Should You Build or Buy Your First House?

Becoming a homeowner, especially for the first time, is an exciting and expensive process. Housing prices are at all-time highs, so is it cheaper to just build one yourself?

Well, that depends. There are a host of other factors in building or buying a home to consider, too.

Below, we’ll break down the pros and cons of building vs buying your first home.

Buying a House

There are several ways to buy a new house, such as through a real estate agent or a website listing. It’s slightly cheaper than building, but you risk settling for less than perfect.

So, before you start research 15 year mortgage options, here are the pros and cons of this option.


1. Lower Cost

Buying an already built house is usually cheaper than building one, especially older homes.

2. Convenience

When you buy a house, everything is already set up for you. Generally, you can move in immediately, and if you go through a realtor, most of the paperwork is taken care of.

3. Neighborhood Options

Lots in most neighborhoods are already built. When you buy a house, you don’t have to worry about finding land in your preferred city since it’s already been developed.


1. Competing Buyers

If you try to buy a house, you’ll likely get into bidding wars with other potential buyers. If a renting company decides they want the house, you’re not likely to win unless you can pay in cash. Even if you find the perfect house, it’s not guaranteed that you can buy it.

2. Outdated Buildings

Most older houses weren’t built under modern building codes. This means that they’re not energy-efficient, there may be structural damage or dangerous materials could be used, such as lead paint and asbestos.

3. Unforeseen Costs

Older homes may have hidden damage that doesn’t show up until after moving in, and repairs are expensive. Also, you’ll have to pay for any renovations you want.

Building a Home

Building your own home can be exciting but stressful. You have to plan it out carefully, and it takes much longer. However, having your own custom-built home can be worth it.

These are the pros and cons of this method.


1. Complete Control

When you build your own home, you control the size, location, materials, style, and everything else. You can draw up the plans down to the inch or pay someone to design it for you.

2. Modern Builds

You can ensure your home will be built up to code and won’t have the wear and tear that formerly built houses will have. You even know exactly what materials go into making your home, so there’s no risk of anything harmful.

3. Less Maintenance

Houses that have just been built won’t need the maintenance that older homes will. It’s also more energy-efficient and up-to-date on plumbing and wiring, saving you utility costs.


1. Higher Cost

Building a house from scratch costs more upfront since you’re not just buying a house. You’re buying every first-time installation, furnishing, and land development the house needs. It’s also harder to get a loan before you build a house.

2. Long Wait Time

While prebuilt homes are usually ready to move in on the day of the sale, building a house can take months, even up to a year. You need to have somewhere to live during that time, so you can’t sell your current home for money; you’ll likely need to take out a loan.

3. More Effort

When you’re building a home, you need to plan everything out, starting with whether the land you have is suitable for development to the material of every furnishing in the home. The long wait time and extra requirements can cause a lot of stress.

Which One is Better?

When you’re in the market for a new home, buying something already on the market may seem more convenient. This is the better option if you need to move in right away, assuming you can find one that’s move-in ready.

On the other hand, if you have time to spare before moving and customization is important to you, building your house is the way to go, especially if you already have land you can build on.

Whatever you choose, a house is a huge investment, so make sure it’s the right fit for your life.

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