Should I Buy or Build?

With the housing market as tight as it is, it’s easy to see why some consumers might want to build a home rather than try to buy one on the market. But there are still advantages to taking the time to buy an existing home. Here are some of the reasons to consider when you’re deciding whether to buy or build.

The three biggest reasons to buy and existing home are time, money, and location. When you buy an existing home, you have a pretty firm timeline in mind for your move. Once you’ve found the home you want to buy, you could move within a month or so. Even with the shortage of available homes in the area, MetroTex Realtors can monitor the market for you and send you alerts when newly available properties hit the market in your preferred neighborhood.

Existing homes are generally more affordable than newly built homes because the cost to build increases with the price of land, labor, and materials. In May, the average sales price for an existing home in Dallas-Fort Worth was $292,719, whereas the average sales price of a new home was $395,540 – more than $100,000 more expensive. Buyers on a tight schedule and budget will often find more success in moving in quickly and on budget with an existing home.

If you’re looking for homes in a particular area, near a favorite school, close to work, or near family, chances are there are more existing homes available than new builds. Most newly built homes are going to be found in undeveloped areas on the outskirts of the suburbs, or on tracts of land that until recently were considered undesirable for building. That said, there are higher density developments being built closer to urban life. If you’re dreaming of urban living and you want new, you’re best bet will be a condo or townhouse.

Building new does have its advantages. You’re more likely to have some choices in the lot, and will be more likely to be able to pick your own finishes, so you won’t have the expense of remodeling when you move in. New homes will have some features that can be difficult or costly to add into existing homes, too. For instance, a newer home might have more energy efficient features like tankless water heaters, better insulation ratings, or higher-efficiency doors and windows. They’re also more likely to be wired for sound systems and smart home features.

If you’re considering a move, the first thing you should do is contact a MetroTex Realtor. A Realtor can help you weigh the pros and cons and can guide you through the process whether you’re buying an existing home or building. 

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS® is comprised of more than 16,000 licensed agents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information on buying, selling, and leasing property in Texas, visit