Am I Better Off Building?

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Should you buy or should you build? Honestly, it depends on what you're looking for. To help you determine which is best for you, we've developed this short quiz:

1. How soon do you want to be in a new home? If you want/need to be in within a tight time frame, your best bet is to buy and existing home. While you can build on a tight timeframe, when you speed up the process, you often ratchet up the stress level. A good rule of thumb is that if you want to be in a new home in under six months it's best to buy. A timeframe longer than that lends itself to building.

2. How important is location? If you want to live in a specific, established neighborhood, it follows that you are better off purchasing an existing home. If you are open to living in a general area - say the northwest part of town - you have a greater chance of finding a spot to build.

3. How important are the details? Your best bet is to build if you want input on all the details... from flooring choices to bathroom finishes. Buying an existing home requires you take it "as-is" unless you are up for a remodel.

4. Do you have the stomach to endure the unexpected? One of the best things about buying is that you know exactly what you're getting - especially if you've had a complete home inspection prior to purchase. When you build there are some unknowns. And while there are rarely major issues with building, there are points in the process where you will have to consider changes. If you don't have the stomach to deal with these unexpected issues, you're probably better off buying.

5. Are you sentimental? Seems like a strange consideration, but sentimentality comes into play in making your decision. If you want the perfect breakfast nook to foster lively family discussions, or a custom made picture window to look out on an immaculately manicured lawn designed to make memories, you should look at building. On the flip side, if you're less sentimental or don't have any issues making new surroundings matter to you, you can feel comfortable buying an existing home.

6. Do you want it done, or do you want to do it? This is probably the primary consideration... If you want to simply pack your bags and move into a new place, you should buy and existing home. If you want to put pencil to paper, share your vision with a builder, and go through the ups and downs of starting from scratch your best bet is building.

Whether you find yourself firmly in the corner of buying, or leaning toward building, Friedrich Iowa Realty can help. If you would like to set up an interview with one of the agents at Friedrich Iowa Realty to discuss your options, please give us a call at 515.232.6175, toll free at 800.681.7333 or stop in our offices at 100 6th St. in Ames. You can also shoot us an email here. We look forward to chatting!

Friedrich Iowa Realty has worked with buyers and sellers of houses, condos, patio homes, townhouses, multi-family units and commercial real estate in central Iowa since 1927. The independently owned affiliate of Iowa Realty offers 30 Realtors®. Learn more about Friedrich Iowa Realty online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter @GreatIowaHomes.

Mar 13, 2014 | Add a comment | Buyer Blog, Seller Blog

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