Build or Buy? Making the Right Decision

It's more than deciding on the right carpet-tile combination. Before you hire a builder or sign on a dotted line, read these tips to make sure you're getting the best house for your buck.

Upgrading to a new home? You can buy a brand-new home in one of three ways: buying a house already built on spec; having a semicustom home built as part of a development (you can choose from a set palette of finishes and upgrades); or having a purely custom home designed and built to your specifications.

But don’t get so caught up in the sparkling new paint and granite countertops that you forget to make a good deal!

Evaluate the Pros and Cons of a New Home

  • New homes are typically far from the city center; will you mind the commute?
  • Are you willing to coax a new lawn into existence, and can you wait 20 years for sapling trees to mature?
  • Will the cookie-cutter nature of new subdivisions drive you bonkers?
  • New houses tend to be built right on top of each other. Do you mind the closeness and potential lack of privacy?

Zillow Real Estate Search

What do you think?

See Also

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  • It's Closing Time!

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  • Home Inspections & Homeowners Insurance

    Get the home inspected. Don’t skip this step; consider it a necessary expense of home ownership (even if yo...