Coastal NC

VOL14ISS1 2018

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36 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CAPE FEAR NC | VOLUME 14—ISSUE 1 BUILDING OR BUYING A HOME To Build or To Buy: ings to Consider BY LAUREL HYATT It's generally agreed that your home is the single largest investment you will make therefore, most of us end up spending a great deal of time and energy either searching for or designing "the perfect home". We factor in things like location, price, property taxes, homeowners association fees and the condition of the property in making our decision. On top of everything else, each builder/buyer typically has three lists: the "absolutes" (the things we have to have), the wish list (the items we hope we can afford), and the wants list (the features we would like but could do without if necessary). While the home-search process involves a number of important choices, one of the very first decisions to be made is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one — each has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's look first at buying a home. There are two primary advantages to buying an existing home: convenience and cost. Even though the process still involves numerous steps such as financing, viewing homes, making offers, home inspections and closing, the convenience of being able to move in right away is a compelling one for many families. This may be especially true if you're on a tight schedule relocating to a new job or have children starting at a new school. Another reason an existing home may be a better option is if you would like to be in a particular established neighborhood near work, school, friends and/or family. Odds are, too, that the home will have mature landscaping — no waiting for lawns, shrubs, and trees to grow. Cost is also a factor: In many cases it is cheaper to buy an existing home. On the flip side, the biggest disadvantage in buying an existing home may be that you won't get exactly what you want. You may not be in love with the floor plan. You may wish that half bath on the first floor were a full bath or that the downstairs bedroom was upstairs. Older homes in particular tend to be less functional for most buyers with fewer bathrooms and smaller kitchens. Unless you find an existing home that has exactly what you want in perfect condition, the additional money on remodeling, repairs, and redecorating will factor heavily into that original attractive price. While building a new home does not offer the same convenience as buying an existing house — you have to find the land, factor in the time to find an architect or builder, and choose every element of the new structure — by joining an existing development you can streamline the process. The big advantage to building is you are much more likely to get exactly what you want. For many, this factor alone is enough to choose building over buying, but there are other advantages, too. A new home is more efficient with new energy codes, better HVAC, insulation and air filtration standards. Green appliances/Energy Star rated appliances, and more efficient toilets, plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures allow you to build "green" for a more sustainable home. You also have the option to make pre-installations for future technology upgrades, such as home automation and solar. Even though the upfront costs of building can be higher, it may be easier to recoup your investment. A new home will require fewer repairs and less maintenance, which can save both time and money. You'll have a warranty with a new home, so even if something does go wrong, you may still be covered. Besides all of the very "practical" reasons to build, there is a definite feeling of an emotional connection to living in a new home that you have created with just your personality. The biggest drawbacks to building a house tend to be higher costs and longer timeframe, both of which can be limited by working with a reputable builder and having a good contract in place. The best way to save money and time is to maintain good communication with your builder and make sure you are happy with the design before the build begins. The more changes made after an installation, the higher the cost. In the end you may start off your home search set on finding the perfect existing house and end up deciding to build to get exactly what you want. On the other hand, you may plan on building and later decide an existing home is a better fit. Either way, working with a qualified and experienced professional realtor or contractor can help you find your "dream home". []

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