If you’re in the market for a home, you may have asked yourself this question: Is it cheaper to build, or buy an existing house? That’s certainly one of the questions we hear the most often. Well, like with many things in life there is no one answer that fits every situation. So let’s look at some of the factors you may want to consider when making your decision.
First of all, you need to focus on the cost in the first 5-10 years of ownership, not just the initial cost of the house itself. This allows you to factor in some of the major cost differences between new and existing homes such as maintenance, energy efficiency, appliance cost, paint, roofing, etc. Comparing those costs on a 20 year old house versus new construction can make a big difference!
Secondly, you need to address the fact that it’s hard to find an existing house that has everything exactly the way you want it. That leads to changes that cost money. Sometimes they are small cosmetic changes but sometimes they are much larger changes. For example, a buyer recently came to us about a house we had for sale in Edmond. They told us that if the house had a bathroom on the second floor they would buy it immediately.
So we set out and got three builders that we trust to come and bid on adding a bathroom to the second floor. The quotes ranged from $20,000 to $27,000. Compare that with the cost to add a bathroom to new construction, which usually comes in around $5,000 to $6,000!
Even small things like paint, counters, appliances, roofs, trim and such really add a lot of cost to an existing house compared to new construction. Remodeling is always more expensive compared to the same changes in new construction. Plus, you never know what you’ll discover when doing remodeling work on an older home. Opening that wall to make a small change may open up a whole host of problems and quickly turn your home into a money pit.
Feel free to come to us and talk to us about what you’d like in a new home. We’ll be happy to go over everything with you!