I want to take a different track in this article. In my years of working with people who build or remodel their own homes I spoke with hundreds and hundreds of people and assisted them in making the decision to build ... or NOT.
To Build or Not to Build - The Question of the Day
The fact is, I advised more people *not* to build than I did to build. This was for many reasons. Some people were not qualified to manage a project such as this. Others could not make decisions easily enough and it was obvious that they just didn't know what they wanted. There were also those for whom the timing just wasn't right. I never advised anyone to build until these and other considerations lined up in such a way that the majority of the stop lights turned green.
In the current market conditions, there are more reasons why building a home might not be for you at this time. To find out, I ask you to consider your objectives.
WHAT IS IT YOU REALLY WANT?
Take stock of your priorities. Home building might be a longer-term objective and not an immediate goal. Here are some things to think about.
- How soon do you want to be in a home?
- Are you looking mainly to create equity?
- Is this a long-held dream for a land parcel you now own?
- Are you extremely particular about where you live and how the home looks and feels?
You can learn more at sites like Dream Home Creation, but depending upon your answers to these and similar questions, building may be something that can wait. On the other hand, if you own a piece of land and you're eager to build on it, it's probably a good time. When you answer these questions, if you find you are just looking for the best deal you can get, building may not be a good option. And if you're in need of a place soon, building is not for you.
This Just Isn't the Best Time to Build, if ...
There's one big reason why this may not be the time to build if you're looking for a the best deal on a home. Home prices are down almost everywhere. Deals can be had. One caution: While a rebound in prices will eventually happen, don't expect it right away.
Foreclosures, motivated sellers, and bank repossessions have flooded many markets with houses that can be purchased for well under their values of two to three years ago. So, if you primarily want a low price and you're not particular about what you want, I would advise you to pursue these options rather than building a home at this time.
CONSIDER HOME IMPROVEMENT
If you find a really good deal on a home purchase, you may find that remodeling it would be a good option. Try to look at the choices you have in homes with an eye towards changes that you could make to enhance value and your comfort.
Also, you may want to have a builder or home building coach take a look at the home you're considering buying before you close any deal. This isn't to take the place of a home inspection, it's only if you plan on a major home improvement. The builder or coach will be able to assess the viability of any home improvement ideas you have. Happy hunting!