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Should You Buy or Build a New House: The Pros and Cons

By December 2, 2020December 18th, 2020Builder Tips
pros and cons build custom home san antonio alamo heights

Buying a house is an exciting part of life. It’s a decision-making process that will take a lot of time, money, and careful budgeting. How much can you afford? Will you be able to stay afloat financially if something goes wrong? What color will you paint the front door?

These questions, along with many more, will shape your final decisions. But there’s another question that you need to ask at the beginning of the home-buying process: will you buy a pre-existing home, or choose to build your own? We’ve listed some pros and cons of each to help you make the right choice for your situation:


A new home is energy efficient.

Older homes usually come with older furnaces, water boilers, and air conditioners—in other words, they come with issues. When you build your own home, you can skip the HVAC inspection; save time and money by selecting the newest and most efficient appliances, rather than relying on ones that are 10+ years old. 

Outdated models hog energy, which can harm our environment. When you’re considering building a custom home, keep in mind the difference that new appliances will make. You’ll enjoy lower energy bills, less frequent repairs/replacements, warranties, and maximum efficiency. These benefits can offset some of the costs of a custom home.


Older homes have character.

There’s something special about a 100-year old house that’s hard to match with a modern one. A house that was built long ago speaks to the time that it was designed in. Older homes may smell musty and need more work, but they carry a unique quality that’s hard to find these days. 

Another option is to hire a builder with experience in this style of architecture. You can design a home that’s modern with a historic twist. Plan for a spiral staircase or crown molding with detailed rosettes to give your new home a bit of historical character.


You won’t have to compete with other buyers.

Outbidding another offer means that you might have to pay more for a home than it’s truly worth. It’s easy to get caught up in a bidding war and go over your price range just to secure the property you’ve been eyeing. You may find that you’ve spent too much on a home that will need thousands of dollars in improvements!

When you build a custom home, you can set a budget and stick to it. There won’t be unforeseen repairs, foundation issues, or other expensive problems that you didn’t anticipate. Even though a custom-built home is expensive and time-consuming to plan, you’re paying for quality over convenience.


Your home will be built to suit your needs.

Depending on how many people you live with and how often you use hot water, different types of boilers will be better-suited to your lifestyle. A pre-existing home won’t necessarily have the best boiler for you; you might get stuck dealing with cold showers and an inefficient dishwasher. But with a custom-built home, you can select each appliance that will have the perfect capacity for your daily usage. 

Do you live in a particularly hot or cold climate? Your home may require especially thick insulation. Rather than tearing down the walls to add insulation to a pre-existing home, you can design a house with sufficient material from the outset.


When you buy a home, you can move in right away.

One drawback to the custom home-building route is that it takes time. You need to take at least a year planning, constructing, and finishing up the home of your dreams. During that time, you may need to rent an apartment or move in with a family member. A house that’s already built can be moved into once the paperwork is signed. If you’re in a hurry to own a home, you might be better off buying one that’s already built. But, if you have the time on your hands, it’s worthwhile to build a custom property; you won’t need to compromise on anything just to gain possession sooner.


Everything will be brand-new.

When you buy a pre-built home, it may not meet your expectations. Perhaps you’ve paid an enormous sum for this property, only to find that there are chips on the countertops and faults in the appliances. The previous owners may have picked confusing design choices; the layout may be inconvenient, and the wall colors may be repugnant to you. It’s a frustrating experience, to say the least. But this won’t be an issue when you have a home built just for you.

Each wall will be the exact shade you chose. The layout, tailored to your lifestyle. It’ll be customized down to the lighting fixtures and countertops. The exterior of your home will be just as you imagined it. If you have a vision of an ideal home in your head, the only way to attain it is by having your home custom-built. 


Even if you find the best home on the market, there are still a few things that you’ll probably want to change about it. When your home is custom-built, you’ll have everything how you want it. Should you decide that you’d like a custom home, the San Antonio custom home builders at Urbano Design & Build will be happy to speak with you about your project. Contact our team today to get started!