House Plans: Should You Build or Buy a Home? - Quicken Loans Zing BlogIf you’ve been thinking about moving into a new home, there are probably only one or two million things you’re trying to think about, balance and decide on right now concerning your house plans. One of those decisions may be whether you should buy a home or have your dream home built for you. Well, you’re in luck. I have the answer for you: It depends. It depends on your wants and needs for a home, your budget, your time constraints, etc. Check out the pros and cons of each choice below so you’ll have a better idea of what’s right for you.

Building a Home


  • The biggest reason to build your own home from scratch is that you get exactly what you want. The layout, design, decorating, everything is what you wanted it to be. Some people might even find this endless-possibilities approach a bit overwhelming, which is why many builders will offer some stock floor plans and sets of options to help you narrow down your choices (and so it’ll take them less time to build).


  • Many times, building projects can go over the projected timeline and budget, causing major problems for you, especially if you’ve already set the move-out date for your current residence. Many developers will quote the building project at 6 or 7 months for completion, so you might want to build in an extra 2-3 months just in case.
  • Building a home usually costs a lot more money and requires much more time because you’ll have to periodically meet with the developer, sift through dozens of design options, and you’ll probably want to go out to the site every once in a while to make sure everything is being done according to plan.
  • Most likely, you’re going to have a new lawn and young trees to meticulously water and nurture if you don’t want your property to perpetually look like a construction site.
  • Building a home in a development is cheaper than building a home from scratch, but you’ll have limited options to pick from.

Buying a Home


  • It’s convenient. Most of the work’s been done for you. Just get preapproved from your lender and pick out the one you want.
  • It’s usually significantly cheaper than building a home. Prices are still low compared to where they were before the ’08 meltdown so you can get a home for a lot less than it’d cost to build it.
  • There are thousands of options in all sorts of designs, price ranges and locations – you’re not limited to open land that’s most likely farther away from city areas. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in a home, buying an existing one is probably the better option.


  • It is what it is. Even if you have the budget or skill to make home improvements, you’re still going to greatly limited in what changes you can make so there’s always going to be some compromise involved.
  • A pre-existing home will almost always need some kind of repair or fix up, so you’re going to have to spend additional money on the house after you’ve closed on your mortgage and moved in.

So, unless you have a clear idea of what kind of home you want and have the dough to pay for it, buying an existing home might be your better option. Either way you go, though, make sure you’ve spend enough time working out all of the different issues that can arise.

Have any questions or experiences to share? Let us know!


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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. If I were to win $50,000 it would definately go towards building a new home. Our children go to school 40 minutes away, I drive them there come back go in to get my high schooler and sit 1.5 hrs for my younger children to get out then drive another 40 minutes home. It’s very stressful on the children not to mention gas costs and mileage. But we love the school system. We just haven’t been able to take that next step to make it happen:(

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