Buy or Build? How to get what you really want.

The home, a monument of family life. A typical aspect of the American Dream is to own a home and live there with your spouse, two kids, and a dog. A vision that we proudly support here at Cummins Architecture. 

There are so many things to consider when deciding what you really want in a home. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, an office? Every situation spurs the creation of a unique program that will meet the needs of the anticipating occupants. With this in mind you must move forward with the clear intention of finding what you want for a price that is both reasonable and within your budget. 

Once you know what you are ready to spend you can begin weighing your options. Some good first questions to ask are the following:

  • What is the average cost per square foot to build in your area v.s. how much to buy? 
  • Is there a house for sale that you like and can afford? 
  • What is the average land cost in your area?
  • Would you rather start from scratch or modify an existing house?
  • Do you know what is involved with the building process?
  • Are your finances in order or is it not possible to proceed at this point? 

Before you choose to proceed in one direction or the other consider these pros and cons:

Pros of Building: 

  1. You have total design control over the future home
  2. You can dictate exactly how the rooms flow together
  3. You can choose the finishes you want 
  4. You have the opportunity to maximize your property as opposed to accepting another person’s vision 

Cons of building: 

  1. Sometimes takes more time than buying 
  2. Managing construction may be more than some people can handle
  3. Setbacks in construction can be very frustrating 

Pros of buying 

  1. You can see exactly what you are getting into
  2. You could save money by making due with what is already there 
  3. It is easier to modifying what is existing in both price and permits

Cons of buying 

  1. The finishes may be old, outdated, or not to your taste  
  2. The layout may not be exactly what you want
  3. You may end up paying more for less house if it is already built depending on the cost to build in your area 

Hopefully these thoughts help in your diction making process. There is a lot to consider when choosing where to spend the next 30 years of your life. A home is the largest purchase that most of us will make in our lifetime. Be sure you are happy with your choices before settling on a course of action. After all, it’ your home, it would be best if you love it.