Established neighborhood. If there’s a particular neighborhood you want to live in, it will be easier to buy an existing house situated there. Most new construction homes are built in new developments where there may be a lack of amenities, as well as construction noises.
  • Mature landscaping. A major pro of older homes is having mature landscaping with lush trees and verdant gardens compared to starting from scratch in a new home. Having well-tended landscaping can add significant value to the property and even reduce air-conditioning costs.


  • Maintenance issues. One risk of buying an existing home is discovering problems that may not have been noticed during the pre-sale inspection. For peace of mind, you need to hire a professional home inspector to root out such problems before closing the deal.
  • Renovations. Buying an existing home may be cheaper, but you may have to spend money to renovate parts of the home and update some of the outdated features such as wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Every home buyer’s circumstance is different. Your budget, timeline, and preferences will likely drive your decision. So before you decide whether you are going to buy an existing home or build a new one, you need to weigh these pros and cons and determine which perks you need and which you can live without. Get in touch with us if you'd like more information on our home financing options!

About the Author:

Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process for unpaid construction invoices.