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Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a New Home?

July 1, 2022

What’s the best value when you’re looking to buy a new home right now? Is it cheaper to build or buy a new home? Changes in the housing market have made it confusing for many homebuyers. New Tradition Homes wants you to understand your options, so let’s explore the pros and cons.

Homebuyers are the losers in the bidding war

The high demand for buying a new home fueled soaring price increases. Even with a higher price, offers must often be above that listing price to be considered by the seller. Will your desperation cause you to buy a home that isn’t worth the price? Will it even appraise for that offer? When the market settles back to something closer to normal, will your home still be valued at the price you paid? These are important considerations when you’re deciding whether it’s cheaper to build or buy a new home.

Maintenance adds to your total cost of ownership

In spite of the higher cost of buying a new home now, you still need to understand that the purchase price is just the start. Do you need to do renovations or repairs to make it the home you really want? Have you gotten remodeling estimates? The National Association of Realtors posted estimates of $7,000 to replace an HVAC system, which typically lasts about 15 years. A new roof could cost anywhere from $8,500 to $14,300 for 2,000 to 2,200 square feet. The cost of replacing a typical double-hung vinyl window runs between $400 and $650 per window. Wood windows are considerably higher. Do you want to swap out those old kitchen cabinets? Plan to spend $3,200 to $8,500, on average, for the purchase and installation of in-stock cabinets, and twice that for custom cabinets.

Don’t be a disappointed homebuyer who doesn’t have the budget to makeover their home after buying it. Yes. It happens more frequently than you might expect. And this choice leaves homeowners experiencing buyer’s remorse as they have to live with less of a home than they thought they would have.

New construction homes are smarter

Are you a techie? Do you plan to use smart home automation, high-speed internet, and all the other state-of-the-art goodies that make life easier?

Check to make sure that the home you want to buy can accommodate your needs. Will the wiring need to be updated? Is the home plug-and-play ready for your devices, or will you need someone to update it?

Homes built today are designed for smart home automation. They have CAT 5 or (even better) CAT 6 cables that are far better for handling your technology than the cables used before. New Tradition Homes builds smart homes in the Vancouver & Tri-Cities areas of Washington State. Our new homes include Brilliant Home Control®, a whole home network panel that provides an organized source to house your modem, router, and other smart home components. You can control the lights, locks, cameras, and more all with one control panel or smartphone app.

Are you paying more and getting less?

As you’re browsing new homes for sale in the Vancouver and Tri-Cities areas, ask yourself what you’re actually paying for. The cost of building a resale home doesn’t matter. The fact that lumber prices have gone up is irrelevant to a home that’s been standing for years. Nor do they have the added expense of paying current prices for new appliances, materials, and systems. You’re just paying more, not getting more.

When you buy a new home, you’re getting all-new construction. Your new home is built with the latest technology, which includes energy-efficient materials and systems, and healthy home features, like low VOC and low-toxic interior paints. You’re getting a home that’s covered by a builder's warranty, so you don’t have the worry of paying the price for repairs and replacement.

Compare the prices of what has been built into the home you’re considering. Is it priced according to what you’re getting?

The price difference between building and buying

The U.S. Census Bureau assigned a median sales price of $450,600 for an existing home in the U.S. in April 2022. The National Association of Realtors estimates it costs $332,524 to build a new home of 2,594 square feet (not including the land), which reflects $35,872 in the higher costs of materials like lumber, which rose in price 250%.

The prices vary depending on where you’re looking, as well as the size, style, and features of the home.

The whole concept of value is your level of satisfaction in what you get for what you paid. Remember that when you’re deciding whether to buy a resale or a new home.

New Tradition Homes invites you to see the communities we’re building in the Vancouver and Tri-Cities areas. We make it fun and easy to buy a new construction home in a desirable location, with all the features you wanted, and maybe some you didn’t even know you could have!

Browse New Tradition Homes' available homes, take a virtual tour, and then get in touch with us to discover the true value of buying a new home.

I don't remember the first time I saw a New Tradition home, but it was MANY years ago. During the internet evolution, I have watched New Tradition evolve into a great company. I don't know why, I guess it was my dream to own one I just didn't know it yet. Years later, my husband and I decided it was time to build. After looking at all the builders and communities we stopped into a New Tradition home and he fell in love! (I was already there). 4 months later the floor plan of our dreams came available and we were hooked. 1 year later, we are now in our New Tradition home and I couldn't be happier!

Jenica and Daniel Baxter