Is building the right choice for me?

I hadn’t planned on waiting so long to post again. Technology has given me grief this last week. After getting the blog up and live and trying to finish the setup, I updated a driver for my video card and it made my computer crash. I thought I had lost everything. Thank goodness Hubby is so smart with computers. After several days of trying to figure it all out we got it back up and running today. Needless to say, I will be doing a major backup tonight.

Is building the right choice for me?

There are many reasons people consider building vs buying an existing home. There is also the option of adding an addition to your current home. So how do you know what the right choice is for you and your family? That can be a easy or hard decision.

Our first house.

I remember when we were looking to buy our first house, it was just before we got married.  We looked at a few existing but fairly new houses and found one we liked. We put an offer on it. But later that evening we started to not feel good about it so we pulled the offer. We decided to rent for a while instead of purchasing at that time.

A couple years later we were ready to buy. We started the hunt again. Not really sure what we wanted to do, build or buy existing. We did research on our own and drove around looking. We decided we wanted to be more in the country than city. We found the right place at the right time for the right price. Our lot was the smallest in that subdivision at ⅝ of an acre, so no reach out the window and touch the neighbors house! More details are in these posts, here and here.

We enjoyed building. It was pretty cool being the first to move into the subdivision. Except for a few inconveniences, like not having power for 3 days after we closed and then spending 2 hours on the phone with the phone company trying to convince them the subdivision really did exist. I loved watching the houses go up around us and walking through each one.

Our next house

This go around, we knew we didn’t want to be in town so we focused on the country area. We also knew that we preferred new construction over older existing homes. We looked for homes that were under construction and lots available to build on.

We found a few houses, but I wasn’t thrilled with them. I know, I was being picky. We did find a few lots we could build on. They happened to be in three different areas. I really wanted another subdivision with big lots so the kids could be close to friends. Hubby wanted more rural and away from close neighbors.

We decided that we needed to get a feel for each area before making the final decision, so it was agreed that we would go to church in each of the areas. Needless to say, we only made it to one before feeling like we were home.

We have actually changed which lot we are going to buy since that day (several times actually), but it’s in the same area. It’s been interesting how we have been lead to and directed in different directions in the last 7 years.

Could we have been in our own home by now if we hadn’t chosen to build, maybe. We have had many experiences since that day I believe we needed to have, some I wish we hadn’t had to have but we have learned many things. Patience and God’s timing are just a drop in the bucket of things we’ve learned.

How do you decide?

Honestly, making the decision to build can be difficult. Sometimes there are so many existing homes on the market that going that route could actually be cheaper, even if you choose to do some renovations. There have been a few times I have thought it might be fun to do a flip house, but Hubby hasn’t been to keen on that idea.

Things to take into consideration when deciding to build new or go for existing:

  • Location, where do you want to live? Sometimes that will eliminate many choices.
  • Existing selections, are there a lot of homes to choose from?
  • Prices, existing versus new.
  • Landscaping, do you want to put in a yard or have it already done. Remember to include this in your price for new construction.
  • Neighbors, you can talk to the neighbors you’ll have with existing but with new construction most of the time you don’t get that opportunity.
  • Updating/ repairs, How much work will need to be done to the existing home?
  • Physical labor, are you willing to do work yourself on the new construction?
  • Time frame, do you have the 3-6 months it takes to build or do you need to be in sooner.
  • Decision making, do you want to make thousands of decisions or just a few. This may seem like a weird thing to put on the list, but designing and building a home requires thousands of decisions and if you have a hard time making them it will take enjoyment out of building.
  • Incentives, are there incentives with the mortgage companies for either existing or new construction.
  • There are many more things to think about that I don’t think I could list them all.

We are still trying to decide how much work we’ll do ourselves, but I think we’re leaning more towards doing a lot ourselves.

If you want more details on these choices, or have any questions, please let me know in the comments or email me. I’d love to hear from you.

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