There are many good reasons to buy a piece of Houston real estate, whether you’re interested in finding a home for your family or are looking to establish a rental property for recurring income. Houston is a high-growth area with a diverse range of properties available—but there are also plenty of opportunities to build new homes.
Is it better to buy an existing home on the market, or build a new one?
As you might expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.
The Benefits of Buying an Existing Home in Houston
Let’s look at some of the benefits of buying an existing home in Houston:
- History and character. Houston is a city that’s rich with history, and it’s full of properties that are (in some cases) more than 100 years old. If you’re looking for a unique home, or if you like the look, feel, and character of older homes, buying an existing property could be your best bet. You can build a new home in an old style, but it may not give you the same experience.
- Lower prices. Generally speaking, older homes are less expensive than building a new home from scratch. There are many reasons for this, including the cost of construction when buying a new house, and there are situations where this doesn’t apply; for example, certain “hot” neighborhoods around Houston may have older homes that are as expensive or more expensive than a new home.
- Varied options. Committing to buying an existing home opens you up to a wide variety of different options. There are dozens of suburbs and neighborhoods around Houston, and a wide array of properties currently available. No matter what you’re looking for in terms of style, structure, and price range, you should be able to find something that fits your need.
- Immediate availability. Another advantage of shopping on the open market is the immediate availability of your prospective home. Instead of waiting weeks to months for your construction project to finish, you can often move in as soon as the financial transaction is completed. That said, you can also buy a new home that’s already been completed if you’re looking for the best of both worlds.
Downsides of Existing Homes in Houston
Buying an existing home in Houston does come with a few downsides, however. For example:
- Older materials. Older homes tend to be made from older materials, and are built with older standards applied. This tends to increase the time and monetary costs of ongoing home maintenance. It may also present specific issues, such as dealing with the effects of minimal insulation or older systems of electrical wiring. You can always make upgrades as you see fit, but these can be expensive, jeopardizing your investment.
- Limited inventory. Though there are many different areas where you can shop for homes in Houston, there’s still a finite inventory. You may have difficulty finding the exact home you want, and certain neighborhoods are in high enough demand to stymie your homebuying efforts.
- Competitive buyers. It’s also worth noting that Houston is currently a hot market, and it’s looking to grow even more competitive in the future. If you’re trying to buy an existing property, you may have to contend with other competitive buyers. This will often drive up the price of each property, and could make it difficult to put together a bid in time.
The Benefits of Building a New Home in Houston
If you’re interested in buying a brand new home, or building one from scratch, there are several advantages to enjoy:
- Complete customization. If you’re working with a home construction company, you’ll be able to completely customize nearly every aspect of your home. You can get the exact size, layout, and features you want from the beginning. Home renovations and additions can modify existing homes, but you may be limited in terms of what you can accomplish.
- Minimal repair requirements. If you’re the type of person who hates the idea of ongoing maintenance or irritating little repairs, buying a newer home may be a better option. Newer homes can still have things go wrong, and will require some ongoing maintenance, but you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy maintaining a new home, compared to an older one.
- Experiential enjoyment. Some people love the idea of designing and/or building a home from scratch. They want to watch the home being constructed from the ground up, and they want to know that they’re the first person to ever live in this home. These are experiences that can’t be easily replicated if you’re buying an existing home.
Downsides of Building a New Home in Houston
But of course, there are also downsides to this approach:
- Expenses. Prices for building a new home vary, but you’ll typically pay more for a new home than you will for an older one. As for whether the additional benefits of buying a new home are worth the extra money—that depends on your personal goals and outlook.
- Planning and stress. If you’re building a new home, you’ll have to go through the planning process, and you may run into issues with financing, construction, and other areas. The extra planning and extra stress can be more burdensome than the stress associated with buying an existing home on the market.
- Wait times. Depending on the construction company you’re using, waitlists, and other factors, you could be stuck waiting for a long time for your home to be completed. If you’re interested in generating revenue right away, or if you want to move in as soon as possible, this is practically untenable.
Are you interested in buying a Houston property, but confused about where to start? Green Residential can help, whether you’re interested in a home for your family or a rental property for your portfolio. Contact us today for a free consultation, and to learn more about what we do!