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Should You Build New or Buy an Existing Home?

By May 30, 2018June 6th, 2018Decision Process
Should You Build New or Buy an Existing Home?

Whether you are dreaming of a log home, or going the conventional route, to build or buy is the first decision to make in your journey toward a different home. It’s a big one, but to help you think it through we compare the pros and cons of both options below.



BUILD: You can purchase property in your ideal location or build on land you already own. Then you can place your home on the property exactly where you want it.

BUY: You are limited to existing real estate inventory. Finding the house you want on land you like in a location you prefer can be a challenge.



BUILD: A new custom home is completely customizable for your style, floorplan, amenities, finishes and more. You can select from customizable floorplans or create one of your own. You can build your new home to fit your needs and how your family lives.

BUY: The style, floor plan and features are set and the finishes may be getting outdated. Many homes require a lot of remodeling to make them fit your family, which can mean significant cost.


BUILD: A new custom home typically takes 8 to 12 months. There can be delays during construction due to weather. It can take time to find the right land, builder or permitting.

BUY: Choosing a home from existing inventory can be quick or it can take up to a year. It depends on the local market and what you are looking for in your new home.



BUILD: When evaluating the price of a new home, consider what you will spend each year on utilities and upkeep. Generally, new homes have a lower cost of ownership over time, since all materials and appliances are new and utility bills are lower. Also consider what the resell value will be in 10 or 20 years when you will be selling your home. A home that is “older” now will have a much lower value at that time.

BUY: It is not uncommon for the purchase price of a pre-owned home to be lower than a new home. But you may end up spending more on the older home over time. New HVAC systems, repairs to plumbing and electrical, even foundation issues can be very expensive items that must be included in your evaluation of the true cost.



BUILD: A new home is built to last, especially a log home! Using the latest construction materials and techniques, a new home will provide you with a safe, efficient home for many years.

BUY: A pre-built home may be constructed of lower quality materials plus may have developed problems over the years such as termites and foundation issues. Since you were not involved in the construction, you have less insight into the quality of the home.



BUILD: Energy bills are typically lower in a new home, especially with today’s code requirements. Plus, better insulation and new building techniques and materials minimize heating and cooling costs.

BUY: Energy bills tend to be higher in an older home, since features such as HVAC equipment, windows, and insulation are older and less energy-efficient.



BUILD: When you build a home, you may be able to gain some “sweat equity” by doing some of the work yourself. You can choose to do simple projects like painting and exterior landscaping, allowing you to save money. Or some people choose to build the entire home themselves, greatly reducing the total cost.

BUY: For most pre-built homes, lenders will require 20% down as a minimum and you do not have the opportunity to save money by doing work yourself.



BUILD: A new home allows you the ability to choose your landscaping based on your preference for appearance, maintenance requirements and amount of water needed.

BUY: Many homes include well established trees, bushes or perennials. Of course, you may have to do landscaping work to keep them healthy and to make the property fit your style.



BUILD: Homeowners insurance is typically lower for new homes since they generally have fewer problems than older homes. In addition, everything is built in accordance with the current codes which helps to keep rates lower.

BUY: The age and condition of an older home can affect the premiums required for insurance.



BUILD: New, more advanced building materials and techniques ensure a higher level of comfort in a newly built home.

BUY: Drafts, temperature imbalances and poor energy efficiency is common in older homes as well as windows and doors that are not energy efficient. Older insulation does not perform the same as it did when it was new, especially fiberglass which is found in many prebuilt homes.


Your decision is personal and what is best for your family.  We know the process of finding land and building a custom home may seem daunting but the family at Gastineau Log Homes has done it countless times, and we are here to help you every step of the way!  Contact us, and let’s explore your log home dream together.