Building New vs. Buying an Existing Home

Buying a new home is exciting, but building one from the ground up can be an adventure in the best way! While opportunities to buy land in San Diego County are comparatively scarce, if you’re willing to look in the more rural areas or buy near Temecula or Murrieta, you can often find available land at a good price.

But before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you thoroughly consider the pros and cons of building your own home. To help you, we’ve put together the list to help you properly evaluate whether building a home is the right decision for you and your family.

And regardless of whether you choose to build or buy, The Silva Group is here to support you every step of the way! We’ve helped hundreds of people buy across Southern California, including some who made the very same decision you’re pondering – to build rather than buy!


buying vs building an existing home

Building a Home



Ability to Create Your Dream Home

Undeniably, the biggest draw to building your own home is the ability to craft the home of your dreams. You have control over every detail from roof to ceiling and with sites like Houzz providing endless inspiration, you’ll be able to design and build a truly beautiful home that meets all of your family’s needs. And when you build, you get to let your imagination run wild! Always dreamed of having a temperature-controlled wine room in your home? Build it! Want a theatre room to enjoy movies with the family? Build it! Fantasized about a two-story closet off the master suite? Build it!    

Less Competition to Buy

Competition to buy an existing home is tough! Though inventory is increasing and homes are starting to stay on the market longer, there are still more buyers looking than homes for sale. When you decide to build rather than buy, your competition sharply decreases. There are less people who are willing to take on the challenge of building a home from scratch and most developers are looking for large chunks of land to build on, not a single plot.

Design for Energy Efficiency

Since you’ll be building a brand-new home, you can choose to use features and materials that are energy-efficient, which will likely save you money in the long run! And if you ever do go to sell your home, many buyers are on the lookout for these types of features, as it can be expensive to make an existing home more energy efficient.


Your Time is Valuable

Time is one of our most valuable resources. And building a home is nothing if not time-consuming, especially if you’re doing a lot of the work yourself. Apart from finding a lot, you must also have building plans drawn up, get them approved, and pull permits – all before construction even starts! The actual construction itself can take upwards of 7 months to complete, if not longer. So if you don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to this project, building a home is probably not the best option for you.

Stress & Frustration

Building a home can be very stressful. Aside from bearing the full weight of having to decide what exactly you want in your dream home, you’ll also have to contend with a number of different organizations on order to get your plans approved and permits drawn. If you get rejected at any step along the way, it can set you back and create a ton of frustration. Depending on where you purchase land, you may have to contend with objections from the HOA, city, and county! Plus, once you get the home framed and standing, you’re in charge of making decisions about every little thing inside the house from the width of the baseboards to what color the tile should be in the powder bath.

Temporary Housing

Before you build, you should also consider where you would be living during the duration of construction. You may have to rent an apartment, extend your current lease, or move in with friends or family while you wait for your home to be built. Be sure to factor in this expense when budgeting to build your home.


Buying an Existing Home


Less Stress

Although buying a home is far from stress-free, building a home is much more intense. When you buy an existing home, there are comparatively less surprises. Plus, you’ll have your Realtor to help you through the buying process. While your Realtor can help you purchase land and recommend contractors to you, you likely will be on your own as far as getting your plans approved and dealing with any issues that come up.

Move-In Right Away

Most escrows are about thirty days and when escrow closes, you usually get the keys right away to start moving in! This means you likely won’t have to find temporary housing and you won’t have to move twice.

Better Amenities

If you’d like to live in a community with great amenities, it’s usually better to buy in an established neighborhood. You may be fortunate enough to purchase in a new home community with plans to offer certain amenities to residents, but you also may end up falling in love with a piece of land in a location that offers no amenities.


Possible Maintenance Issues

When you buy a home that is not brand new, you do risk possible maintenance issues. Be sure to attend the home inspection before you sign any final paperwork and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Still, you should know that issues can and do pop up after closing. Be sure to have some cash set aside for additional repairs after move-in.

Remodeling Costs

If you don’t love everything about the home you purchase, you’ll likely want to make changes. Depending on what you want to do, remodeling can be a big project in itself. It can also be expensive and time-intensive. And you may have to temporarily move out while the work is done. Be sure to consider these things up front when weighing your options!

Buyer’s Remorse

If you choose to buy an existing home, you may end up with buyer’s remorse. While this can certainly happen if you go down the path of building your home, too, because you’re selecting from homes that were available when you wanted to buy, you may end up buying the wrong home. It’s easy to get frustrated with the home-search process, especially if you’re having trouble getting your offer accepted. Just don’t let frustration tempt you into buying a home that isn’t the right fit because you’re ready to be done with the process.


Need more help making the decision to build or buy? Call The Silva Group at (760) 458-2575! We’ll be able to answer any questions you may have to help guide you in making the right decision. And if you do decide to build, we can refer you to a local build and design company to help make the process easier.

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