To Build or Buy: The Big Real Estate Question in 2022

Kim PhillipsCloverdale, Langley House Market, Property Investment, Real Estate, Surrey, Tips

Image of floor plan sketches and paint swatches on tabletop

Are you ready to call a new place home? While this is an incredibly exciting and worthwhile venture, we know the “what ifs” of house hunting can tack on a lot of stress. One question many soon-to-be-homeowners wonder is if they should buy a house or build one. Since both options come with several factors to consider, it’s important to weigh your options accordingly. As realtors in Cloverdale, Langley, and Surrey, we know the ups and downs of both. To determine which option is best for you, we’ve laid out the pros and cons to buying vs. building. Just keep reading!

Buying an Existing House

There are two major advantages of buying a home that has already been built: cost and convenience. While housing prices in Vancouver have been on the rise, the average cost of Langley real estate currently sits at $980,543 in June 2022. Typically, it’s more economical to buy vs. build, as building a home is full of hidden fees, unexpected expenses, and a lengthy timeline for the actual move-in date.

Pros to Buying:

  • Ready to move in. If you’re wanting to move in sooner rather than later, buying is your best option. New homes take at least a year to build in most cases, whereas an existing home could be ready within the week.
  • Less costly. Generally, it’s less expensive to buy than build. Your payments will be relatively straightforward, with limited surprises. When it comes to financing, a home loan carries fewer risks than a land loan, typically carrying lower down payments and better interest rates.
  • Home renovation options. Make upgrades at your leisure when you buy Cloverdale, Surrey, or Langley real estate. When you buy, you can wait till you have the time and money to renovate your dream home.
  • Location, location, location. Are you a city person? Buying offers greater proximity to urban hubs, as land to build can be tricky to find in cities like Vancouver.
  • Mature landscaping. When you move in, your existing home will likely come with established landscaping. Unlike a build which will tack on extra expenses and time to grow your garden.

Cons to Buying:

  • House hunting stress. Finding the right home can be time-consuming and laborious. However, with the right realtors in Cloverdale, Langley, and Surrey, finding your dream home is a breeze.
  • Compromise. When buying an existing home, you may need to compromise on the house’s style unlike building, which offers more customization.

Building a New House

It’s not news that Vancouver is an expensive city to live in. When it comes to building a home, Vancouver is one of the costliest places to do so. In fact, in 2022, the average cost to build a standard, no basement detached home in Vancouver is $150-$275 per square foot. With a custom luxury home costing anywhere between $450 to $1,135 per square foot. Now, this will depend on the exact location and size of the property, as well as the materials, architect, builders, and more. Although in most cases, building is almost always more expensive than buying.

Pros to Building:

  • Complete customization. If you have a specific dream home in mind with a budget to spare, home building offers you more control over the design.
  • Less competition. After you’ve bought the land, you don’t need to worry about counteroffers or negotiations like you do when buying existing Langley real estate. However, the real costs of home building come with the construction supplies, labour, design, and more.
  • Fewer maintenance costs. A new home means less maintenance. Since you’ll likely be set up with guarantees on appliances, builder’s warranties, etc., your new construction could have limited expenses in the first few years.

Cons to Building:

  • More expensive. Due to the lack of collateral, you may have difficulty obtaining a land loan, as they come with higher interest rates and a larger down payment compared to traditional housing loans. Additionally, you’ll likely need a construction loan if you can’t afford to pay out of pocket, and a mortgage once the house is built.
  • Unexpected expenses. Home building always comes with unforeseen costs. Any home builder will advise you to factor in an extra 10% when budgeting for your build. For the sole reason of covering unexpected costs and delays.
  • Time-consuming and stressful. Building a home is not a quick fix. It’ll be a much longer process than buying an existing home, which could tack on extra layers of stress.
  • Greater effort. When designing your dream home, you’ll have a lot of factors to consider. You’ll be working with a huge team of people, making countless decisions to approve specifications and review contracts. From the creative side to the financial aspects, building a home can be exciting, but it is no simple feat.

Buying Cloverdale, Surrey, or Langley Real Estate?

You deserve a team you can rely on. Buying property – whether it’s land to build a custom home on or a beautiful existing structure – is rarely easy. However, our team of realtors in Cloverdale, Langley, and Surrey understand the complexities of local real estate. We can make this transition enjoyable for you by taking a brunt of the stress upon ourselves. Buy or build, you can trust that we have your best interests at heart.