The Pros and Cons of Building Your Home

Building a home can be a very exciting adventure but what really are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? We're currently living in the fourth home we've had built so here's my opinion on the subject.

I'll start with the advantages. When you build, your house will be built with all the current styles and colors. Everything will be brand spanking new, including all the appliances, the roof, water heater, air conditioner, and furnace. You won't need to replace any of the major items for quite a long time. The best thing about building your home is that you get exactly what you want, or do you? Yes, you most definitely build the floor plan that you like the best and if you're really wanting a basement, for an additional cost, you can have that too. We've had a tough time finding existing homes with basements, which we really want, so that's definitely an advantage for us! Basements are expensive though. You can do a partial or a full basement and of course, depending on the square footage of your home, you should plan on a minimum of an additional $20,000.00 and that's for an unfinished partial basement. It's always cheaper to build up but not everyone wants a two-story home. You get to pick the area or neighborhood you'd like to live in rather than the existing home that you love dictating that. Naturally, that's not always the case because, depending on where you'd really like to live, that area may not have any existing lots left. You do get to pick out the siding colors, the roof color and type of shingles, what type of garage door you'd like, whether or not you're going to have brick or stone accents as well as a whole multitude of choices once you walk through the front door. This is where your costs can really add up!!! I'd always recommend people deciding on what their budget is and then finding the floor plan you like the best but chose one that's well below that figure. You're going to want to upgrade, trust me on this!!! I said many times during our last build that really, we just need to upgrade the things that are more costly to upgrade after we move in because it's easier and cheaper to do it during the construction phase. Do you realize just how many things that will be? We did more upgrades in this home than we've done in the past because that was our theory but even after all of those upgrades, there are still things we would have added but, we also had a budget! I don't think that there are many things better than a shiny new house! I love the smell of the newness and the cleanliness of a new home, sadly, the cleanliness part is short-lived!

Let's move onto the negatives of building. It's stressful, or it can be, because of the time frame. It will take you four to six months to build your home, you add a month for a basement. Unless you don't need to sell a home to build, you're going to have to figure out temporary housing for that period of time. Some people are very fortunate and when they decide to build, they list their current home and it doesn't sell until right before their new home is completed, of course, that's part of the stress I'd mentioned!  Not every couple has a great experience building because they don't agree on many of the decisions that must be made. If you think this would apply to you, don't build! You won't enjoy the process and you'll be miserable. Not all builders are the same. Some build hundreds of homes a year while others build less than 20. Our opinion has been that if you decide to go with a larger builder and there's a snafu, their subs will jump to correct a problem. It used to be that really the only way to get a truly custom home was to use a smaller builder but this isn't the case any longer. Any large builder can take one of their basic floor plans and change it to make it your custom home or you can give them a floor plan you like and they can build that. You really need to keep an eye on your home while it's being built. We visited daily and we did find a few things that they needed to fix or things that weren't done correctly. It's much easier to let them know as you see things rather than to wait because it may be too late and could affect your closing date. I know of a couple that had a home built here while they lived in Europe. They were moving here so obviously, they weren't able to keep an eye on it. I could never do that because both my husband and I are control freaks!! My husband also said, more than once, that nobody cares as much about your new house as you do and I think that's very, very true. We've builts four homes in two different states and used three different builders and have had great experiences with all of them but we found issues in all of them as we were building too. Shade trees may be non-existent, depending on how much you like shade trees, a huge disadvantage is going to be that you will probably be building in what was a farmer's field and there won't be any trees. That's another expense to consider and it will be quite a long time before they're big enough to provide you with shade. Speaking of trees, you also won't have a yard for quite a while, this will naturally, depend upon the time of year you build. Once the yard is put in you'll have at least a couple of months to wait and water until you really start seeing grass sprout up. The cost of building is another disadvantage. It's always cheaper to buy an existing home rather than building. You just need to weigh all your options, decide what you really want in a home and then decide if buying existing or building suits your needs better.

The great news is that I can help you with buying existing or building!! I hope this blog helps you in your decision!


Nicole Allread

Nicole Allread

Realtor/Associate Broker
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