If you fall into the group of people who are interested in building their home, rather than buying, that may be a question that has crossed your mind. Typically, mortgages are associated with houses. Even though you are technically starting your process by purchasing a plot of land, mortgages are still for you!
The Big Decision
Making the decision to build as opposed to buy can be a difficult one. Because, if we are being completely honest with ourselves, building is much more involved and is a much longer process than buying. But it does not necessarily mean it is more of a financial burden.
No, you do not need to know how to build your own home! But there are a few things to keep in mind before making the decision to build. Now, here are some of the “pros” of building your first home.
First- ask for a builder’s discount. When you are working with a local lumber yard or with other local suppliers, just ask for a builder’s discount. Letting them know that you are building your own home (ie- buying a substantial amount of materials) can potentially lead to a higher discount on those materials. Our recommendation? Just ask! There is never any harm in asking for a discount, right?
Now, the next “pro” for building versus buying is that you have complete control over the design. Essentially, your home can actually be the home of your dreams. Want a walkout basement? That can be arranged. A spiral staircase? Bay windows in the master bedroom? You have 100% control over the design, within reason of course. That reason, alone, is what leads many people to build a home rather than buy.
Additionally, you can create the ideal space for your lifestyle. If you have kids, you can arrange for the exact number of rooms you need. Maybe you enjoy entertaining- building will allow you to arrange for more spacious room to accommodate large groups of people. Yes, you can shape your home around your lifestyle.
Next on the list- everything is new. New air conditioner, new furnace, new flooring. Yes, new everything. That helps eliminate many of the hidden costs that occur when you are closing on a home. You won’t need to repaint the interior, refinish the front porch, replace the refrigerator. Since you will be building a home from scratch, you know when every appliance has been installed in your home. Think about this- replacing central air can cost between $2,000 and $10,000, depending on the size of your home.
Now, since everything is new, you can expect to save money each month, as well. New air conditioner means savings. Same with new furnaces, new home with insulation you can vouch for. While it may not be the best reason to build versus buy, those savings can definitely add up month after month, year after year. It is definitely just a thought to keep in mind.
Building a home is not all smiles and easy planning. There are a few cons to keep in mind before embarking on the decision to build.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is the amount of time it takes to build a home. When you buy, it can be a matter of months before you move in. Naturally, building takes significantly longer. It can be anywhere from six to twelve months before your house is built- and then you still need to move in. This is a very important thing to keep in mind when making the decision to build. Can you wait that long? If your answer is yes, you can move on to the next step in the building process.
While you are waiting to move in, you have to think about where you will live while you build. Temporary housing or renting can be extremely expensive. So your “home,” while you are building, is definitely something to keep in mind and ensure you are budgeting for before deciding to build.
The final things to keep in mind are construction loans and permits, legal agreements between you and your builder, and limitations, both financially or depending on the regulations where you are building.
Back to the final decision
Whether you are building or buying, you can still obtain a mortgage. But, you need to make the decision of whether or not building is the best method for you.
So, sit down, look at your budget, and make the final decision to either buy or build.
Either way you lean, a mortgage will still make your dream home possible.