Building A Home Vs. Buying An Established Home

Congratulations! You have decided to get a new home. The hardest part is deciding whether to have a home built or move into an established home.

If you are in the market for a new home, chances are you're probably getting bombarded with all kinds of information and advice from friends. Once people know you're looking for a new home, you start getting referrals to different loan agencies and different real estate agents and home builders. There are hundreds of types of loans you can qualify for and tons of real estate agents you can pick from, but first things first. Have you decided whether you want to buy an established home or have one built for you? As with most choices, there are advantages and disadvantages for both.

Advantages of Buying an Established Home

* You can move right in whenever you close on the house, which usually takes about four to six weeks.

* The established home is in a neighborhood that you love and no new homes are being built around there.

* The previous owners may have enhanced the affordable home with features you may not be able to currently afford if you had to purchase them. For example, the previous owners may have upgraded the home to include real hardwood floors, wooden blinds in all the windows, tile floors, upgraded appliances, decorative paint and ceiling fans.

Disadvantages of Buying an Established Home

* Although the established home has a layout you love, the previous owners may have had a decorating style that is unlike your own. Perhaps they painted all the rooms vibrant colors and you consider yourself more of a neutral kind of will have to go in and re-paint the walls before you move in to suit your style. Maybe the house is great except for the fact that the entire house is carpeted and you'd rather have tile or wood floors. You will either have to live with your house like this or pay to fix it later.

* If the house is over ten or fifteen years old, you may end up having to purchase some major items like a new roof or a new air conditioning unit within a few months or a few years.

* Nobody will appreciate your house like you do. The previous owners may have not pampered the house the way you would have, so there may be minor problems you walk into. You may have to get an exterminator to get rid of pests, fix up mildew problems in the restrooms, make some paint touch-ups, clean out the appliances before using them or revamp the electrical system.

Advantages of Building a Home

* You get to pick exactly the style of home you want (or choose from multiple styles). Maybe you want a one-story home or a two-story home? Perhaps you want a one or two car garage? You are the creator of your home.

* Your home is totally new, so you don't necessarily have to worry about major things falling apart or breaking, like the air conditioner, the roof and the foundation. Even if something does prove to be wrong with it, your house will still be under warranty so you do not have to foot the bill.

* The first people to live in this house are you and your family. You know that there are no hidden messes to contend with and that the house is fresh and ready for you to move in.

Disadvantages of Building a Home

* You will have to wait anywhere from six months to a year (or even a year and half for a totally custom built home) to move into your new home.

* Although you may get to pick every single feature you want, sometimes the costs can grow and grow until the house becomes unaffordable and you have to sacrifice some of your custom picks. For example, maybe you want to get all tile floors, but the difference between getting all carpet and all tile is running in the thousands. You may have to choose to simply tile only a few of the rooms, instead of the entire house like you originally planned.

* New communities are just that: new. You never know what will be built around a new community where houses are springing up. Even if the house you are purchasing is worth $200,000, if a new builder comes in and buys the land next door and chooses to build low-income houses, the value of your house may decrease.

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