Most first-time homebuyers mistakenly believe that they cannot afford a new home. However, according to Top Los Angeles real estate agents and builders, new homes are a viable option for first-time homeowners because they are typically cheaper in the long run.
A new home is easier to maintain, conserves more energy, matches modern living requirements, and won’t require immediate attention.
Should You Buy or Build a Home?
Owning a home is probably the most significant investment you will ever make. Therefore, take your time to search or design the “perfect” home before signing any contracts.
When looking for a new house, there are various factors you have to keep in mind. For example, you need to check the location, homeowner’s association fees, property taxes, market trends, price, and more. Apart from this, you have to consider your needs and wants.
So, should you buy a new house or build one?
Why Buy a House
Buying a home is advantageous for two main reasons: cost and convenience.
When you are pre-approved for a mortgage by a lender, you can shop around for homes that are within your budget, select one that meets your requirements, and make an offer.
Working with a qualified real estate agent can save you time and streamline the whole process of negotiations, paperwork, and closing the sale.
The process of buying a new home involves many steps. For example, you have to get pre-approved for financing, view multiple dwellings over time, make offers, get the home inspected, and close the sale. However, the convenience of being able to move in immediately after closing the sale is the reason why many people opt to buy rather than build.
Why Build a Home
If you choose to build a new home, you won’t have the conveniences associated with buying an existing house. For example, you have to find the land where you’ll build the home, which may not be in a neighborhood that you prefer. Apart from this, it will take some time to find a builder or an architect, and choose the elements for your new home. Other factors to consider include whether the land has access to municipal sewage or water and if there are any environmental or related permits to be secured.
However, the most significant advantage of building your own home is that you get exactly what you want. This is the reason why most people opt to build. Apart from this, the house will be more efficient, especially when it comes to insulation and air filtration standards.
An efficient home is more beneficial for the environment and can keep your utility bills significantly lower every month.
Choosing a Home Architectural Style
When you choose a custom home, you’ll have complete control over every aspect of the design. You can base your home’s architectural style on dozens of historical and modern impressions.
However, before choosing an architectural style, consider what will work best for your home. For example, some architectural styles are suitable for specific home designs. If you live in an area that experiences a sunny climate, you may want a home with a quintessential courtyard for indoor/outdoor living. On the other hand, you may want the typical roof pitch if you live in a region that experiences snowy winters.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying or Building a Home
While building allows you to have the “perfect” house, overlooking something can leave you with major regrets. When it comes to finding the “ideal” home, the answers are not set in stone. However, you may want to avoid the following missteps when looking for a new home:
Settling at the Wrong Location
Don’t settle for a lot to build a house just because it’s the right size, or the price is reasonable. The location of the lot is a critical factor to consider if you will be building your own home.
Before settling on a location, research to find out whether it is in a district with good schools, its property taxes, and the crime rate. Other factors to consider include your proximity to neighbors and whether there is a sidewalk.
Not Confirming the References Provided
Finding the right contractor to build your home is all about doing some background checks and going the extra mile to look at references. Obtain proposals from several contractors before choosing the one that would handle your construction project.
Request for multiple references of clients that the prospective contractors have worked with before. When evaluating the contractors, check for things such as how good they are at keeping time, completing work within the allocated time, and paying bills on time.
Failing to Prioritize Amenities
When building a home, the little things county. As you construct the exterior and style your home, give some thought into things such as bathtub styles and fireplaces, flooring and lighting features, and upgrade fixtures.
Some of the amenities will increase your quality of life and the value of your home. However, others could turn out to be unnecessary expenses.
A Floorplan That Doesn’t Work for You
The best floor plan layout for the home will depend on your family’s needs. Do you prefer sorting and folding in the living room as you watch TV, or would the washing machine be upstairs near the bedroom? Do you prefer a cozy closed kitchen, or would an open floor plan do it for you?
When evaluating the floorplan options, consider what you plan to use the rooms for. The rooms should be practical, convenient, and inviting.
Skimping on Energy Efficiency
When constructing a home, there are some splurges that are worth making, especially if you are adding energy-efficient appliances or accessories. For example, a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy bills by up to $150 a year. On the same note, storm windows reduce up to 50 percent of heat loss through the windows.
Ultimately, building or buying a house is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Therefore, take your time to weigh all the available options to determine what would be right for you.