Owning A Home 101: Building Your Own Or Buying?


Realistically, if you are ready to purchase your own home, you have two choices. The first is that you can purchase a property and move in as is. The second is that you can choose to purchase land and build your own property. Obviously, simply buying a home is by far the easiest option and, therefore, the most common.

However, building your home affords you more control, and you can really tailor the home to you and your family. In the end, there are benefits and drawbacks to both choices; your personal circumstances will heavily influence the best option for you. Read on for more information.

Building Your Own Home

Truthfully, choosing to buy and build your own property is the more unusual route to take in order to get on the property ladder, but it is definitely worth considering. One of the biggest benefits, as mentioned above, is that you are completely in control of what the final product is going to look like. Depending on your architectural experience, you might be able to come up with the floor plan yourself or work with a designer to get it as close to how you want it, whilst the designer ensures that it makes sense and won’t impede the flow of the home.

Once you have purchased the land, too, it is yours to do with what you will; you don’t need to worry about falling in love with the home only to be outbid by somebody else. You can also choose to build the home to be more energy efficient, which can then save you money in the future on your energy bills. You can also choose the right builders for you to carry out your vision.

Using a service like MyBuilder allows you to find any number of local tradespeople too. You need to ensure that you have checked their accreditations. Building a new home also means that it will be subject to more stringent protocols and regulations too.

On the other hand, building your own home can be tricky. It is also often a more expensive process because you need to be able to secure the capital not only to build the home but also to purchase the land in the first place. Estimates provided for the work often hinge on the fact that it is going to run smoothly. Encountering issues will likely delay the build and drive up the costs. Finally, depending on the time scale that you are working with, building a home might not be a viable choice for you if you need to have moved in by a certain date.

Buying An Existing Home

Now, buying a home is the much more common and often easier route to take – especially for those looking to buy their very first home. Obviously, buying a ready-built home has a number of advantages to it. Firstly, it is already ready to move into as soon as the ownership has transferred and the house-buying process has been finalized, which is immensely advantageous to anyone working to a timeline.

Buying a property may also be cheaper because you only have to secure a mortgage for the property as opposed to buying the land and then financing the building of the home.

When you purchase a home, you also tend to have more options in built-up areas too. When you build your own home, you need to find a plot of land to do so, which is often all but impossible in already well-developed areas. Lastly, choosing to buy a home doesn’t mean that you are stuck with it forever as is. You can renovate the property as you see fit. However, if your plans for the property are beyond what currently exists, i.e. an extension or garage or attic conversion, then you will need to submit an application for planning permission.

That being said, there are a few disadvantages to purchasing a home too. Firstly, you might be surprised to discover that finding the perfect house for your needs can take some time. Most people find it helpful to write down a list of their desirable criteria which they can then use when looking at housing listings. The likelihood is that you will have to make compromises in one form or another.

The housing market is also experiencing huge competition, with many different people all looking for a home, which means that you are likely to be outbid at times, or your bid will be driven up, and you’ll end up paying more than you wanted to while still compromising on the home itself. Any ready-built home, regardless of age, can have its own snagging list of maintenance issues that you need to be mindful of.

A Cost Comparison

One of the biggest deciding factors between the two, in addition to the timeline that you are working to, is the cost difference between the two options. The costs do tend to vary even within the options too. Choosing to purchase a smaller, older building can save you some money in the initial costs. However, it might need redecorating and updating, which can then mean that you end up paying just as much as you would have had you bought new.

Especially, if you need to purchase new appliances, although you could purchase energy-efficient appliances, which can then save you some money on your energy bills in the future. However, buying new often requires a higher initial deposit to secure the mortgage and cover the costs, which might make purchasing a new build inaccessible to you.

Lastly, the costs involved in building a house can also vary. After all, even with the help that you have hired, you still have final say on the design elements, materials, appliances and decorating choices which does mean that you should be able to find ways to keep the costs down as much as possible. You can also choose to incorporate as many energy-efficient practices as possible to minimize your energy bills going forward. Regardless of the option that you choose, you will still need to pay a number of legal fees and ensure that all necessary surveys have been carried out, which can also constitute an additional cost.

The Final Verdict

Truthfully, working out whether or not you should buy a home or purchase land to build a home really comes down to you; it isn’t a question that has an easy answer. There are a lot of personal factors that only you can consider. To put it as simply as possible, building your own home might be the only way that you can really ensure that you end up with the house that you have been dreaming of.

However, most people are not financially prepared for this. There are also a number of practicalities that make this option seem less desirable. On the other hand, buying a ready-built home is, by far, the easier process and quicker too. Understandably, not everyone wants to compromise and accept a house that doesn’t fulfil all of its list criteria. You really need to think about your own circumstances and which option makes the most sense in terms of time and money. It might also be worth thinking about which option will get you the home that you want.


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