As newlyweds, preparing to buy your first home as a couple is an exciting time. However, you may be wondering, “Should newlyweds build their first home or purchase an existing one?” Both approaches have merit, but one may work better in some situations than others. As a result, it’s wise to look at each approach closely. If you’re trying to decide whether to build or buy, here’s what you need to consider.
What’s the Move-In Timeline?
To put it simply, building traditionally takes far longer than buying an existing home. When you want to build, you’ll need to purchase a buildable lot, a process that can take as long as buying a house. Then, you might have to prep the site, bring in utilities, formalize plans, get permits, hire contractors, and complete the build.
On average, building takes just shy of 7 months to wrap up. If you need to move into a house faster, then purchasing an existing home could be a better bet.
Are Specialized Features a Must?
One of the most appealing things about building is the ability to customize your home fully. If you want specialized features that aren’t widely available in your market, building could make them easier to get. For example, you could add personal touches like a cedar sauna, something that you won’t usually find broadly in any market.
Similarly, if you need an accessible home, building may be easier. There aren’t many accessible houses in practically any market. As a result, those who need accessibility typically have to modify a home to make it feel livable. Since going into a construction phase is essentially a must, building from scratch may be more attractive, allowing you to ensure that the house meets your precise needs with greater ease.
Can You Make Decisions Quickly?
Building a house means making a surprising number of decisions. After you have the plans and the build begins, you’ll need to pick everything that goes into the home, including big items like kitchen cabinets and small details like light switch and outlet covers.
Since the number of decisions you’ll need to make is shockingly high, building might not be a good fit if you can’t choose options quickly. If you can’t relay your choices to your contractor in a timely fashion, that could delay your build, which isn’t ideal.
How’s the Local Real Estate Market?
The state of your local real estate market is another factor to consider. The availability of houses and buildable lots vary by location. Some areas may have plenty of buildable lots and not many homes. In other places, the reverse may be true, or both might be hard to find.
If one is in short supply, going in that direction could mean a longer timeline and higher costs, particularly if demand is high and bidding wars are common. In some cases, that could make the alternative more attractive.
At a minimum, you should explore the area’s real estate market from both angles. That way, you’ll know whether the inventory is low and if properties are receiving multiple offers, allowing you to determine if one option may be a better bet.
Do you think that building their first home is an intelligent move for newlyweds or that purchasing an existing house is a better fit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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