Building vs Buying A Home: Which is Right for You?

There are many differences when it comes to building versus buying a home. Understanding these key distinctions can help you determine which is right for you! Either route is a big decision, so it’s important to thoroughly understand your options.

If you need assistance selling your house or are looking for a new home in Isle of Palms, SC, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty today.

Benefits of Buying a Home

There are several reasons why you might consider buying a home:

Quick to Buy

One of the most appealing benefits is that it takes significantly less time to buy a house than to build one. It can take as little as a few weeks to find a home you like, and closing on the house usually takes as little as two months.

Upfront Savings

Time isn’t the only thing you’ll save when buying. On average, it’s less expensive to buy a house than it is to build, which equates to some serious savings upfront. Also speaking of savings, buying gives you the ability to upgrade features in your home little by little rather than all at once. This can save your bank account from a big hit.


If you’re worried that your budget won’t allow you to get some of the home features you desire, not to worry. Some communities have homes that can be upgraded upon purchase. For instance, they may have options to include a kitchen island, a window seat, hardwood throughout, and more.

If you decide not to buy where these upgrades are available, you can still ensure you get some of the features you like by working closely with your realtor. For instance, if love the new stove or energy-efficient appliances featured in the home you’re looking at, your realtor can help negotiate them into the price.

Jimmy Carroll Realty is ready to help you get the best price on your home. Contact us today!

Drawbacks of Buying a Home

There are several drawbacks to consider when buying a home:


Depending on your budget and the features you’re looking for, it may not be possible to get everything on your list. You may have to compromise on some of the items you wanted, or either be willing to pay more.

Fluctuating Market

When the market is good, you can get a reasonable price on a home. But when you decide to buy while the market happens to be inflated, you may end up spending more than you would, say, six months to a year when the market levels back out.

Increased Maintenance

While you’ll certainly save money upfront on a home, depending on how old it is, it may require a lot of continuous maintenance. These costs can add up more quickly than you think over the course of a few years. You’ll always need to have money saved that’s dedicated to repairs.

Benefits of Building a Home

There are several reasons why you might consider building a home:

Total Customization

The number one reason most people build a home is because they can design it exactly how they like it. They can include all of the features they’ve dreamed of having and ensure it matches their exact vision.

Long-Term Savings

While building a home can be costly upfront, you can still expect to save in the long run. This is because everything in the house will be new, from the appliances and systems to the structure itself. You can trust that your energy and maintenance bills will be minimal!

If something does break, new homes often come with warranties on both the build and pertinent items such as the foundation, water heater, roof, and more. This means they will be replaced immediately for free, as long as the warranty is in place.

Relaxed Market

There is generally less competition over empty lots than there is for pre-built homes. You can rarely buy a piece of land at a poor time. Plus, you won’t have to worry as much about another buyer swooping in on the property you’re eyeing.

Drawbacks of Building a Home

There are several drawbacks to consider for building a home:

Upfront Costs

It costs more money initially to build a totally custom home. You’ll need to be prepared to pay not only for the land your house will be built on, but all of the materials, labor costs, meetings with designers and contractors, building licenses, unexpected problems, and more.

Building Takes Time

The average amount of time to build a home is approximately eight months. There is also the chance it could take even longer due to unexpected surprises that delay the build, such as poor weather conditions, building regulations, and materials being on backorder, and more.

More Stress

When you build a house, you’re in charge of every single detail throughout the process. And as we’ve mentioned, the process can take months. Taking on this much responsibility and continually staying on top of the build can cause some serious stress.

Which is Right for You?

There are several factors that can help you determine which option is right for your particular situation.

It may be better for you to buy a home if:

  • You need to move relatively quickly. If you’re ready to move sooner than later, you should buy a home. You’ll be able to purchase a property relatively quickly.
  • You need to save now, not later. You’ll have to pay the down payment on the home, but this upfront cost is the only major expense that buying requires.
  • Your feature list is flexible. If you’re willing to compromise on some of the features you want but don’t necessarily need, buying makes perfect sense.

It may be better for you to build a home if:

  • You’re able to comfortably spend upfront. Having secure finances is crucial for living a comfortable life. If you’re able to spend a large chunk of money upfront but it won’t totally stretch your pockets, building could be right for you.
  • You have a non-negotiable feature list. When you want your home to have every feature you desire, building can sometimes be the only way to get precisely what you want.
  • You’re not on a strict timeline. Building is a slow process. If you have time to wait and a secure living situation while your home is being built, it could be a viable option.

Choose Jimmy Carroll Realty

We hope this guide on building vs buying a home helps you determine which is right for you. If you’re ready to start searching for the property your dreams, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty today. We can introduce you to all of the available real estate in the Isle of Palms, SC area that you’re sure to fall in love with. We look forward to assisting you!

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