Money Matters: Buying vs. building a new home

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 5/08/2013 9:50 am

There are options for those seeking a new residence, including buying an existing home or building from the ground up.

Coby Crump, Lubbock Association of Realtors President, said there are key elements to consider.

"It's the time, the price and the relationship. A lot of people can't handle the constant decision making that goes along with a new build project," Crump said. 

Crump said buying an existing property is an efficient route.

"It's simply like going shopping," Crump said. "People should create a list of the pros and cons of what they want in a new property, and they should be flexible on those."

However, flexibility isn’t on every agenda. One local couple needed something more tailor-made.

"When you're looking on the market, you never know when you're going to find the perfect home or when it's going to close. For us, we needed something a little more guaranteed," Daniel Burgner said. 

Burgner and his fiance, Emily Hood, considered both buying and building.  

"We figured out our budget and looked at all the different companies you could build with it was about the same price for the same amount of square footage but we could get exactly what we wanted," Hood said.  

However, Crump said that’s not always the case.

"The current home we're standing in on an existing neighborhood, the average prices are between $94 per square-foot up to about $106. To reconstruct this property, without additional amenities, you'd be looking at $114 to $122 per square-foot," Crump said. 

Hood and Burgner found going with a small building company offered a reasonable expense.

"Since the price was so comparable to buying a pre-owned home we decided that if we built a home we were able to pick the carpet color, the tile, the granite, the color of the cabinets and every aspect of it. That was all for the price we were looking for, instead of buying a home in that same price range and having to change things," Burgner said. 

"From here we can start from scratch and buy exactly what we wanted as far as appliances and big purchases," Hood added. 

While finances are a vital factor, the emotional aspect shouldn’t be overlooked. 

"We are engaged and we're getting married this summer. It has been so exciting to really begin to build our life together. We are starting, literally, with the foundation of it and seeing it go up has been so exciting," Burgner said. 

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