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By: AgFed Credit Union

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The Pros and Cons of Building a New Home

 May 11, 2021
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While there are a few important choices to make during the home-buying process, one of the very first decisions you'll need to make is whether you’ll buy an existing home or build a new one. Building a new home can be exciting and offers many advantages, but it also has drawbacks when compared to purchasing an existing home. 

To help you figure out if building a home is the right choice for you, consider the pros and cons of both options. 



Some advantages to building a new home are:

  • Designed to your style. You have more control to choose the architectural style (such as contemporary, Victorian, Mediterranean, Tudor, ranch, etc.) that suits your preferences with a custom home.


  • Custom floor plan. If you manage to catch a builder right before they start a new house, you might have the ability to alter the plans somewhat. On the other hand, you get greater floor plan flexibility with building a brand-new home entirely from scratch.


  • Warranties. When you build a new home, certain items — like appliances — will come with new warranties. Also, typically the builder will offer a warranty (for example, 12-months) on any types of building defects.


  • Finishes and upgrades. You’re able to choose the cabinets, hardwood floors, appliances, crown moldings, buildouts, and more, according to your specifications and preferences.


  • Never been lived in. There’s something to be said about moving into a house where no one has ever lived. Everything is brand new, and you won’t have to deal with an older home’s wear and tear.



Some drawbacks of building a new home are:

  • More costly to build a brand-new house. While building a new home provides you with more designing flexibility, it is usually more expensive than if you were to buy an existing home.


  • Location. When you're building new, your desired location may be more limited. You might have to locate land and potential property that may result in additional costs for tearing down an existing home before new construction can begin.


  • Timing. After you’re pre-approved by a lender, you can begin to tour existing homes, make offers, and move in shortly after your offer is accepted. On the flip side, building a home can take significantly more time before it is move-in ready.


  • Amenities. Existing houses might have desirable amenities that previous owners installed, like a patio, three-season room, or a pool. 


  • Costly landscaping. In many cases, building a home happens on an undeveloped lot, which can lead to higher landscaping costs initially. 

While there are definitely perks to building a new home, the cost will typically be much higher. But, if you can locate a house that a builder just started, you'll have a more flexible design process and will be able to select upgrades without the higher expense of having to start from scratch.


We're Here to Help!

Purchasing an existing home and building a custom home are both big financial decisions as well as long-term commitments. Don't rush through the process. Discuss your options with a reputable realtor and give us a call at 202-479-2270 to review your financing options.

We are here to help answer all your questions and help guide you through the entire home-buying process.


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