Should I Buy a Move-in-Ready Home or Build a New Home?

The home buying process is a long journey that starts with one important question – should you buy a move-in-ready home or build a new home? Your decision depends on several factors and personal preferences, so you should weigh the pros and cons of each option. There are many advantages of building a new home; however, a move-in-ready home offers a different kind of security and convenience that you may or may not find if you choose to build. 

So what is the right move for you and your future? We have broken down some of the most important factors to consider when making your decision.

Is It More Affordable to Build a New Home or Buy a Move-in-Ready Home?

The answer to this depends on the lens through which you are viewing your investment. Buying a move-in-ready home is often the more affordable option in terms of upfront costs since you are typically purchasing a house in an established neighborhood and it already has basic components such as interior finishes like cabinetry, flooring and appliances.

The upfront costs of building a new house can be higher than those that arise when buying a move-inready home. However, since you have the freedom to choose the floor plan of your new home and select which finishes and options are included, you will not have to worry about making upgrades down the line.

Convenience and Timing

One of the biggest advantages of buying a move-in-ready home is the timeline. Many people choose to buy a move-in-ready home simply because they can move in much more quickly than they could with a new-build home. When you purchase a move-in-ready home, you will usually be able to move in within a month or two, making it ideal for people who need to be settled in their new space within a specific timeframe.

Building a new home can take several months and the process of organizing and planning alone can take a few months before construction even begins. Once the home is built, you will have to buy appliances, decorate and work on your landscaping.

Neighborhood Development

When you choose to buy a move-in-ready home, you may find an older home in a neighborhood or development that has already been well-established for years. Living in an established community means you will be closer to everyday amenities and helpful neighbors.

While it is not impossible to find undeveloped land in an established part of town, new homes are often built in areas that are farther out from the heart of the city. This means you will need to consider whether the land gives you access to municipal water and sewage or if you will need any special permits to build there.

Other considerations that may factor into your choice of homesite may include:

  • Size
  • Direction the home will face (N,S,E,W)
  • The view
  • Surroundings (i.e., close to a park, walking trails, open space, etc.)
  • Proximity/presence of neighbors (i.e., no back neighbor, no side neighbor)
  • Investment (cost)

Landscaping  

The majority of move-in-ready homes already come with a lawn and a yard. Of course, you will most likely have your own personal preferences and want to do a little pruning or planting, but at least you will not have to worry about starting from scratch.

When you build a new home, you may need to hire a team of landscapers to help you start your lawn, plant foliage and maintain it. Most homebuilders offer a landscape package that the developer typically determines, though upgrades can usually be requested.

Making Your Home Energy-Efficient

One of the downsides of buying a move-in-ready home that is older is that you may have to deal with outdated systems that make it less energy-efficient. You may find that you need better windows, doors and blinds, or you may need to update your air conditioning and heating systems.

Building a new home or choosing a recently completed new move-in-ready home ensures that your home is more energy-efficient. You can rest assured that a new construction home meets the most current heating, ventilation, insulation, air filtration and cooling standards., and often times exceeds the minimum requirements. While this may mean spending more money on updated equipment and building materials, it will ultimately save you money on your utility bills in the long run and peace of mind about replacing equipment in the coming years.

The Bottom Line

There are many factors to consider when it comes to deciding whether to buy a move-in-ready home or build a new home. Buying a move-in-ready home is, in some ways, more of a streamlined process. You will need to find a real estate agent, broker, and inspector in addition to a few other standard advisors and processes.

Building a new home requires much more investment of money, time and effort. Not only will you need to scout out the right land, but you will also need to diligently search for the right builder, landscapers, architect, interior designers and agent.

Despite the hard work it takes, building your own home ensures you are paying for exactly what you want, and not having to compromise on any of the features of your dream home.

If you do choose to build a home, here are some of our top tips:

  • When choosing a builder, have each company provide references. Knowing whether previous clients have been fully satisfied throughout the building process is important.
  • Budget for more than you expect. You should go into the process with a ballpark idea of how much your total homebuilding expenses will be. Leave plenty of wiggle room if unexpected expenses come up or you end up wanting to add things that you did not initially plan for.
  • Before you begin, find the right construction home loan.
  • Communicate clearly and frequently with everybody involved in the building process. Make sure you are always up-to-date on your home’s progress and are working with teams who are completely transparent about any delays or issues.
  • Read through your entire contract very carefully before you begin and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your warranty and insurance information.

While the build process may look different depending on your chosen team, projected timeline, location and requirements, the general plan will probably look something like ours does here at Perry Homes: 

  1. Pick your home and homesite
  2. Choose your exterior design (brick, stone, paint)
  3. Choose your interior finishes (countertops, flooring, cabinet style/color, appliances, etc.)
  4. Meet with your construction team
  5. Construction begins
  6. Home is completed
  7. Home demonstration with the construction team
  8. Closing occurs
  9. Move in and enjoy your new home!

Whether you decide to buy a move-in-ready home or build your new home, choosing the right builder makes all the difference. No matter where you are planning on moving, finding a builder with a stellar reputation is key. If you are looking for a home in Texas, let Perry Homes help you find or build your dream.

Interested in more information about deciding whether it is better to buy a move-in-ready home or build a home? A member of the Perry Homes’ sales team is happy to walk you through your options and explore our movein-ready homes in some of Texas’ most desirable communities.