July 31, 2019

Buy or Build: Tips From a Nanaimo Home Builder

Moving is an exciting prospect–whether it’s your first, or you are an experienced buyer, there’s always a fresh sense of adventure when moving into a new house. But with the option of building or buying, it can be difficult to determine which makes the most sense. There are pros and cons to each, and a multitude of factors from finances and time to the location, convenience and lifestyle… not to mention the existing real estate market! How do you make the right move? 

As experienced Nanaimo home builders, Westmark Construction helps many clients find the right fit, whether they’re seeking new homes for sale, custom homes, renovations or multifamily properties. We’ve compiled a list from some of our client’s most frequently asked questions in order to help you make an informed decision. 

When is Building a Better Option than Buying?

Often finding the right home can be an uphill battle. Your must-haves and deal breakers need to be accounted for and if you’re starting to feel like Goldilocks in search of “just right,” the house hunt can seem never ending… and sometimes it is! So how do you know when to stop looking and start building? Here are some top priorities to keep in mind:

Time: The amount of time you invest in looking for the perfect fit could be spent planning out your exact needs in a new home build. If you are not in a rush to buy and can take the additional time required to develop a build–including delays, which can happen even with the best intentions–having a home that meets all your criteria at the end of the process will be priceless down the road, when you can finally settle into the home you’ve been dreaming about. 

Cost: The cost of building a home may be higher upfront, with land prices, architect fees, building permits, land surveys, building materials, engineering, and interior design selections, but you could save maintenance costs down the road. With a custom build, you can include all the latest energy-saving features for additional cost-recovery over time. If you already own land, building a home can be that much more affordable and convenient. 

Location: Sometimes, finding the perfect existing fit means a new commute or moving schools. Consider the costs associated with buying a lot in your preferred area vs the additional costs of relocation. You may see a return on investment with convenience alone!

Renovations & Maintenance: Even buying an existing new home may include some renos to make it just right for your needs, which can be a significant additional cost. But if you’re the handy DIY type, you may find a property just waiting for the right updates that are within your budget. If you’re always on the go and prioritize your recreational life, family life, or quiet time above maintenance, then a home built to suit your needs will allow you the space you need to focus on other things besides the needs of your house. 

If you’ve decided to build, congratulations! This is a challenging but immensely rewarding opportunity to check off every item of your wishlist. The next step is finding the right Nanaimo home builder, and we encourage you to read our blog outlining the Top 10 Tips for Finding the Right Builder.

When Building: Do I Go Custom or Modify a Floor Plan?

Just when you thought the major decision between building and buying was complete, we want you to consider every angle, and that includes the other option for building: modifying an existing floor plan of a new build. There are as many pros and cons to modifying as there are to building a custom home from scratch. Here are a few main considerations for both:

Flexibility: You can’t always get what you want, as the song goes. Some builders will have stipulations and exclusions to renos on existing floor plans that might not enable you to make the changes you want for that perfect space. Talk to the developers first and get the details on what you can and cannot modify.

Budget: getting exactly what you want will come at a cost. Sometimes, that wishlist will price you right out of your home build dreams. You could start culling the list or you could look at new builds with some of your needs that come in below your budget, and determine what else would be required to update the existing build for optimal lifestyle satisfaction.

Time & Convenience: often with modified floor plans, you start with a template of colour and design styles. The downside is being limited in choice and style, and perhaps modifying your vision to suit your developer. The advantage here is that a few changes will be quicker than top to bottom decisions from flooring choices to knobs and wall colours. 

Know the Limit: too many changes to a modified floor plan will make modification redundant and a custom home will be the way to go–know how far you can customize to get a modification right and compare that to the estimated costs of a custom build so you don’t end up doubling your time, cost and energy when the original goal was to minimize. 

Questions about home builds and renovations to new builds? Speak with Nanaimo home builders at Westmark Construction and we’ll get into the details with you, or check out our custom builds to see if we can help you create your perfect fit.

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