Should you Build or Buy Your Home?
Updated: Oct 25
There are Plenty of Reasons to Build a Custom Home and Plenty of Reasons to Buy a Pre-Existing House. Which Makes the Most Sense for You?
With tight inventory, high prices and even higher demand, you’re not alone if you’ve been unable to find your ideal home this year. According to the Victoria Real Estate Board, as of April 1, 2021, sales of single family homes were up 88.2 per cent from March 2020!
Whether you've been contending with bidding wars on numerous homes, or having to potentially settle on an overpriced fixer-upper, you’re probably feeling stressed and frustrated by now, not sure if you'll ever find your dream home.
Maybe it’s time to consider a custom home, something built just for you and your family, that checks all the boxes, but might even be more financially feasible than buying a “used” home.
Custom Homes Aren’t Always the More Expensive Option
It’s commonly believed that building a home costs more than buying a home. In some instances, that can be true. The more high-end features, luxury brands and extras you add, the more your building cost increases.
Often, by strategically choosing your building materials and finishes you can get the look you want without blowing your budget out of the water. For instance, you can opt for linoleum instead of marble floors in the less-used guest bath or choose a hardy and equally beautiful manufactured wood flooring such as laminate rather than the more expensive hardwood. These types of swaps in your design can easily reduce your average cost. Also, when you factor in the daily or yearly living costs for an energy efficient new home vs. a less efficient older home, you could wind up saving quite a bit of money in the long run.
It's About Getting the Home of Your Dreams
Whether this will be your forever home for your growing family, or your dream retirement abode at the beach, our team at White Wolf Homes can make this dream come true. Our ultimate goal is to have you beaming from ear to ear on move-in day, knowing that you’re so very excited to put down roots in your custom designed house.
Questions to Ask Yourself about Building vs. Buying
It’s a very individual, personal choice. There are also many logical cost considerations for each side. To decide on the best fit, ask yourself:
How long can I wait before moving in?
Am I able to make decisions like floor plan, materials, colours, etc. or will I be too overwhelmed?
How important is it that everything in my home is brand new?
Can I care for brand new landscaping and trees? Do I prefer a yard that’s already landscaped?
What is in my budget for additional upgrades and repair/maintenance costs?
Am I willing to compromise on my wish list?
How much can I reasonably afford?
Still not quite sure if building or buying is right for you? There are definite advantages to both sides, so we’ve created a simple pros and cons list for building vs. buying to help you decide.
Pros of a Custom Built Home
You get the home, the layout and the design you dreamed of
You are the first owners EVER
New builds are generally easier to insure
There is no upgrade or renovation work needed
Your appliances, roof, HVAC, etc. are under warranty
You choose both optional upgrades and expensive upgrades
You can lay the groundwork and prep for future technology upgrades like home automation
You can have the landscaping done exactly as you like
Choose the exact location you want and build to suit
A new home could be better for your overall health. Better ventilation, climate control and “green” materials as well as low or no VOC paint can all contribute to a healthier family
A custom home can have a high resale value when designed to suit the neighbourhood
You can pay for a new build with something called a new construction loan, since lenders can't mortgage a home that doesn’t yet exist
A high quality new home is built to be incredible energy efficient. You might even be rewarded by BC Hydro with a rebate from the CleanBC Better Homes New Construction Program
Cons of a Custom Built Home
It’s at least 6 months to a year for completion (this varies, but that’s the ballpark)
Choosing all aspects of the design in a truly custom home is a lot to think about
There can be costs associated with utilities. If you need power brought to the site, a septic system, a well, a sewer connection, these can all add to your bottom line
You’ll need temporary accommodation either on or off the property while your home is being built
You may need a new construction loan and a mortgage, depending on what you have set aside for the project
The price can easily go up if you choose a lot of luxury finishes
Pros of Buying a Home
You can buy a move-in ready resale home
The property will generally come with all appliances
Depending on the location, you’ll likely be in an established community
You can always update/upgrade areas of the property later on with a renovation loan
It takes less time to move into a pre-existing house (usually a month or two after closing)
Cons of Buying a Home
You could be inheriting someone else’s problems. Home inspections can’t catch everything
The home may need updating to be personalized to your tastes
The floor plan might not be ideal for what you want
Renovations and upgrades to the house and amenities add additional costs
An older house may have poor energy efficiency with higher energy costs
Financing an older home may be difficult
There might be competition and price wars with other potential buyers
Older houses that may not be up to current building standards could be tougher and more expensive to insure
An older home may not see much of an increase in property values over time
Whether you choose to buy or go with a builder, it’s an emotional process because this is your home. This is where you’re going to live, work, play, have family over for holidays (hopefully in the near future!) and it’s a big decision.
To weigh your options even more, have fun doing some research. Tour open houses (either online or in person), review floor plans online and really get a sense of what you want your home to be. You can even try to do some basic cost comparisons between renovating an existing home of your choice and building something similar. You can also shop for a plot of land and see if you fall in love with the location. As you shop around for properties, view styles and home layouts, try to pare down your favourite features and also scour Houzz, to help with your decision between building or buying.
Building a home is an incredibly rewarding process. From the moment you choose the design to the day you get the keys, your home is 100% you. At White Wolf Homes, we believe that your home should match your lifestyle and your vision, and the custom home building process should be as stress-free as possible. Please feel free to browse our FAQ’s for more details on the process. You can also view our current projects and floorplans. To speak to our friendly team, call (250) 888-8209 or contact us via web form. Let’s Build Your Home Together.