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Buy or Build: How to Know What's Right for You

two men looking at building plans and house being built

Are you struggling with deciding whether you want to build a new home in Indiana or buy an Indiana home that’s currently for sale? Building a new Indiana home can be an exciting process and it’s not for everyone or every situation. Below, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of each so you can decide what is right for you. 

Ultimately, the decision to buy or build can be simplified into ‘Convenience vs. Customization’. Depending on what your needs are, an older home may not be a good fit. However, if you’re on a tight schedule to make a move or want to buy in a specific area where land isn’t available, building may not be practical for you. Continue reading for some important things to consider when deciding whether to buy or build, and to help you figure out what matters most to you. 

Pro tip: if you’re looking for a new Indiana home and don’t want to go through the construction process, you can also browse new construction homes for sale in Indiana here

Benefits of Buying a Home in Indiana

  1. Move-In Ready: Buying a home in Indiana offers the convenience of being able to move in and live in the property right after purchasing. For those looking to make the move quickly, buying is your best bet as construction times will take longer.
  2. Affordability: Depending on the market, buying an existing home can be less expensive than buying land and building a new Indiana home. Not only is it less costly, but home loans also tend to have better interest rates than land loans and come with less risk. 
  3. Prime Location: If you’re looking to live in the center of everything, such as in Downtown Indianapolis, or in a more desirable location, such as Geist Reservoir real estate or homes for sale on Monroe Lake, you may not be able to find land for sale. Chances are that most of the undeveloped property in these locations has already been purchased and may not be for sale anytime soon. By choosing to buy vs. build, you will likely have more options in highly-desirable areas. 

Downsides of Buying a Home in Indiana

  1. Competition and Stress: Searching for a home can often feel like a full-time job and, even with the best team supporting you along the way, can be stressful. Dealing with market shifts, such as increased demand and prices, waiting to hear back on offers, and the potential of a bidding war may be reason enough for some to build a new home in Indiana. This is why it’s essential to work with an experienced agent who can guide you through the buying process or counsel you on whether building is your best option given your Indiana real estate goals. 
  2. Limited Options: As mentioned above, the main drawback to buying a home is the lack of customizability. When purchasing a home that is already built, you’re confined to the options that are available and this can lead to having to make compromises. For instance, many older or existing homes are not as energy-efficient. If you really have your heart set on a particular home style or certain amenities, you may prefer to find land for sale and build a new Indiana home as opposed to continuing to look for the perfect home for sale. 
  3. Potential Repairs and Maintenance: Depending on how old the home you buy is or how well the previous owners maintained it, older homes may come with hidden repairs that need to be made. Not to mention that these homes may also have been poorly built using hazardous materials. This can easily tack on thousands of dollars on top of what you have already spent on the purchase. That said, if you do your due diligence during the home sale process and work with an experienced Central Indiana real estate agent such as the team at CENTURY 21 Scheetz, you should be able to avoid these situations.  

Benefits of Building a Home in Indiana

  1. Creating the Home of Your Dreams: The biggest benefit of building a home is, of course, total customization. Once you have purchased the land and figured out your dream floor plan, you can construct the home to directly fit your tastes. 
  2. Decreased Competition: Although you may face some competition when looking for your land, once you are set to construct your home you will completely eliminate this aspect of buying real estate. For many, the freedom of not dealing with this stress is reason enough to build rather than buy. You will, however, be competing for construction supplies. 
  3. Easier (and Less) Maintenance: Not only does building your home ensure that the materials used are not hazardous or toxic, but it also gives you some peace of mind knowing that almost everything is still under warranty for quite some time. And as for what isn’t under warranty, considering the house is brand new, it probably will not require any major repairs for a while. 

Downsides of Building a Home in Indiana

  1. Having to Wait Longer to Move In: Unlike buying a home that has already been built, building your own home takes time. You may encounter unexpected delays and this may cause additional stress. If you’re in a time-pinch and you don’t have the option to wait, building a home may not be right for you.
  2. Added Expenses: In order to build your home you must first acquire a land loan. Depending on whether you’re able to provide collateral, a land loan may come with a higher down payment and interest rate. Then, you’ll need to obtain a construction loan to build the property and once it’s complete, you’ll need a traditional mortgage. All in all, it may be cheaper to buy an existing home, but if customizing your dream home is important to you, the extra cost may be worth it. In that case, make sure you work with a reputable builder and lender to ensure the best experience possible. CENTURY 21 Scheetz’s partners, including the teams at Milestone Home Lending and Pulte Homes, can help.
  3. Requires More From You: Building a home requires a more hands-on approach than buying an Indiana home for sale. For some, this is certainly a pro. However, if you’re not particularly interested in choosing every aspect of your home, from the materials used to the type of window frames put in, then you may want to reconsider building a home from the ground up. Other options include partnering with companies that provide architectural and design services, which CENTURY 21 Scheetz can recommend.

There are many benefits to both buying and building a home in Indiana. In order to make the right choice, it’s important to consider what truly matters most to you. If you are interested in discussing your options, contact the Central Indiana real estate agents at CENTURY 21 Scheetz today.

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