As a home buyer, whether first-time or possibly looking to move up to a larger home or downsizing you usually have an image in your mind of the home you want. That mental image usually starts with the architectural style of the home: Cape Cod, Mediterranean/Spanish, Craftsman, Traditional, Contemporary, etc. Of course, there are other things to consider such as location- Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, etc., also price, market trends, property taxes, homeowners association fees, and the condition of the property. 

You might begin your home search set on finding the perfect existing property and later come to the realization that you may have to build to get exactly what you want. So, the question then becomes- do you buy an existing home or do you build a new home from the ground up?

Buying an Existing Home

There are two primary advantages to buying an existing home: convenience and cost. In many (but not all) cases, it’s cheaper to buy an existing home according to data compiled by the National Association of Home Builders. Once pre-approved by a lender, you can shop around, pick out a home and then make an offer.  As a qualified real estate agent, I can streamline the process by helping you find the right properties, guiding you through negotiations, and assisting with the paperwork. Once an offer is accepted, you may be able to close on the deal, and then move in within a month or two, depending on the circumstances.

Even though the process involves numerous steps such as financing, viewing homes, making offers, home inspections, and closing, the convenience of being able to move in right away is enough to convince most people to choose an existing home over a build.

Another reason an existing home may be a better option is the ability to be in an established neighborhood—near work, school, friends, and/or family. Additionally, the home may have mature landscaping, so you won’t have to worry about starting a lawn, planting shrubs, and waiting for trees to grow. If being close to town is a necessity, the best bet will be an existing home since most, if not all of the land will have already been built upon.

Building A New Home

The primary advantage to building is that you are much more likely to get exactly what you want and for many, this is enough to choose to build over buying an existing home. There are other advantages as well, like the ability to create a more efficient home that meets new energy codes and standards for heating, ventilation, and cooling, plus insulation, and air filtration. Better efficiency is good for the environment and can save money on utility bills each month.

Though the upfront costs of building can be higher, it may be easier to recover your investment, later on, should you decide to sell.  A newer home is more appealing than an older home to many people. In addition, a new home will require fewer repairs and less maintenance, which can save both money and time. 

Money and features aside, building a house can lead to a level of satisfaction that you can’t achieve through buying an existing home. Having said that, some of the biggest drawbacks to building a house tend to be the higher costs and longer timeframe, both of which can increase throughout the home-building process. Of course, financing a new construction home is very different from that of an existing home. Loan types can vary so finding the right lender is paramount. 

The Final Analysis

Even if you start your home search set on finding the perfect existing home, you may end up deciding to build in order to get exactly what you want. Conversely, you may have thought that building is the best option and later in the process of your search decide an existing home is a much better fit. In either case, working with a qualified and experienced real estate agent will help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible-

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Making financial decisions today, especially about buying or selling a home can be challenging. I’m Tori Millan of and a real estate agent in

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All information is derived from sources believed to be accurate, but no representation, expressed or implied, shall be taken from information herein. Subject to prior sale, change of price or terms, or withdrawal from the market. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Property listing information is provided for the consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties the consumer may be interested in purchasing. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints.

The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Victor Valley Multiple Listing Service (last updated 2/27/2019). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than real estate agency may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS.

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