Deciding whether to buy an existing home or build a new home is a huge and difficult decision for anyone considering a home purchase.  There are several things to consider as you determine the best option for you..

What’s your timeframe?  Most buyers who purchase an existing home can typically be in their new home within 30-45 days from contract.  If you are selling an existing home, that often means that you can move directly from your prior home to your new house with no interim housing.  New home construction can take from 7-12 months to complete which may leave you in need of interim housing as you await completion of your new home.  If you are an investor, an existing home may also provide you with an existing and immediate income stream that you won’t get with a new home build until completing construction and beginning to market availability.

Ready to negotiate?  If you are a deal maker and looking for a tough negotiation to get the best price on your home, existing homes in inventory may be your best option.  New construction often doesn’t allow the same level of negotiation and discounts as existing homes do.  With many homes on the market, sellers know that they are competing with many other homes and often have time pressures to sell and may be more willing to negotiate than a builder would be who knows his costs and the time and effort ahead in a new construction project.

Willing to compromise?  If you have a must-have list that’s pages long, it may be difficult to find your perfect existing home unless you are willing to compromise.  A new home allows you to work with a designer or builder to get exactly what you want in terms of floor plan and finishes within your budget.  While it comes with a longer timeline, the end result should be the home of your dreams.

How big is your nest egg?  In today’s market new construction costs can be between $150 and $250 per square foot in addition to the land value.  This often times is more expensive than the average square footage price of existing homes on the market.  In addition, new homes come with budget risks of overages during the construction process and often extra expenses (like blinds, curtains, etc) once you move in that existing inventory already has in place.


Like Surprises? One big benefit of new construction is that everything is new!  This means less surprise expenses from maintenance issues that may pop up in existing homes.  Additionally, new homes today boast much more energy efficient appliances, windows and building materials that will help you save on monthly energy bills in the future. 

There is no right or wrong answer to the build or buy question… it’s a personal decision for everyone and one that your real estate agent can help you think through and navigate.  If you are ready for your next step, contact our team at Outer Banks Realty Solutions at 252-261-9003 and let us help you buy or build your dream home.