There are a lot of decisions that come into play when deciding to buy a new home; location, price, market trends, property taxes, homeowner’s association fees and individual wish lists that contain specific needs and wants.

While the home-buying process involves a number of important choices, one of the very first decisions buyers need to make is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one. Each path has its advantages and disadvantages.

Just like the “rent versus buy” conundrum, the cost of building versus buying depends on a number of factors – some of which aren’t even in our control.

While there are no hard and fast rules about how much a new luxury home in Phoenix will cost to build, there are a few general guidelines which might give you a little better grasp on what costs are involved.

Building a Home

Several disadvantages include finding an architect or builder, choosing a floor plan, which may limit your choices and being aware of timelines.  On the flip side, you are much more likely to get exactly what you want.  Also, a new home is more efficient, especially with the new energy codes including better HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling), insulation and air filtration standards, not only saving you money on utility costs, but it could actually be better for your health.  A new contruct home is less likely to have things such as asbestos, lead paint, mold, etc.

There will certainly be more upfront costs, but money aside, building a house knowing you picked each item to your exact liking leads to a level of satisfaction that you can’t achieve through buying an existing home.

Buying an Existing Home

There are two primary advantages to buying an existing home: convenience and cost. Even though the process involves numerous steps – such as financing, viewing homes, making offers, home inspections and closing – the convenience of being able to move in right away is compelling enough for many people to choose an existing home over a build.

Then there’s cost: In many (but not all) cases it is cheaper to buy an existing home according to data compiled by the National Association of Home Builders.

On the flip side, the biggest disadvantage of buying an existing home may be that you won’t get exactly what you want. Unless you find an existing home that has exactly what you want and is in perfect condition, you will have to spend additional money on remodeling, repairs, decorating and/or landscaping. These additional expenses should be factored into the overall price, especially when choosing among various properties or comparing the cost to building your own house.

With so many options available, it’s always best to start by sifting through some of your options and potential costs with a real estate broker, weigh the pros and cons of each.  With so many factors at play, it’s impossible for anyone to know with certainty. Whether building or buying, the best decision you can make is an informed one.