Becoming a homeowner is both an exciting and stressful process, and there are many ways to go about getting home. The most common way is to buy a home that goes up for sale on the real estate market while building your home from the ground up is another option. Many people like the idea of owning a brand new home— and this can be done by either building or buying, but building allows you to create your dream home. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of building versus buying to help you determine which option is best for you.

Building Pro/Buying Con: Energy Efficiency

Older homes are less likely to be energy efficient, as energy efficiency is only recently been applied to homes. Depending on how old a home is, it may not have an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system that can cool/heat the entire home— although this saves a lot of energy and money. Between water and electricity, homes use a lot of energy and many building techniques allow homes to use these resources more efficiently. Examples include:

  • Energy-efficient windows
  • Insulated vinyl siding
  • Metal roofing
  • Solar panels

When building your home from the ground up, you can ensure that the most energy-efficient materials are used. It may cost more upfront, but it will save you more money in the long run. You can also use smart devices and appliances (whether you build or buy) to help create an even more energy-efficient home.

These include things like LED light bulbs, a smart thermostat, energy-efficient appliances (washer/dryer, dishwasher, etc.), a smart toilet, a smart irrigation system, and smart plugs.

In addition to home efficiency when it comes to buying an older home, you’re more likely to run into maintenance issues sooner than if you were to build from the ground up. Anything from plumbing and electrical issues to foundation problems can exist within an older home.

Buying Pro/Building Con: Costs

In most cases, it’s much less expensive to buy a home that already exists, versus building a home from the ground up— but it all depends on the current real estate market. The average price of a home in the United States was around $350,000 while the average price of a home in Canada is twice as much. Of course, exact prices vary depending on the state/province where you buy a home, with West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa being the more affordable states in the U.S., and Quebec and New Brunswick being the more affordable provinces in Canada.

On the other hand, it can cost up to $500,000 to build a house in the U.S.— but it can also cost as little as $120,000. In Canada, the cost of building a home is more comparable to buying one, but there are a variety of factors that can affect the cost of building a home, including:

  • Buying and preparing land
  • Drawing up floor plans
  • Getting building permits
  • Interior finishes (custom finishes cost more)

Building Pro/Buying Con: Complete Customization

The most obvious benefit of building a home from the ground up is that you can customize the floor plan any way you want— especially if you buy land and build from there. Some new residential neighborhoods let you build a home from the ground up, but there’s a certain type of floor plan that you must stick to with limited customization options. Even with this option, you’re still able to customize more than you would with a home that has already been built. This is a much more hands-on approach, no matter how you decide to go about building, with having the option to choose:

  • Finishes
  • Layouts and lot size
  • Location
  • Materials
  • Room height
  • Storage space

You can also choose as little or as much luxury as you want. Custom home builders in Ontario allow you to choose a custom design so that you can build for your current and/or future needs.

Many factors affect whether you should build your own custom home or look for an existing residential dwelling for sale on the real estate market. One of the biggest barriers to custom home building is the cost, but the cost of building a home can be comparable to or less than the cost of buying an existing home. It can also be more stressful because it requires more time and effort, but it’s always worth it to get the home of your dreams. Ultimately, it depends on what you want as a homeowner.


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