Looking for Your Next Home? Pros and Cons of Building vs Buying

March 16th, 2021 | by Tim Rawlings

Many homeowners face the question, “Should I build or should I buy?” It’s quite possibly one of the hardest questions for a new homeowner to answer as it defines how the rest of the process will go. On the one hand, buying a house off the market is easy; you simply go through the process, get the keys and move in. Building is a little more complicated than that, and it takes time. There are numerous pros and cons of building vs buying.

Most homeowners that build their own home decide to do so because they have a hand in personalizing their space to meet every requirement they might have. When you build, you will be the first person to ever live in that home, on the land that you have already purchased, like this new home construction in Columbia. That comes with a certain excitement!

Choosing to build or to buy will depend on your overall goals as a homeowner, your budget, and your timeline. The processes of buying and building do have similarities, but there are nuances to each process that you should be aware of.

Let’s dive into the pros and cons of building vs buying to help you understand what might be right for you.


There is an aspect of convenience with buying an existing home. An existing home is one that you can walk into, look around and get a feel for before you go ahead and apply for a home loan. You can see your potential new home, neighborhood, schools, etc. several times over if you want.

Similarly, building a new home on your land can prove to be convenient. You may be able to tour a model home, view detailed floor plans, visit already constructed neighborhoods near your land, and get a feel for your new area in different ways. You won’t have to house hunt, get into bidding wars, or accept that your home search will be uncertain. You will know exactly what you’re getting right from the start, and you will know that your new home construction will be tailored to your needs.


When you’re building and buying, the cost is typically set up front, either with your builder or with the seller. You’ll know how much this house is going to cost you, from the fees you pay to an agent to the cost of the mortgage and interest.

When you build, your builder might have a preferred lender that offers incentives if you choose to take a loan through them. There’s no chance that you will get into a bidding war with another homebuyer and end up paying more than you want to for a house. If you want to pay for an upgrade or added feature, you can choose to do so early on in the process to avoid surprise fees later on in the process.


Moving into a house that’s already built is very different to moving into a new construction. If you buy an already existing home, things could move very quickly and you could be into your new place within a matter of weeks if you need to. If you’re on a tight timeline, a move-in ready home is probably the way to go.

If you’re not in a rush to get into a new home, the benefits of a new home construction greatly outweigh the negative aspects. If you’ve already purchased land for your dream home, you are probably willing to take the time necessary to construct a home that is perfect for you. In all honesty, if you are house-hunting in a competitive market or have specific requirements it could take you longer to find a new home than it would to build one. It might take a few months to build, but the wait will be worth it.


If you’re looking at already existing homes, chances are you’ll find them in fairly established neighborhoods. This can be good or bad, depending on what you like! The neighborhood will be older, landscaping and road maintenance might be neglected, etc. There will be a record of crime history in the area, school ratings, and other useful information that you can use to decide if it’s the right place for you.

If you buy land to build on, you have more of a say in the area. It will most likely, but not always, be a newer area. It’s possible that there will be newer roads, schools, and amenities that come with building on your own land, and you will find that this isn’t always straightforward.

For more information on what it’s like to build your own home instead of buying one, contact us at Build On Your Land. Our team will be happy to hear from you!