Skip to content

REAL ESTATE TIPS: To build or not to build – that is the big question

Real estate columnist Esta Ryder continues a series focused on the option of building a residence.

Here are some things to consider when deciding to build or not to build:

* Budget: We talked about this already so I won’t go into too much detail other than to say that budget does play into what you can build and if you can build.

* Down payment: While there are exceptions that I won’t get into here, in most cases, building requires a bigger down payment than buying a traditional house.
So if you have a small or no down payment, you might not be able to build no matter how much you want to.

* Emotional state: OK, probably not the best term to use but building can be stressful.
I’ve heard it said that if you want to get divorced, build a house. I’m sure that is extreme but there is truth in the fact that there are a lot of decisions in building. Some big and obvious (like exterior color) and some smaller (like where to place an outlet). Either way, decisions can be overwhelming.
If you have a low stress tolerance, you might want to keep that in mind before deciding to build.

* Timeline: Building takes time. From finding land to breaking ground to any potential delays caused by weather or even material delivery. If you are in a hurry to get into a house (your current home has already sold, you are transferring to an area with a new job, etc) or you don’t want to move twice (example, getting an apartment or staying with family while your home is being built) you may just decide it is more convenient not to build.

* Your dream home looks different. The main reason people tend to build is because they want the perfect house for them. But if you are married, what if you don’t agree on what that perfect house should look like?
Due to all of the reasons listed above, if you are married and one of you is “settling” on what you are building just for the sake of building (for example, your dream has always been to build a ranch but your spouse really wants a two-story so you give in) you might want to reconsider building.
The things listed above show that building is not the easiest route to take both from an overwhelming/stressful standpoint to a financial standpoint. So if you are on two different pages, maybe you should sit back and reconsider.
But there is one more thing to consider. Something that allows you to build AND stay in the house that you live in now.
Maybe you could do an addition to your current home. That is what we did. And we have no regrets. More on that next week.

Esta Ryder, Broker/Owner
President’s Club
Ryder Realty, LLC

Leave a Comment