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Build or Buy a Home: How to Answer the All-Important Question

One of the most important questions you’ll ever ask yourself in life is: should I build a home or buy a home? Many people understand the importance of owning a home. It’s a lifelong investment that almost everyone gets involved with at some point in their life. Whether it’s to move out of their parent’s home or to start a family of their own, owning a house is on a lot of people’s minds but the question still remains: is it better to buy or build a home?

It’s a question that can only be answered by you. This is because it entirely depends on your situation and your predicted circumstances. It depends on if you plan to have a family if you want to customise your home, and if you’ll need space in the future to expand your home. Because there are so many variables to take into consideration, it’s hard to make a black or white recommendation. Luckily, we’ve compiled a big guide on how you can make that decision with minimal effort.

Below we’ve outlined a few of the biggest points to consider when choosing between building and buying a home. We’ll be talking about the financial side of things, but we’ll also touch on the variety of options you have when obtaining a home.

Buying a Home

Buying a home is the primary route that most people take. They do it because it’s the most convenient and quickest way to obtain a house. All you do is maintain a good credit history (fantastic guide at if you aren’t sure how), pick a house, and then speak to your lender of choice in order to get the money required for your home. Most real estate agents and property market experts can give you advice on how to obtain a loan from a chosen lender and they’ll even make finding a property easier. You simply pay them a fee, give them some criteria, and they’ll go off and find you a perfect house that meets your specifications.

If you don’t want to rely on your real estate agent, then you can also search yourself. There are plenty of online property markets that allow anyone with a bit of computer knowledge to search through many different houses, filter by criteria such as bedroom counts, and they can even check on small details such as internet speeds or proximity to things like schools. It’s an incredibly versatile and convenient way to search for houses. The internet even has pictures and even virtual tours of houses should you need a bit more information before you invest into a loan.

The process has a lot of different steps but it’s generally easy to follow thanks to assistance from people like realtors. They’ll walk you through all the steps such as financing, calculating fees and even speak to you about home inspections. You’ll also get to personally inspect the houses if possible, and it’s generally a smooth and easy route to getting your very own house. This makes buying a home the perfect choice for anyone who’s looking to move on a short notice, or simply wants to own a home and is impartial to all the features they may or may not need.

In most cases, it’s also cheaper to buy a home than it is to build one. A large factor in determining this cost is due to the age of the properties you invest in. Many new houses cost a lot more money due to their lack of age, but old houses typically fetch lower prices and thus can be bought for cheaper due to the possibility of needing repairs in the near future. The age of a property negatively affects the price, but this can often be used to your advantage if you’re looking for a cheap home to buy.

Building a Home

Now let’s take a look at building a home. In contrast to buying a home, it’s not convenient at all. Instead of simply buying a house, you have to buy a plot of land which is a tough job in itself. The other option would be to buy an existing house and simply demolish it to get a usable piece of land to build on. Unfortunately, this is ridiculously expensive and it’s not for everyone. Ideally, the only time you should be buying a home to demolish is when you have ludicrous amounts of money or if you absolutely must build a home in a certain location.

After that, you’re also going to have to invest in architects and contractors who specialise in various different facets of house building. For instance, you’ll need someone who is capable of designing the home so that it doesn’t collapse and that it offers enough room for you. Next, you’ll need to worry about the utilities, such as how to get electricity to your land, plumbing systems, sewer access and possibly event a septic system should your plot of land be in the countryside. In addition to building these complicated networks, you’ll also have to get planning permission to do so.

It already sounds like a job that’s far too much hassle, but there’s one obvious advantage of building a home that you’ve probably sensed already: the customisation. You’ll be able to customise your home however you see fit. New homes are typically better equipped and more efficient than old homes as well due to their updated energy efficiency appliances, and additions such as glazed windows that help to boost a home’s efficiency. This means that a newer home typically costs less to maintain and run than an old rented house. Add repair costs into the mix, and owning a newer home could actually be more beneficial and cheaper to maintain than a luxury one.

Another reason for building your own home is because it’s completely new. This means you don’t risk things such as a rodent or insect infestation, and it completely removes the chance that your home could be built with toxic materials such as asbestos and lead paint. These serious health concerns can often creep up on you without you knowing because a large majority of homes nowadays were built when materials like asbestos were common. With a new house, you’ll be able to fit it with energy-efficient appliances that are better for the environment and save you a lot of money in the long run.

The costs of building a house can be relatively high, but it’s well worth the money and satisfaction you get when you finally finish the project. It can take your contractors a very long time to finish constructing your home, but when it’s finished, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your new built-to-spec home.

The Final Verdict

We’ve gone through most of the main points, so let’s summarise this into a few short considerations.

First of all, the cost. Even if you follow a comprehensive guide that you find on the internet, such as, building a house is going to take an exceedingly long time and a lot of effort. In fact, it can even be incredibly dangerous to operate heavy tools and machinery in order to build your home, especially if you don’t have any prior experience with them. This can lead to accidents and unless you’re willing to hire contractors, will take a long time that just isn’t feasible. In short, if you want a home as soon as you can, then don’t build a home and buy one instead.

Next, we’ll talk about customisation. The winner here obviously goes to building a home, but that’s only if you can’t find a home to invest in. Your criteria are probably far too tight if you’re unable to find a single house that’s worth your time, so first consider adjusting your search criteria so that you’re more open to a house that might have a smaller garden, be further away from public transportation or is slightly newer. Be warned, however. The further you reduce the quality of your ideal home, the more likely you’ll be disappointed when you finally visit the property for inspection. If you’re willing to compromise or don’t have many demands, then simply buy a home instead of building.

Finally, let’s mention time and money. If cash is an immediate issue, then always go with buying a home. Building a home is going to be incredibly expensive and contractors might even add on hidden fees which will stretch your budget. Remember that if you are building a home, you can always ask for cheaper alternatives to whatever the contractors say. For instance, if you can build a home with a cheaper wall material, then you might want to keep that in consideration as long as it doesn’t collapse on you.

So the final verdict? They’re both completely viable, but building seems to have an edge when it comes to customisation. For buying an existing home, the advantage comes in the form of convenience. If you just want to buy a home and have all of the financial and design tasks done for you, then simply buy a home and don’t build.