Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a House: 7 Things You Must Consider

If you’re wondering: is it cheaper to buy or build a house? Then you’re in the right place.

In some rural areas, you can buy land relatively cheaply. For example, in Maine, a few acres would only cost between $20,000 and $50,000.

So, it’s not surprising people are tempted to create their own place from scratch. Let’s delve into these two options in greater detail!

1. The Initial Cost

The median cost of buying a standard family home is $223,000. Whereas, building a new house typically sets you back an average of $289,415. That’s a massive price difference!

However, you’re likely to get more per square foot if you’re commissioning a new build- so it’s swings and roundabouts.

Plus, when you build from scratch, you only pay for the features you actually want (rather than the ones you’re lumped with)

Be sure to consult with professional home builders to get a better idea of the price involved.

2. Landscaping Issues

One of the best things about buying an older home is that the garden is already established. Mature trees alone can add loads to the value of your property!

Whereas it can cost thousands to kickstart the landscaping in a new build, and years for trees to establish themselves.

3. Maintenance Costs

Older houses are prone to damage which makes maintenance more substantial. Ask your realtor how old everything is before committing to anything.

For example, a standard HVAC system costs roughly $5,000 to replace, and they only last 15 years. There’s no point buying house where significant maintenance costs are involved.

The same principles apply to the boiler, the roof, the pipes, etc.

Top Tip: Hire a professional to undertake a home inspection. This should hopefully highlight any pitfalls.

Obviously, building a new home wouldn’t demand as much maintenance because everything’s fresh. Plus, significant appliances are usually protected under warranty, so you should be covered in the event of a disaster!

4. Time

On average, it takes as long as seven months to build a new home. So, there might be a time gap between selling your old house and completing your new build. This means you’ll have to rent somewhere in the interim.

Unfortunately, this sometimes isn’t a practical or cost-effective choice.

5. The Cost of Heating

Buildings older than 35 years showcase dated windows and poor-insulation. So, you’ll waste money heating the property.

Whereas, when you build a new house, it’ll be way more energy efficient- the heaters are better quality, and the building materials provide better insulation, both of which result in cheaper energy bills.

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