Deciding to purchase a new home is one of the most exciting investments you can make. You probably already have your wish list: Location, budget, a specific number of bedrooms and maybe certain features, like a spacious pantry or an outdoor kitchen.
Now the next question: How do you weigh the pros and cons of a custom home vs. an existing home? Depending on the houses currently on the market, existing options may be limited. You will likely need to compromise on your wishlist.
To provide a closer look at the choice of a custom home vs. an existing home, below is a guide to choosing between the two. Keep in mind that the term “custom home” can refer to a spectrum of options. At one end is an already designed home that you can personalize with your choice of finishes. At the other end of the spectrum are custom home projects where you work with an architect or design team to create a one-of-a-kind home.
Option 1: Buy an Existing Home
This is the experience many homebuyers are already familiar with: You partner with a real estate agent or go online to browse listings of existing houses. You walk through homes for sale or take virtual tours. If you find one you like, you make an offer, go to closing and move in.
There are certainly advantages to this path to homeownership: The process tends to be quick (although searching for and visiting dozens of houses is time consuming) and typically offers a predictable timeline. You will also have fewer decisions to make.
So if you need to move in right away or have a specific timetable that is important to you, then an existing home may be an option for you.
However, there are also disadvantages to this path: You will likely need to make compromises on what you want in a home. You are restricted by what is available at the time. There could also be unexpected maintenance or repairs, and older homes in particular may require cosmetic updates, renovations or other major upgrades to meet your needs. So you will need to factor in the cost and convenience of any repairs or improvements.
If you’re looking for top-of-the-line community amenities, like a pool, clubhouse, workout facilities or walking trails, you may not find them all in existing developments.
Option 2: Work With a Builder to Build a Custom Home
If you choose to build a custom home, you’re more likely to get everything on your wishlist right from the day you move in. The options for building a custom home will vary by builder and community. The process could be as simple as personalizing your home: You pick certain features or finishes — like flooring, exterior or interior paint colors, kitchen countertops or cabinet options.
Some custom builders offer the option to create a fully custom home: You partner with an architect or staff designer to create the home together, from the floor plan all the way down to the faucets. In this type of design/build project, you create a distinctive home built just for you and your lifestyle. Know that you want a wine cellar in the basement, an in-law suite with private entrance or hardwood floors throughout? No problem. With this type of custom home, you can get exactly what you want for your investment from the get-go.
Whichever route you choose with a new custom home, your maintenance and repairs should be minimal, with few or no surprises. Most builders also offer a warranty for extra protection. Working with an experienced and reputable builder, like our partners here at River Pointe Estates, will help you streamline the process, keeping your home on-time and within budget.
Custom Home vs. an Existing Home: The Bottom Line
Purchasing a new home is a major investment either way. If you have a very short timeline for your move or your wishlist is very flexible, then you may prefer to purchase an existing home. If you want to create a home that matches your wishlist and personal style, or if you prefer a brand-new home in a community with all your desired amenities, then you will love the option of a custom home.
At Rivers Pointe Estates, we offer a wide variety of new home options for every lifestyle. You can personalize the plans, finishes and features to meet your personal needs. Have questions? Our friendly and experienced builders are happy to walk you through the new home construction process. Contact us here.