How many decisions does the average adult make each and every day? 35,000. Seems hard to believe, doesn’t it? But according to Cornell researchers, we make over 226 decisions a day about food alone! Sure, most are relatively trivial (Do I wear the blue shirt or the black? Do I want a latte or an espresso? Or both? What’s for dinner? Should I take this route or that one to work?), but some are potentially life-changing. Among the tens of thousands of decisions already on your plate, you may be wrestling with one of the biggest: should I buy an existing house or build new?

It can be an overwhelming discussion to have within yourself and with those closest to you — one that has you going back and forth in search of the right answer. In search of home. A key part of any decision you make is your gut: what feels right? Feeding your gut, and your mind, with information is critical. Let’s weigh some pros and cons so you can get started on the right path for you, your household members, and your lifestyle.

Should I Buy an Existing House or Build New?

Remember, the right answer is one that works for you. With that in mind, when you buy an existing structure, you have the advantage of:

  • A shorter wait time until you can call a house a home. Typically (and we must emphasize, this is a generalization), it takes less time to purchase an existing home than it does to build new. Even with the closing process, you can move in sooner in many cases.
  • Plug-and-play living. When you purchase an existing house, one of the most important steps you can take is to get a home inspection. Even if you make an offer, you can make it contingent upon the results of the inspection. Assuming all is safe and well, you can move into the home and start making it your own. You may have a list of updates, renovations, and improvements to make, but you’re in place.
  • More wiggle room on price. Again, this is a generalization, and your negotiating power does depend on the market. That said, you may be able to talk your way down from the asking price.
  • Fewer decisions. This can be a “pro” for many people. After all, you’re already making thousands of decisions a day! With an existing home, those choices are made. You have X bedrooms, Y baths, Z square feet. If the home works for you, great!

There are some downsides to consider as well:

  • Increased maintenance needs and costs. An existing home comes with additional maintenance costs, especially if the structure is a decade or more old. You may be looking at putting in new major appliances (e.g. hot water heaters), updating key systems (e.g. HVAC), and even more extensive projects (e.g installing a new roof). Again, your home inspection will give you the lay of the land, so to speak, but you need to factor in the costs of immediate and ongoing maintenance needs.
  • Renovations and improvements. We mentioned that existing homes can be plug-and-play. That doesn’t mean they are tailored to your needs. Your kitchen, for example, might be perfectly functional, but maybe you want a larger range, a different layout, smart technology… all of these will need to be factored into your budget — and your schedule!
  • Energy efficiency may be a factor. Depending on when the home was built, there may be issues in terms of energy efficiency. Did the builders use the latest materials and techniques? Did they install the most efficient appliances? If not, you could be looking at a decrease in efficiency and comfort — and an increase in usage and utility bills.
  • Settling. Is the home good enough? And is that good enough for you?

Building a new home is certainly a significant undertaking, and it can come with specific stresses:

  • A longer wait time. Prepare yourself for a journey. Depending on a variety of factors, it can take up to a year to build a custom home. From global supply chains to the local workforce to the weather, you must be willing and able to anticipate unavoidable delays.
  • More decisions. Building new involves choices. This is also a “pro” (which we’ll talk about in a moment)! You have the opportunity to select every element of your home. Every. Single. Element. This can be overwhelming to many people. The best way to mitigate this worry is to work with an experienced builder who puts your needs front and center throughout the entire process.
  • Budget considerations. Bottom line: all other things considered, yes, it typically costs more to build a new house versus buying an existing house. There are many ways to cost engineer, but generally you will be investing more initially.

On the plus side, building a new home means:

  • It’s in perfect condition. You will move into your newly built home, and everything will function perfectly and as intended. There are no hidden surprises under the floors, behind the walls, or up in the eaves. Every element is new, in top shape, and built to perform optimally. The larger initial expenditure pays you back because you will not have those onerous maintenance costs with which to contend.
  • Energy efficiency is built in. Top builders integrate the industry’s leading materials and use the latest in building science to construct your home. Energy efficiency is top notch. You will begin realizing savings immediately each month when you open your utility bills, as well. Further, knowing that you are using less energy (and wasting far less) adds to the comfort we feel at home.
  • You won the “rat race.” Lately, the housing market has felt like Black Friday when there’s only one Xbox Series X left. Duck and cover! When you opt for a new build, you remove yourself from that tumultuous environment. G&G Custom Homes offers new builds in several select communities, including Holliday Farms, and we are happy to build on your own lot as well.
  • It’s completely you. Yes, we make an absurd number of decisions each day. When you cut to the chase, however, none are more important than those that affect your family, your livelihood, your wellbeing, your happiness, and your future. With a new build, you have the opportunity to thoughtfully select each feature that goes into your home. If overwhelming, know you have the advice, guidance, support, and encouragement of a professional team. When you choose the right builder, the decisions come as easily as choosing your morning coffee drink. And maybe even easier!

You can settle for good enough. But when you want more,  a new build offers the chance to realize the vision you have in mind. To create a safe, comfortable, efficient space that will meet your needs now and into the future. To come home.

Ready to talk about your forever home? Connect with G&G Custom Homes.

Connect with the G&G team today to get your custom home conversation started.