Elizabeth, Home Seller in Pittsburgh, PA

Build new or buy resale- which is better?

Asked by Elizabeth, Pittsburgh, PA Tue Oct 13, 2009

We are debating about building a new home (with Heartland Homes) or buying a resale home next summer. It would be in the same school district so that is a wash; the build is in a development that is about 7 miles north of where we'd buy resale. I'm not sure which is a better option or value.

We'd be spending about the same money of $310K and no construction loan would be needed. The idea of a new build appeals to me as worrying about windows, roof, HVAC and such would be a non issue and cost savings in the long run.

Are there any advantages to either that I'm missing? Opinions welcome! Thank you!

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I actually disagree with Kate in a way.

You can build your own home lets say for $60 a square foot in a surrounding county around where I am.
Lets say I built a home at 2500 square feet. Thats:
$150,000 for build
then you have the purchase of land + improvements

Builders make a profit for this reason. It is cheaper to build than to buy. Otherwise developers wouldnt make any money. But the thing is, when you go to a builder to have them build a spec home for you, they will tack on money as a profit for themselves. This is where the question comes in if it is cheaper to build with a builder or buy preexisting. As I am assuming you do not have the experience being a GC of a site.

Have you looked into modular homes? Now most people think poor thoughts when they hear modular but they have come a long way and many people would not be able to tell the difference between modular and a stick built. Here is an example of one http://www.signaturecustomhomes.com/

The other idea I may have for you is to find a builder who has either some remaining lot in a project or raw homes that they cant move and make a deal to pick up one of those for a good price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
Personally I like building new as you can take advantage of a Construction to Perm loan which is similar to a typical FHA loan.

Basically 3.5% down as you would with a normal FHA loan.

You also will be able to pick out exactly what you want in a home versus buying someone else's home that you may feel the need to change some things. The only disadvantage is the timeframe. You can move into a home within 45days generally versus waiting a few months for your home to be built.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
It's an age old truth. It has always been less expensive to buy an existing home than to build a new one. You should look for an existing home of the same value before ever building. Kate Wentworth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
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