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Building a Custom Home or Buying an Existing One

Deciding Whether to Buy or Build a HomeBecoming a homeowner is one of the largest steps that many people will take in their lifetime. Not only is it exciting to have control over your dwelling and design it to look any way you choose, but it also brings about a sort of rite of passage into adulthood.

Many people don’t take the time to consider that there are actually multiple ways of buying a home. While most go down the traditional path of hiring a real estate agent and buying something for sale, others take a more unique approach and decide to custom build a home. Which is the better option and why? It depends on your priorities.

The Difference Between Custom Houses And Production Homes

One of the choices that home buyers will have to make when buying new homes is custom home versus production home. Each of these has their advantages and drawbacks and will have different appeals to different buyers.

What is a Custom Home?

Custom homes are those that are built to suit the buyer. The buyer will get the chance to weigh in on factors that range from the foundation through flooring choices and window styles. This sort of flexibility can allow buyers to get as close to their personal dream home as possible. However, this comes with a hefty price tag. On average, a buyer will pay about twice as much for a custom home.

What is a Production Home?

There are a number of factors that can make production homes, which are constructed together with other homes, a more appealing option for some buyers. First, production homes go up far faster than custom homes. Buyers who are need an earlier move-in date can find this a strong advantage. However, some buyers dislike the similarity between a block of production homes, which can lead to a "cookie cutter" look.

Which choice is superior will depend on individual buyers. When considering, they should always keep factors that range from personal appeal to total costs in mind. 

Going With An Existing Home

While it’s definitely the more popular way to go, choosing to purchase an existing home oftentimes gives buyers less options but also provides less stress. In this scenario, individuals usually hire a real estate agent and spend their weekends walking through open houses and scouring the internet for listings.

If this sounds like it’s your cup of tea, there are a few key things to remember when purchasing an existing home, be it in Anchorage or elsewhere. First, it’s important to keep expectations at an appropriate level. Many people don’t find their dream home within their budget on the first time around. Most, if not all, of the homes for sale will have something that you don’t particularly love about it, but remember that it is changeable. Buying the property means getting to put your own individual touch on it.

Before closing the sale, it’s also crucial to get the home inspected for any potential issues. Again, it would be uncommon to find a home that passes every area of this detailed look through with flying colors, yet making sure to document the state of the home can save money and time in the long run.

Deciding To Build A Custom Home

Many potential buyers have a vision from the start to build their dream house, and by going custom you can achieve every single thing you want. Others just get too frustrated with what’s on the market and decide to take things into their own hands. No matter the incentive, building a custom home includes a lot of elements and extra work that isn’t always apparent at first glance.

While it sounds obvious, one of the most important aspects of building a home is partnering with a reputable builder who has experience in the type of home you’re looking for. Just like a rock band wouldn’t be hired for a children’s birthday party, different builders cater to different styles of architecture. Aside from creating a good match aesthetically, make sure the individual hired has a solid reputation within the community.

Since building a custom home is naturally more complex than other projects, take some time to talk with your builder and others who have gone through the process. It’s not uncommon for this type of construction to include fees that you didn’t know about, and getting surprised with a huge bill will dampen the experience for anyone. By laying out a plan upfront, the spending can be kept in check.

Either Way Is Right

Both home options are fantastic ways to go, depending on what level of time, money, and stress you’re able to handle. Sometimes it’s helpful to buy an existing home as one’s first house, and then move toward custom building later on. Each person’s priorities will be different and requires careful planning, but no matter which method is chosen, in the end you’ll be happy to be a homeowner!


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