Should I build a house or buy an existing home?

Should I build a house or buy an existing home?

"To build or to buy.” That’s the primary question to answer before building a new custom home. To help you decide, ask yourself these ten important questions. Be very honest. Answer each one carefully. Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. You’re simply trying to determine the best course of action at this point in your life.

Yes or No Questions to Consider: 

  1. Do I have a hard time making decisions?
  2. Once I make decisions, do I struggle with wanting to change them?  
  3. Am I a perfectionist?  
  4. Is my schedule so busy it’s difficult to find time to do the things I enjoy?  
  5. Does uncertainty and lack of control add stress to my life?  
  6. Am I regularly disappointed by interactions with other people?  
  7. Do I handle conflict by looking for the win/win solution?  
  8. Do I have some available time in my life for the next one to three years?  
  9. Am I realistic enough to recognize that things aren’t always perfect?  
  10. Is our family life stable enough to handle the additional activity? 

 If you answered “no” to the first six questions and “yes” to the last four, you’re ready to build! If not, you may want to consider waiting on the building process. If your answers were different on more than three or four questions, I suggest you buy a house that is already built.

In a consumer-driven economy, many families have been stretched and stressed because the timing wasn’t right or they weren’t the right profile of person to be building a custom home. They would’ve been better off buying an existing home than going through a process that wasn’t suited for their life stage, temperament, or timing.

Let’s look at an example of a couple that wasn’t ready for the custom homebuilding process: In some ways, Josh and Melinda seemed to be ideal candidates to custom design and build a new home. However, it soon became apparent they had difficulty making decisions (see question #1). In addition, Josh was consumed by the demands of his business since he had just launched his own company three years before (see questions #4 and #8).

Josh and Melinda were habitually late for their appointments. In addition to the pressing demands of business, it turned out they were in the midst of an intensely personal family situation that was consuming their time and attention (see question #10). It became apparent that this lovely couple did not have the time at this point in their lives to spend custom designing and building a home. A quick look at the 10 questions above clearly indicated it wasn’t an ideal time for Josh and Melinda to build a new home.

Bottom line: Carefully consider the decision to build or to buy before beginning the design/build process.