Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a House?


A house is most likely the single largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. Plenty of buyers put their heart, soul, and financial future into landing their perfect home. This all begs the question – Is building a house cheaper than buying one?

Several significant decisions go into building your own home vs. buying. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each process and reveal some financial factors that may help you budget and understand how to save money. These considerations will help you determine whether to build or buy a house.

Is it Better to Build or Buy a House?

In financial terms, is it cheaper to buy or build a house? Let’s discover the requirements for building and buying your next home.

Building a House

Pros of Building a House

Here’s a list of pros regarding building your own home:

  • Appliances are new and under warranty when you build. You can anticipate less upkeep. In fact, your maintenance for about a decade will cost you nothing.
  • You’ll get that energy efficient component. New homes incorporate the latest materials and equipment, so your energy bill will be lower.
  • You have the power to pay for exactly what you want. If you’re thinking spacious, you can have spacious. If you want hardwood, have hardwood installed. You won’t have to remodel. Instead, you’ll have a say in the original model.
  • Home insurance is lower than that of pre-existing homes.
  • You can often receive construction discounts. (Companies want to keep their crews working.) You can also receive builder’s discounts for materials.

Interested in building your dream home? Our construction company in Houston can help. Contact Rise Construction today!

Cons of Building a House

Here’s a list of cons concerning a new build:

  • It’s a gamble when it comes to appreciation. You can’t predict what will happen to the housing market years down the road. Comps aren’t consistent, so there’s no way of calculating what’s to come if you’re looking to sell at some point.
  • You must find land and select a builder, which can be easier said than done.
  • The price-point tends to be higher than purchasing an existing home. On average, building new will cost you around $290,000.
  • You could be waiting anywhere from four to six months on your new home. You may even have to move into temporary housing while you wait.
  • Purchasing upgrades can be quite expensive.
  • You’ll want to study and know what it means to be “up to code.”
  • You will likely have to hire an inspector.
  • Consulting an attorney might be necessary as you read over all legal documents between you and your contractor.

Buying a House


Pros of Buying a House

Here’s a list of the benefits associated with purchasing an existing home:

  • You don’t have to worry about temporary housing or wait times. You can move in right after closing.
  • If you’re on a budget, you can make upgrades to the house more slowly.
  • Existing homes are likely in established neighborhoods where you know your neighbors as well as property values.
  • You’ll often spend less than a new build demands. On average, a single-family house will run you around $225,000.
  • Sometimes when you build, you can’t truly envision the home. You might even be dissatisfied with the finished product. When buying a house, you can see your furniture and family in it.
  • You’ll likely have established landscaping and trees.
  • You can flip the home if you’re looking for profit.

If you’re looking for help with remodeling or flipping, check out Rise Construction’s Houston home renovation services!

Cons of Buying a House

Here’s a list of the cons centered on buying an older/existing house:

  • Sometimes it’s after you’ve made your purchase that you discover its quirks.
  • You might become annoyed or financially strained while making foreseen and unforeseen upgrades. Maintenance can be an issue. Upkeep is a huge factor to consider.
  • When you buy an existing home, you’re stuck with the layout, unless you’re looking to make significant structural changes/additions.
  • You might have to spend a great deal of money to decorate the home with modern style. If the home is older, you may find yourself removing wallpaper and the like.
  • Home insurance can be higher on a pre-owned house.
  • Energy bills tend to be higher on older homes.

Upfront Cost of Building a House vs. Buying


When considering building a house vs. buying a house, understand that overall, building a home may grow to be more expensive than you originally planned. Major renovations can get out of hand. You will probably save money if you opt to purchase an existing home that you largely appreciate.

On average, you’ll spend about $65,000 more on your new build vs. a pre-existing house. Upfront costs will be higher when building instead of buying.

Maintenance Cost of Building a Home vs. Buying

As you decide whether to buy or build a home, remember that new builds will often cost you less in upkeep. Many appliances and systems will be under warranty for at least a decade. So, if something breaks, it’s probably still covered.

With buying a home, you never know what you might run into. Older homes tend to have some quirks and hidden issues. Also, a pre-existing home may need both short-term and long-term upgrades.

Landscaping Cost of Building vs. Buying a Home

Don’t forget to consider landscaping when thinking about building a house vs. buying. This is a factor that people tend to forget about initially. You’ll want to think about creating a lawn, planting shrubs, and patiently waiting for young trees to grow.

A lawn and landscape will take money and time. On the flip side, when buying a home, you’ll likely discover established trees and mature yards already in place.

Decision Time

You might still be asking – should I buy or build a house? Carefully review the main criteria above. The ultimate decision depends on you, your family’s needs, and your budget. There’s no short answer or easy formula.

For assistance and a quote today, contact Rise Construction today!