You are not the only one who is second guessing this issue. Everyone that recently became a homeowner must have had these thoughts as well. Where is the cost saving?
Let’s look at pros and cons of both.
Pros of Building Your Own Home
Building a new home can come with many benefits, such as:
- Design Control: Right off, this is at the top of the list. Building your own home ensures you start with an Architect. This way, the Architect is able to design something that is unique for you based on your design needs. You also will not have to spend money on changing stuff you don’t like. You can take your time to choose only those products or materials that you want.
- Discounts on materials: You can make lots of savings on your materials procurement from the budget estimate that you have. For instance, some suppliers like Royal Mabati will deliver to your site for free. Other suppliers offer discounts on purchases. Carefully working out your suppliers and getting quotes to compare, you can save a lot on your project.
- Everything is new: Moving into an existing property can come with hidden costs, as you might need to make significant upgrades that might not be entirely obvious during the purchasing phase. Building a home keeps this under your control and reduces costs. You can actually budget for your preferred installations along the course of the project and make changes in advance depending on your budget and design needs.
- Construction Quality : Just the other day, an apartment started to sink in Ruaka, and it was reported that 20% of the occupants had actually bought not leased. That’s just one sad story among the many. Building a home will put you in control and at the top of quality checks. Walls you don’t see straight can be re-looked at before going further as an example.
Cons to Building Your Own Home
Not everything is perfect, so even building a home can come with issues that you would rather not have started in the first place. Here are some;
- Location: Unless you are building upcountry, building close to Nairobi or Mombasa is just a nightmare. First of all, you need to get land and the closer to the City the more harder it is to find it. And when you do find that land that fits in your budget, it is not where you really wanted to be.
- Time: Depending with the technology you go for and your budget, it can take anywhere from four months to six months to build a home. This is a long time to wait and things can change while you are waiting to move in.
- Limitations: You might be limited in the style of home you can build within your price range. You might also find that making a lot of changes can be too costly. During the construction process, it will be a hard bargain for you in terms of give and take. You really have to choose every part of the building and each has cost implications which might keep nagging at you considering the overall construction budget.
- Construction Process : Building a home is a journey. You need an Architect and the patience to understand what he is doing, to ensure it is what you want. You then need to find a contractor. The Architect can help but not always, depends on your terms of contract. There’s the approvals, shopping, and doing the job. This whole process, unless well prepared can be tasking and tiring.
- Temporary housing: The moment you start the project, your current home becomes temporary. Depending on your cash flow, the longer the project drags out, the more you keep having to pay rent, money that could go into finishes.
Pros of Buying a House
- Opportunity to flip your home: If you buy a home and upgrade it, you have the potential to sell it and the difference in profits can help you upgrade for the next.
- Upgrade costs can be delayed: You can buy a pre-existing home, or a new home that fits your budget and plan to upgrade in future. This way, you will take your time to plan out changes to the design and fittings and customize them to your needs over time.
- Ability to move quickly: In most cases, immediately after the paper work is done, you can move into the house.
- You know the neighborhood: If you’re buying a home in a pre-existing neighborhood, then you already know the neighbors, property values and the like.
Cons of Buying a Home
Disadvantages of buying a pre-existing home include:
- You are stuck with the structure : While many people tend to think that the layout and interiors are more important, actually, the structure of the building is more important. The walls, trusses, if it is an apartment, then the columns, beams, slabs and staircases. Buying a house means you accept these things as is. Many developers will use poor quality materials and wrap them up in nice finishes.
- Upgrade costs: Having to move into a home and make upgrades can be a major time and money investment. For instance, upgrading floor tiles would mean removing all existing tiles and installing new. Depending on what final standards you wish to achieve, a small remodeling job can turn into a big project.
- You are stuck with the layout: You can’t easily change the layout or floor plan of an existing home.
- Decorating costs: You might have to invest some time and money to bring the home up to current decorating standards or to your design needs.