Friday, June 3, 2016
By Jeff Cook
Should You Buy or Build Your Dream Home?

Should You Buy or Build Your Dream Home?

 By Jeff Cook | June 3rd, 2016


You've decided to buy a home, whether it’s for the first time or you’ve outgrown your current home. You’re making a list of your wants and needs. Then you start to wonder, would it be easier to build a home instead of trying to find a home on the market that fits your list, especially when the inventory is still low? Before getting into the process of building a home, let’s look at the pros and cons...


While you will be the first, and possibly only, owner of a new home, it’s still not quite move in ready. However, you won’t have to worry about covering the previous homeowner’s bad taste of paint colors and flooring choice, etc. This also means you don’t have to worry about fixing anything that might be at the end of its life in an old home and there’s brand new warranties incase any new appliances turn out to be faulty. But, there’s not much room for negotiation of the price because newer homes are offering more expensive upgrades. You may also need to set some money set aside for the finishing touches of your home such as landscaping, blinds, and maybe even fencing.


If the pros outweigh the cons in your mind, let's discuss the next step. First, regardless of which route you take, the initial important step is to get pre-approved. Not only will any offers you turn in have a higher chance of being accepted, but you will know going in what price range you should be looking at.


Second, even though you aren’t going the traditional home buying route, you should still bring a trusted real estate agent with you. The on-site agent is provided by the builder and may not always put your best interest first. The builder is financially responsible for the home until it sells and will be trying to unload it as quick as possible. Plus, hiring a buyer agent won’t cost you a thing. Their commission comes out of the seller’s pocket. Third,  you won’t be able to negotiate on new construction as much as you normally would with an established home. That is where your own agent can come in handy discussing incentives if the builder is unable to decrease the purchase price.


Lastly, as previously mentioned, you need to budget for hidden costs. One of the most exciting things about building a home is customizing it to your likes and needs, but don’t forget that upgrades cost extra and that some contracts require you to put a percentage of the upgrades down upfront. Then, after you pay your closing costs and move in, there may be some extra costs you didn’t think about that aren’t included in a new home. Most new construction homes don’t include fencing, therefore if you have children or pets, this is a priority to get put up fast. Even though landscaping is usually not included, that is something that doesn’t need to be addressed quickly. To get an idea of what you may be paying for after you close, don’t hesitate to go over items with your agent. That is what they are there for.


Whether you decide to build a home or buy, both are extremely large decisions in your life. Let us help you through every step of the process.


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Jeff Cook

Jeff Cook Real Estate 

Charleston, SC