Is it cheaper to buy or build a home?

Advantages of buying a house

Faster move-in time – in comparison to building, buying a house means you can schedule a move-in date.

Cost – buying a house means you have the advantage of bargaining power. For example, if a seller has had their house in the market for a while, they may be willing to negotiate the price downwards. Also, you can leverage competing house prices within the area.

Convenience – if you’re looking at living in a prime location, it will probably be easier to find a house to buy rather than finding the land to build.

Ability to budget for renovations over time – As your budget allows, you can make renovations to an existing home rather than focusing all your resources on major renovations in the case of a building.

Disadvantages of buying a house

The house might need repairs – while it’s practically a new house for you, the house has already been in use. Depending on the age of the property, you might end up paying for repairs much sooner.

Compromises – the odds of finding your “perfect dream house” may be low. So, you’ll have to settle for compromises such as a few bedrooms, a small backyard, etc. When you find a house that’s in line with your price range.

Competition – while you have the advantage of bargaining power, you may face competition from potential buyers. House sellers receive an average of about four offers. Therefore, if your bid is too low, you may not make the cut and end up forfeiting the house.

No builder warranty – newly constructed houses come with a builder warranty that offers some protection for major problems. If the house you’re buying is not new, this warranty is forfeited.

Advantages of building a house

Get the property of your preference – building your house eliminates the compromise factor as you get to build what you envision your house to be. It also allows one to enjoy playing with unique tastes and features you would desire in your house unlike buying an already existing house.

Quality assurance – building gives you a sense of good quality as you are the one in charge of every step. Hiring a good contractor, a good foreman, and buying quality materials to build.

I know you’ve probably heard a story or stories of people buying an expensive house only to find out it was built with substandard materials.

Reduced risks – cases of houses crumbling down because of poor construction have been on a rise. When you vet your builders, and your design, and oversee the construction process, you reduce this risk.

Price control – when you oversee building your house, you get to monitor the sources of the material. This helps you control the pricing based on your budget and can quickly pay when convenient for you. This gives you a controlling factor as you determine the price of building a house vis a vi-buying. Thus determining which option is cheaper based on your house design.

Wider market appeal – as your home is an asset, when you decide to sell it later, a newer structure could give you a competitive advantage.

Disadvantages of building a house

More time – Although building a house saves you the hustle of “house-hunting” it might take a relatively long period to complete the house. You’ll need to consider that if you’re paying house rent elsewhere during the construction process, that’s an extra cost.

More decisions – Although working with a blank canvas gives you the leeway to customize the design to your liking, it also involves more decision-making in comparison to buying. This can get challenging especially if you’re busy and can’t find a reliable contractor who’ll care about the details that really matter to you.

Challenges from contractors – there are plenty of hiccups that can occur in the construction process such as miscommunication, delayed response time, and other issues with the contractors.

Cost overruns – when building, a lot of things that you hadn’t anticipated may come up. You may end up incurring expenses you hadn’t budgeted for or end up paying for materials at a higher cost than intended among others if the prices of materials change during the construction period.

Bottom line

Is it cheaper to buy or build a home? As you decide on which of the two approaches works best for you, it’s important to consider that both processes include plenty of costs and potential stressors. However, the result should feel fulfilling.

Consider the properties you’ve toured, your expectations for this new home, and your timeline for moving in. If you ultimately settle for building the house, then have fun as you enjoy your dream house coming to life. Also, if buying becomes your ultimate option, enjoy your new home!

We see a time coming where the uncertainty of whether one should build or buy will be slim. This is because technology would have advanced. Nairobi and Kiambu are counties that are majorly known to have collapsed buildings. The emergence of technology that helps solve this problem at construction stages will have developed.

Real estate as a whole is an industry that has been slow to accept technology in its space, therefore, those in real estate who work closely with IT companies stand a chance to be on the cutting edge in the future.

Also, the materials to build a house won’t be as scarce, and the process of acquiring property either by purchasing or building your own would be aligned.  Meaning that it won’t make much of a difference to buy a house or build one. Also, the tastes and preferences of different consumers would have evolved from the normal residential houses we have available.

Check out this 2 bedroom property for sale along Ngong road something that’s hard to find nowadays in Nairobi.

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