When the times comes to move into a new house, there are hundreds of decisions to make. Do you need more space or less? Where do you want to be? What amenities are essential to you? What type of neighborhood are you looking for? When do you want to move? Your answers to these questions will help you determine whether buying an existing home or building a new home makes the most sense for your family. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide whether building or buying a home is right for you.

Buying An Existing Home

Buying a home with character and a history is often the preferred route when cost and convenience are top priorities.


If you want or need to get into a new space on a strict timeline, buying a home gives you this option. Once you are pre-approved, you can begin the home search and make an offer on the one you like. Usually, you can get into your new home 30-60 days after your offer is accepted, and you can be on your way to starting a new chapter of your life. For this reason, buying a home ranks high on the convenience scale.


Buying a home typically costs much less than building a house from the ground up. You can search for homes that fall in a specific price bracket and run into very few surprises when it comes to how much you will be paying.


Another advantage to buying an existing home is that you know what you’re getting regarding location and neighborhood. There will be very little guesswork when it comes to how the neighborhood will grow and develop and what to expect in the land around your home. An existing home will probably also already have a lawn that has been maintained, allowing you to skip the landscaping part of buying a new home almost completely.


The biggest disadvantage of buying an existing home is that you are taking the chance of not getting everything you want. You may have to make some compromises and sacrifices in order to find a home that checks almost all of your boxes. You may not be in love with the layout, or the distance to work or school, or it may have one less bathroom than you prefer.

When buying an existing home, you’ll likely have to do some adapting or be willing to put extra time and money into fixing the things that can be fixed. An older home may need repairs sooner than you expect, so be sure to factor these issues into your budget as well.

Building A Home

The main perk in building a brand-new home is that you can get exactly what you want. The floor plan, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, finishes and details are all up to you. While this may seem like a lot of decisions to make (it is!), the result is the home you’ve always dreamed of, down to the placement of the sockets and color of the front door.

Cost vs Value

It’s true that customization comes at a cost. The upfront expenses for designing your dream home will usually be higher than buying an existing home. But many homeowners find that they can quickly earn a high return on their investment. A new home typically sees fewer maintenance issues than older homes, and even when a new home does have a problem, you are usually still covered under warranty.

Additionally, there is much to be said for enjoying a home that is exactly as you dreamed, rather than having to settle for something less than perfect in an existing home.

It Takes Time

Building a home is not something you can decide to do on a whim. It is a detail-specific process that will probably take more time than you expect. If you have a relaxed timeline for moving, building a home can be an exciting experience.

Contractors are human, problems arise, weather is unpredictable, and scheduling conflicts can push deadlines back and stall the process. If you are aware of this very real possibility ahead of time, you can prepare yourself for the time it takes to create something brand new and completely custom to perfectly suit your preferences.

To help you prepare for the process, be sure to read our blog post on the custom home process.

Create Your Home

There is something about watching the plans for your dream home turn into a reality. When you finally walk into the brand-new home that you’ve designed—the home that truly is yours, built around your family and lifestyle—there is a feeling that cannot be described. There is an emotional connection that comes with living in a home that was built for you that doesn’t often come with buying an existing home.

View our portfolio for some inspiration!

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Building Vs Buying – Final Thoughts

Building and buying a home both come with their own unique set of pros and cons. Time and money are the two most significant factors. If you have plenty of both, try the adventure that is building a custom home. If time or budget is a factor, you can still find a pre-loved home that meets your needs and allows you to move onto the next chapter of your home quickly.

Anderson Studio Can Help You Build Your Dream Home

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and have decided it is time to customize your next home to your needs and your lifestyle, Anderson Studio can help make your dream a reality. With more than 20 years of experience in architecture and interior design, we provide the one-on-one attention of a small firm, while offering the expertise and capabilities of larger architecture firms. Our dedicated team of architects and designers will work with you every step of the way to turn your ideas into the perfect home.

Contact us today to get started!