Build vs. buy: What's right for me?

Many in the market for a new home face a tough decision over whether 

they should search for a pre-existing home that ticks off the “must-haves” and most of the “wants” on their list, or if they should just start from scratch and build their own home.

This is a big decision, and while there are certainly many attractive benefits about building your own home, there are many setbacks as well. For a more in-depth look, here are three points to help you decide the best choice for you and your family.

Finding property can be a challenge. You may have noticed that great neighborhoods have more homes for sale than vacant lots. Finding land to build on can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking to live in an established part of town. Few people have the disposable income that allows them to buy a home, tear it down and build a new one. If you do find land that’s affordable, it may be far away from parks, shopping and schools.

Building is expensive. According to, buying an existing 

single-family home costs $66,415 less than building one. That’s a significant amount of money. Even if you draw up plans for a home within your budget, it’s likely you’ll end up spending more than anticipated. The smaller details, such as the backsplash, type of floor, landscaping and sidewalk can result in you paying much more than the initial sticker price.

Working with contractors and builders can be a major hassle. To begin, you’ll have to carefully go through contracts and understand what the builder is and isn’t responsible for. This may require that you hire a lawyer. Then, once building begins, delays are inevitable. The sad truth is, you probably aren’t the builder’s only client.

When the process goes well, it’s almost magical. Building a house can be more stressful, but if you perservere, you will get the home of your dreams!

Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area is full of beautiful, historic homes that can be renovated and transformed to appear virtually brand new. If you would like to know more about these properties, contact a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the market and can show you some great homes with a lot of potential and character.

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