A common question we are often asked is whether it is cheaper to buy or build a home. In order to help you make your decision, you will probably want to weigh the pros and cons of new and old construction and the price you will pay upfront is only where these considerations start.
Here is everything you will need to know to help you make the right decision…
Upfront Costs – Existing Home
According to the latest figures, the median cost of buying an existing single-family home is about $223,000. For the average 1,500 square foot home built before the 1960s, that comes to about $148 per square foot. With that being said, the exact price can vary widely based on where you live. In order to find the market information for your area, you can use this great tool from Realtor.com.
Upfront Costs – New Build
The latest figures show that buying or building new construction can set you back an average of $289,415. That is over $60,000 more than the cost of an existing home. However, you can get a lot more for your money. For one, new homes are usually more spacious with a median size of 2,467 square feet so the cost per square foot, $103, is actually lower than that of an existing home.
Another advantage of buying a new build is that you will pay for only what you want. When buying an existing home, it may have features such as hardwood floors or a finished basement that you will pay more for even if you don’t want them.
Maintenance – Existing Home
Older homes compared to new builds have more wear and tear which means that certain things may need more maintenance or may even need replace. Naturally, the cost of this upkeep is not cheap so make sure before buying a home you know the age of all the main items in the home such as the roof, furnace, AC, etc.
Maintenance – New Build
One of the benefits of buying a new build is that there is considerably less upkeep. This is because everything from the major appliances to the HVAC system are new and under warranty. In some cases, the entire home can be protected for up to 10 years because the builder may offer a new construction warranty.
Landscaping – Existing Home
A major benefit of buying an older home is that they will normally have mature landscaping with large trees and established plantings. While that may not seem like a big deal, the US Forest Service estimates that strategically placed mature trees can add to a property’s value and save up to 56% on annual air conditioning costs.
Landscaping – New Build
When buying a new build it is important to keep in mind that it can take thousands of dollars and many years to get the yard you want. For example, one 6 foot red maple tree can cost you $120 if you plant it yourself and will only grow 2 to 3 feet a year. HomeAdvisor sites the average cost of adding complete landscaping to be over $3,000.
Energy Efficiency – Existing Home
The latest US Census found the median age of American houses to be 36 years. Older construction can mean dated windows and appliances which could mean losing a lot of money on wasted energy.
Energy Efficiency – New Build
New construction almost always beats older homes when it comes to energy efficiency. Homes built after the year 2000 consume on average 21% less energy for heating than older homes, mainly because of their increased efficiency of heating equipment and building materials.
As you can see there are pros and cons to both older homes and new builds. Most of the time it will come down to your financial situation and personal preference. Take the time to do your research and you will be able to find or build your dream home in no time!
For any questions about buying or building a home, call us today at 614-855-8700!