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Is It Cheaper to Build or Buy a House?


Buying a home is a significant investment. The hard part often lies in the decisions that follow – including the decision whether to buy or build your home.

While both great options, they come with their own benefits (and challenges). Use this resource to help you think through your decision and make the best choice.

The Short Answer

Typically, the upfront cost of buying a house is less than that of building one. However, this answer becomes instantly more complicated when you factor in the following:

There are other non-monetary factors, like move-in time, that will also play a role in your choice. Continue reading to take a deeper dive into pros and cons of each option.

Helpful Considerations

A great way to start the conversation is by researching the cost per square foot of building in the area. Then, compare this total cost with the price of similarly-sized homes on the market. You’ll then have a good idea of the amount you’ll invest in either scenario.

Benefits of Building

  • Customization – pay for what you want and nothing you don’t!
  • Complete control of floor plan
  • No maintenance costs or existing “wear and tear”
  • Strong emotional and personal connection to something you’ve built
  • Freedom to live anywhere with available land

Benefits of Buying

  • Budget-friendly (compared to building)
  • Quick move-in time
  • Mature trees and landscaping
  • Minimal construction/labor costs
  • Ability to enter an established neighborhood

Spend some time brainstorming your own “pros and cons” list. Sometimes, it’s easiest to make your choice when you have a visual comparison to reference! Whether you decide to build or buy, be sure to anticipate and plan for these inevitable costs:

  • Land condition/foundation
  • Renovation costs
  • Landscaping costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Energy efficiency and technology costs

No matter which decision you make, local Neighborly businesses are ready to help you get the comfortable, beautiful home you want. Visit our homepage to learn about Neighborly experts that can help with any of your home service needs.

Related Content:

Home Staging Tips to Get It Sold

Buying a Foreclosed Home: How to Be Prepared

Questions to Ask When Buying a House

Some of the Neighborly home service brands mentioned in this post may not be available in your zip code. To find out which experts are nearby, search for services in your area.

Depending on current health and safety regulations in your area, some of the services mentioned in this post may not be available. Neighborly service providers will follow the latest health and safety guidelines provided by the local and state governments. Please check with your local Neighborly service provider for details at the time you need service(s).