Should You Buy an Existing Home or Build a Custom Home?

Should You Buy an Existing Home or Build a Custom Home?

Buying an existing home and building a custom home each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two really depends on your specific preferences, needs, budget, and timeline. To help the decision-making process go smoother, here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of each home buying option.

Buying an Existing Home


Faster Move-In

Waiting to move into a new home can be downright unattainable for some if you need a home right away. That’s where existing homes can be a good option. Existing homes are ready for immediate occupancy, allowing you to move in quickly and start settling in.

Established Neighborhoods

Another potential benefit to buying an existing home is that the neighborhood is more established. More mature trees and a stronger sense of neighborly community is a big plus to some families.

Less Decision-Making

Another thing that might appeal to some regarding existing homes is the lack of decision making. You won't need to make as many decisions about design, layout, and materials, which can simplify the process.


Limited Customization

While the fact that you don’t have to make as many decisions when choosing an existing home might be a draw for some, it could be a drawback for others. Existing homes may not fully meet your preferences or needs in terms of layout, design, or features, which might mean that you need to budget for renovations in the future.

Maintenance and Repairs

Another thing to consider is that older homes may require more immediate maintenance and repairs, potentially leading to additional costs. There may also be hidden issues like outdated wiring, plumbing, or structural problems that could be expensive to address.

Competitive Market

In a competitive housing market, finding the right existing home at an affordable price can be challenging. You may be pressured to make more compromises than you would like in order to simply get your foot in the door.

Building a Custom Home


Full Customization

If you are someone who likes things to be bespoke to you, a custom home is the perfect option. You have the freedom to design your dream home, selecting layout, features, finishes, and materials according to your preferences.

Energy Efficiency

New construction also allows for the integration of energy-efficient technologies, potentially leading to lower long-term utility costs. All building materials will be new and up to current energy efficient standards.


New homes often come with warranties that cover construction and systems, providing peace of mind. Since your home is often the biggest purchase you will ever make, this helps many families to breathe a sigh of relief knowing their builder has them covered.


Longer Timeline

A potential downside for some is that building a custom home takes time, from design and permitting to construction. It can be several months to over a year before moving in.

Higher Upfront Costs

Custom homes often come with a higher initial price tag due to customization and construction costs. But they generally offer lower long-term costs because the need for major repairs, renovations, or appliance replacement is pushed off years down the road thanks to everything being brand new when you move in.

Complex Decision-Making

Having control and a bigger say can be a plus for some but it can prove too much for others. You'll need to make numerous decisions throughout the process, which can be overwhelming for some.

As we mentioned, the decision between buying an existing home and building a custom home depends on your priorities, budget, and timeline. Consider your lifestyle, preferences, and long-term goals when making your choice. If you decide that a custom home feels like the right choice for you, Caliber Construction would love to help. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have!

By Caliber Construction 10-10-2023