Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?

Building a home rather than buying one allows you to customize it to your needs, among other advantages. However, construction timelines have lengthened due to material and labor shortages, and this trend is being reflected in rising sale prices. The average price of a new-construction home in January 2022 was $496,900, up from a pre-pandemic $402,300 in January 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Key new-construction home statistics

  • Average price of new construction home pre-pandemic (January 2020): $402,300 (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Average price of new construction home now (January 2022): $496,900 (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Labor costs: 30%-60% of project (HomeAdvisor)
  • Materials cost: 30%-50% of project (HomeAdvisor)
  • Building permit cost: $1,200-$2,000 (HomeAdvisor)
  • Construction loan down payment: 3.5%-20% or more

Costs of building a home

The costs of building a home include labor, supplies, permits, architectural drawings and inspections. You can cut down on expenses if you do a lot of the work yourself and select cheaper materials. Overall, the cost of building a home is largely contingent on how much you choose to spend on each component of the project.

Construction costPrice range
Buying land$3,000-$150,000
Clearing land$1,500-$5,000
Framing$20,000-$50,000
Plumbing installation$7,000-$15,000
Electrical wiring$20,000-$30,000
HVAC$1,500-$13,000
Foundation$4,000-$25,000
Roofing$5,600-$11,500
Windows$3,000-$9,300
Exterior painting$1,800-$4,400
Interior finishing$50,000-$175,000
Source: HomeAdvisor

Costs of buying a home

The costs of buying a home include:

One of the most significant upfront costs of buying a home is the down payment, the portion of the home’s purchase price that you pay upfront. In addition, when you apply for your mortgage, you’ll need to pay for a number of services, ranging from appraisal fees to attorney’s fees. These closing costs add up to 2 percent to 5 percent of the amount that you’re borrowing. Once you’re a homeowner, you’ll also be responsible for taxes and insurance, and you’ll need to be prepared for occasional repairs and upgrades.

A chart illustration of home prices
Austin Courrege/Bankrate

Pros and cons to building a home

Pros of building a house

  • Get exactly what you want – Building means customizing. Instead of wishing your home had a certain kind of flooring, a sunroom or some other special amenity, you’ll be able to tailor the property to your exact needs. You also won’t be limited to a specific location or neighborhood.
  • Avoid the hassle of competing offers – When you build a home, you take the back-and-forth with other buyers out of the equation. You also won’t have to worry about overpaying because the price isn’t being bid up by numerous offers.
  • Move-in ready – When everything in your home is new, you shouldn’t have to worry about any major repairs (at least at the outset).
  • Wider market appeal – Your home is ultimately an asset, and when it comes time to sell, a newer structure could give you a competitive advantage.

Cons of building a house

  • More time – While you’ll save time on attending open houses and scouring online listings, you’ll have to wait to move into your brand-new home. It takes just short of seven months from start to completion to build a single-family home, according to 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’re paying rent during that time, that’s an extra cost to consider, too.
  • More decisions – A blank canvas means you can customize your home, but it also means you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. If you’re busy with work and family, it can be challenging to focus on every piece of the construction process.
  • Contractor challenges – Delays, miscommunication and issues with subcontractors — there are plenty of hiccups that can happen while building a home. Be sure to vet a few different builders to understand their work approach and timeline, and be prepared for speed bumps. Include time of essence, continuous manning and right to remove clauses in your contracts with the pros you hire — these can help protect you in the event of delays or non-performance.
  • Cost overruns – While you’ll have a budget in mind at the beginning of the project, there will almost always be expenses you didn’t anticipate, or materials you end up spending more for, that can add up to well above what you first set out to pay. Be aware of change orders, which could be a sign of an unscrupulous contractor. Make sure you understand the builder’s plans, finishes and specifications before signing an agreement.

Pros and cons to buying a home

Pros of buying a house

  • Faster move-in time – Buying an existing home means you can put a move-in date on the calendar much earlier compared to constructing one from scratch.
  • Potential bargaining power – With existing real estate, you might be able to leverage data to get a better price. For example, if a home you like has been on the market for more than 30 days, the seller could be willing to come down on price, or if a similar property in the area is priced lower, you can use that to justify a lower offer.
  • More options – If you’re set on living in a specific area, it might be easier to buy a home there than to try to find a lot to build on.
  • Ability to budget for renovations over time – You can make upgrades to an existing home as your budget and time allows, rather than having to focus all of your resources on a major, months-long project.

Cons of buying a house

  • Potential market competition – That bargaining power mentioned in the pros? It might be zero, depending on where you’re looking. According to a recent Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, sellers received an average of about four offers. In a hot seller’s market, buying can feel like being at an auction as others drive up the price.
  • Older appliances and internal systems – While it’s a new house for you, it’s technically been used. Depending on the age of the property, you might need to pay for repairs sooner than you expect. Your insurance rates will likely be higher than what you would pay to protect a new home, too.
  • Compromises – The odds of finding your dream home in reality are low, so you’ll have to be willing to compromise, such as having one fewer bedroom, when you find a home in your price range.
  • No builder warranty – New-construction homes typically come with a builder’s warranty that offers some protection from major problems. With an existing home, especially an older home, you likely won’t know who completed the job and won’t receive any guarantees for parts, labor or workmanship.

Should you build or buy a house?

As you consider whether building or buying a home is right for you, it’s important to recognize that both processes include plenty of costs and potential stressors. The end result, though, should feel well worth it. Think about the existing properties you’ve toured, your timeline for moving in and your expectations for this new home. If building is your route, enjoy watching that dream home come to life. If buying seems like the better move, follow this guide on how to get the best mortgage rate.

With additional reporting by David McMillin

Written by Ruben Caginalp Associate writer

Information from: https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/build-or-buy-a-house/

NACA – the best purchase program in America

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (“NACA”) is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of working people by counseling them honestly and effectively, enabling even those with poor credit to purchase a home or modify their predatory loan with far better terms than those provided even in the prime market.

Investing in working people

The NACA homeownership program is our answer to the huge subprime and predatory lending industry. NACA has conclusively shown that when working people get the benefit of a prime rate loan, they can resolve their financial problems, make their mortgage payments and become prime borrowers. NACA’s track record of helping people who have credit problems become homeowners or modify their predatory loan debunks the myth that high rates and fees are necessary to compensate for their “credit risk.”

Started in 1988, NACA has a tremendous track record of successful advocacy against predatory and discriminatory lenders as well as providing the best mortgage program in America with $10 billion in funding commitments. NACA is the largest housing services organization in the country and is rapidly expanding by growing its existing 30+ offices, headquartered in Boston, MA, opening many new offices nationwide, and expanding the services it offers its membership. NACA’s confrontational community organizing and unprecedented mortgage program have set the national standard for assisting low- and moderate-income people to achieve the dream of homeownership.

NACA – America’s Best Mortgage Program

The incredible NACA mortgage allows NACA Members to purchase their homes with:

  • No down payment
  • No closing costs
  • No fees
  • No requirement for perfect credit
  • And at a below-market interest rate

Everyone gets the same incredible terms, including the below-market interest rate, regardless of their credit score or other factors. NACA also provides free, comprehensive housing services. NACA counsels Members into the extraordinary NACA mortgage using character-based lending criteria that takes each Member’s circumstances into account to determine whether they are ready for homeownership and what they can afford. This is in contrast to risk-based pricing where people are often given loans they cannot afford while brokers and others make tremendous fees and profits.

Property renovation & foreclosure prevention

NACA also provides property renovation assistance and Membership Assistance for NACA homeowners. NACA’s Home and Neighborhood Development (“HAND”) Department addresses repair issues, and where appropriate provides rehab assistance throughout the renovation process. NACA’s Membership Assistance Program (MAP) provides comprehensive counseling for Members who are delinquent on their home payments, including establishing payment agreements and providing financial assistance to help Members avoid foreclosure.

Innovative technology

The NACA program has developed state-of-the-art mortgage software for web-based counseling, processing and underwriting, called “NACA Lynx”, which is the envy of the mortgage industry. This is a paperless system that allows for character lending, loan processing and underwriting to be done on a very large scale.

Powerful national advocacy

NACA has revolutionized mortgage lending with its mortgage services and advocacy. NACA’s organizing department continues the aggressive advocacy against predatory lenders and the fight for economic justice. NACA is a high-profile organization, with its program and advocacy featured in national media, including the Wall Street Journal, Prime Time Live, Boston Globe, Washington Post, major news outlets, and networks nationwide.

NACA’s committed staff & contacting NACA

Our staff of hundreds of dedicated staff is committed to working with you to access this incredible mortgage product and to advocate for strong neighborhoods and economic justice. We are always looking for qualified staff—see our current job listings for details. To keep updated on NACA services, campaigns, and relevant legislative happenings, sign up by clicking Contact Us.

Types of Mortgages

Do you think it’s the right time to begin the purchase of your 1st home?  Do you know the different types of mortgages and which may be the best option for you?  Here are the main mortgage types and what they mean:
1.  Conventional (Also known as fixed rate)
– This loan type is a common choice for many home-buyers as they are known for consistency.  Monthly payments typically don’t change over the life of your loan.  Loan terms vary from 10-40 years with the most common being a 15 or 30 year term.  Quicken Loans.com defines a conventional loan as one that may be suitable for borrowers with good credit and a low debt to income ratio.
2.  FHA Loans
-This mortgage type is guaranteed by the federal housing authority.  Generally the mortgage insurance is built into this loan type and down payments are typically smaller. These loans are designed for low to moderate income borrowers.
3. VA Loans
-This loan type is available through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  These loans are provided by private lenders like banks and mortgage companies.  This is an attractive loan type as qualifying is more simple, and generally does not require a down payment. It is a non conventional loan which means the government agrees to repay a portion of the loan to the bank if you default or foreclosure.This loan is good for US veterans, active duty service members, and widowed military spouses.
Are you ready to explore the mortgage loan options? Do you have more questions about the homebuying process? Connect with us at Bowen Group Realty, LLC.  We are here to answer any questions, and get you on the path to homeownership!
Information cited from https://www.payoff.com/life/dreams/8-types-of-mortgages/

STEPS TO BUYING A HOME

Buying a home can require a lot of your time and patience.  There are ways to make the process easier and to help you make the best decision.
1.  Research
     It’s important to begin researching as soon as possible.  You find listings online, in newspapers and in magazines.  Take notes of particular things you are interested in and specific homes.
2.  What can you afford
     In some cases a down payment may be required for your new home purchase.  Lenders will look at your income and debt to income ratio to determine eligibility.  You can find various calculators online that will simulate home purchase price, down payment, mortgage, etc to aid in this process.
3.  Find a realtor
     You want to find someone that is knowledgeable of the business, familiar with the area you are looking for, and one with great negotiation skills. Realtors are paid on commission from the sale price, so in most cases you dont have to provide funds upfront.
4.  Get pre qualified/pre approved
     Your realtor should be able to connect you with a preferred lender or one that fits your need.  If not be sure to do your research on the different lenders that are available to you and what services they provide. During this process you will provide financial information that will be reviewed to determine how much you can borrow towards a new home.
5.  Find a home and make an offer
     Once you have a pre approval, it’s time to start working with your realtor to find your new home.  You want to ensure that you look at homes within your price range.  Take pictures and videos so you can remember all that you see.  Be sure to check all the details. (plumbing, electrical, traffic, parking, etc) This will be your forever home so you want to ensure everything is just right.  It’s important to not rush the process, take as much time as you need with your realtor to find the best option. When you are ready you can make an offer.
6.  Home Inspection
     In most cases the offers are contingent on the findings of the home inspection.  The inspection will check the property for any structural damage or other things that need to be fixed.  A copy of the inspection report will be provided to both you and the seller.  If items need to be fixed, you can negotiate with the seller to fix them before closing if you choose to.
7. Review loan options
     Your mortgage company will go over the options for your loan in reference to monthly payments, etc. (sometimes this is covered during the pre approval).  This is the time to thoroughly review all options and ask questions.
8. Home Appraisal
     Lenders generally arrange for the home to be appraised by a third party.  This lets all involved know the home is being purchased at a fair price.
9.  Paperwork/ Closing
   This process involves a lot of paperwork.  You will meet with your lender and a title company to review and sign all required paperwork to proceed with the purchase.  It can take several days for your loan to be funded, but once this clears you are all set to move into your new home!
Do you have questions about the home buying process? Are you ready to purchase your new home?
We are here to make your home buying dreams come true.
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The Bowen Group

Bowen Group Realty, LLC
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The Bowen Group

Serving the Entire Hampton Roads Area

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Welcome to The Bowen Group

The Bowen Group is an independent real estate brokerage, committed to providing outstanding service and value to buyers and sellers. We are widely recognized as the preeminent real estate company in the Hampton Roads area. We are known for developing quality working relationships with our clientele; relationships based on respect, integrity, and trust.

The Bowen Group is a licensed real estate agency in Suffolk Virginia. 3575 Bridge Road. Ste. 8, Suffolk VA 23435