There is no right or wrong answer to the question of building a new home or buying an existing one. It really depends on what you want, your financial circumstances, and the housing market in your area. For some people it is very important to have a custom house built to their own specifications. Others may find it comforting to see the home already built before making a commitment.

Pro and Con: Build a New Home or Buy an Existing House

Build New Home or Buy Existing: Building Pros
• Get exactly what you want, made to order.
• Customize a home to your tastes.
• Satisfy your need to create.
• Get a truly unique home.
• If you want an alternative materials green home, building it may be your only option.

Build New Home or Buy Existing: Building Cons
• You might wait up to a year to move in.
• You will not be able to see your home before you buy it.
• There is a considerable time investment in meeting with contractors and home builders, and in visiting the construction site.

Build New Home or Buy Existing: Existing Home Pros
• In the current market there’s a huge chance you might get a great price.
• See the home already built, before you invest your money.
• Some people prefer an older or historic home from a certain time period.
• Those who have homes on the market today are desperate to sell, so you’d be helping them.
• Getting a loan is a little simpler, but not enough so for it to be a major factor.

Build New Home or Buy Existing: Existing Home Cons
• The home was built and decorated to someone else’s tastes.
• The home may have been lived in, and have stains or scratches from previous owners.
• The home may not have been built to your standards, and you will never see the wall studs before you buy.

Build New Home or Buy Existing: Inspecting an Existing Home
See as much of the underlying construction as possible. Check the attic and basement or crawl space. Find an objective expert carpenter to help you. Inspect the interiors of closets. When in the basement, check the wood below the tub for water damage. Inspect plumbing for leaks, or signs plumbing has leaked in the past. In most areas a termite inspection is required before purchase, so if you want a third opinion ask your exterminator. In addition to termites, he’ll know about any water damage. Plus those guys spend a lot of time under houses. If you have questions, about anything you saw under the house, he could check it out and give you an opinion. Your termite inspector is a disinterested party with an expert opinion. Be sure to find out what he really thinks.

Build New Home or Buy Existing: Inspecting a Home As it is Constructed
It is very important to check on your home as it is built. Learn as much as you can about construction and have an expert friend to help you look. Check on your home frequently especially during the pouring of the foundation, building up of subflooring, and the framing. Examine roof trusses and roofing materials and observe how they are installed. Make sure roofing felt is used, and that all plywood sheathing is of adequate thickness and quality. Pay attention to plumbing installation, and make sure all electrical wiring is done by a reputable licensed electrician.

It’s possible that the house you want is already built. It is important to look at existing houses for sale anyway, in order to learn about contractors in your area, and see which features you like. You may find just the right home during that process, and fall in love with it. Some people do find their dream house, exactly as they envisioned it, in the homes available on the market. If not, or if what you want is a bit unusual, then building is the best option. Deciding whether to build a new home or buy an existing one, is really a question of what you want, and what is available.

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