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Buy, Build, or Remodel: Which One Makes Sense for You?

April 27, 2016 | Helene McQuaide

Buy-Build-or-Remodel-Which-One-Makes-Sense-for-You.jpgNot sure if you should buy, build or remodel your next home? As it turns out, the answer has much to do with where you live and what your goals are for the property.

For example, a recent article published on Bankrate outlined the pros and cons of changing the existing layout of your home versus buying a new one. The conclusion? You should get a cost estimate to figure out your first move. This means not only how much it will cost you to rebuild your home, but also whether the changes will add value to the property and if so, how much.

For example, if you live in a great neighborhood where home values are high, remodeling can significantly increase the resale value later on. However, the return on investment (ROI) might be lower if the renovations are mainly cosmetic or if the value of the property has diminished because of changes in the local market.

Aside from costs, there's another thing to consider when weighing your options between buying and remodeling. For starters, just how much do you love your current location? If the house has good structure and it is in a great location you don't want to give up, it might be worth it to remodel. However, if the home has major issues with the foundation, requires extensive/special permits before you can work on it, or is located in a less-than-desirable neighborhood, buying a new place somewhere else might make more sense.

What About Building From Scratch?

The pros of building your own home are obvious: you can create something that fits all your needs and desires. Not only can you choose the floor plan, but you can also customize each area of the home with the features you want. In addition, building a new home means you get to choose how much outdoor space you have and how you'll use it. For example, if a large yard is important to you, you can go with a smaller house or sacrifice a room here or there to increase your outside space.

Building your home from scratch, however, can be expensive. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that building your own home is about $70,000 more expensive than buying an existing home. Of course, this assumes that the home you buy won't need extensive repairs, which could increase your costs considerably. On the other hand, the $70,000 difference means you might be able to buy a house with great bones and then rebuild it to fit your standards.

Another major issue with buying a home is that the process might sometimes take months. In addition to having to search until you find the right home, you then have to go through home inspections, possibly financing and closing steps. On the other hand, remodeling can be done in stages, so you can continue to live in your present home throughout the process if you need to. Remodeling is a lot more flexible in terms of expenses as well. By working with a team, you can make decisions regarding the extension of the changes so they fit your budget without compromising your vision.

Tags: Remodeling Trends, Pittsburgh remodeling, Remodeling Costs & ROI, remodeling tips

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