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Top 5 Reasons Why Building is Better than Buying

As you've probably seen from other Canadian personal finance blogs, ProBlogger is hosting a top 5 list competition. The best top 5 list will receive a prize of $1001 USD.

As I have been on the home shopping frenzy the past month or so, I've come to conclusions on the benefits of both building a new home or buying an existing home. This article however will discuss my Top 5 Reasons Why Building is Better than Buying.

5. The option of pre-wiring your home for your (nerdy) needs.

  • With all the new gadgetry out these days, it great to get those wires out of sight and into wall sockets. You can pre-wire your home during the construction phase for surround sound, cable, satellite, Ethernet, alarm systems.. etc.

4. New construction materials and standards

  • With construction standards improving all the time, you get the latest and greatest like new plumbing, siding, windows, electrical, air exchanges.. etc. With older homes, you'll have to consider replacing the above mentioned.

3. Get to watch and learn exactly how your home is built.

  • I'm the type of person that if I'm going to spend a lot of money on something, I want to know everything about it… like my wife (just kidding honey). :) Seriously though, when you build, you can watch the materials that they use, exactly how they put everything together.

2. Usually less expensive than purchasing a similar existing home

  • As I am frugal, I'm always on the lookout for a good deal. New homes usually cost less than a similar existing home. Providing that the home is built in a decent area of town, when the neighborhood establishes itself, the home should appreciate to market values around the area.

1. Get EXACTLY what you want

  • The top reason why I think building new is better than buying is that you get to pick and choose exactly what you want in a home. 2 Story/Ranch/Bungalow? Hardwood/laminate/carpet? Green/purple/yellow? Kitchen cabinet style? Light fixture/pot lights? You can pick and choose to your own taste.

Next week, I'll post about my rationale of why buying an existing home is better than building new. :)

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9 Comments

  1. George on May 10, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    I disagree with your point about a new home being less expensive than an existing home. Sure, the purchase price is usually lower, but for good reason. A new home usually comes with minimal landscaping (if any), no deck, and no fence. These items can easily add another $10,000 to the price of a new home. Resale homes typically have these items already, which is why they sell for a bit more.

    One major downside to buying a brand new home is that you are putting a lot of trust in the builder, and you don’t know exactly what you’re getting until long after you’ve signed the contract. At least with a resale home, you know EXACTLY what you are getting, and can have it fully inspected before committing to buy it.

  2. David on May 10, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    FT said: “New homes usually cost less than a similar existing home.”

    Not necessarily so. Does your new home come with landscaping, matured gardens, etc.? Does it include draperies and appliances? Is the basement finished to the same level on both homes? And finally, are you assessing list or sale price on your used house.

    In addition, all the quality upgrades you are speaking of add costs to your new house which you may or may not recover during use, or on resale.

    YMMV

  3. FrugalTrader on May 11, 2007 at 8:54 am

    2 against 1? :)

    I think that this would probably depend on the province that you’re building in. Around here (in the east end of town), pound for pound, new homes will come out less than an existing similar homes even after finishing the grass in the back yard. A new home around here you’ll get front yard landscaping, paving, and a back deck but no grass in the back yard. For a 2 story with garage in the east end that’s been updated, you’re looking at the $300k range, and to build a similar house, you’re looking at around $260k range.

    However, yes, I agree there is a huge PITA (pain in the a*s) factor. I will be writing about how buying is better than building next week. :)

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  15. Riscario on May 12, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Why do you need to prewire? You can get wireless broadband internet (Rogers Portable Internet or Sympatico Unplugged). You can connect your computers through a wireless router. You can also hire an electrician ;)

    Building a home chews up huge chunks of time. There are so many decisions to make regarding colour of bricks, type of flooring, kitchen layout, etc. Deviations from the standard plan quickly add up. Your builder may restrict your choices to make sure the neighourhood looks bland /consistent.

    Buy a used house and use your spare time for blogging — and reading other blogs :)

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  20. FrugalTrader on May 12, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Riscario, pre-wiring your speakers, cable, ethernet enables you to keep your wires out of sight where they are built into the walls. Yes, ethernet can be transmitted throuh WIFI, but surround sound can’t. :) It’s much easier (and cheaper) to pre-wire your house than wire your house after the fact.

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  47. Narajin on March 5, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Actually there’s wireless surround now. Been there for a while i think.

  48. Small Capitalist on March 18, 2011 at 2:13 am

    I realize it is an old post – however I just saw it now. After checking several old houses in the neighbourhood (when we first moved to Regina) we got our home built. Of course it took six months for construction however I think it was worth it and we just love our new home.

    Also to let your readers know if anyone is planning to build a new home in Regina, SK they could save additional $1000 dollars (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pSc7kuuTXg).

  49. Dave on June 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Dont forget to mention the mold, possible electrical issues and structural issues that may come with an older home :)

  50. shane on July 25, 2013 at 9:48 am

    wireless surround is never nearly as good sounding as wired speakers. having certain things pre wired would be convenient and may raise the value of the home.

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