Buy or Build?

Buy or Build?

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Imagine you are a very intelligent person. You are NOT part of the commute crowd who needlessly drive (sometimes more than one hour each day each way) to sit in a cubicle in some company and work in front of a computer all day, when you know you can much more easily do this from home. Or, maybe you have an online business that does not require any office or retail physical space.

You are successful. You are in control of your life. If you need to take time off for the family, you can do this at any moment because you are the boss of your world. Does this sound like a fantasy dream? Maybe, a little bit. However, a fantasy is not often a reality. One thing I am here to tell you is you can build a life that is not tied to any physical place for work and does not depend on any single company that can down-size you in the next moment.

You made some money and now it is time to upscale your living environment. If you have enough for the down payment, decent credit history, and qualify for a loan you now have another choice. Should you buy an existing house or build a brand new one?

Making Smart Choices
Maybe you can work remotely from anywhere; however, do you have other needs for a specific physical location? Do you want to send your kids to a high-quality public school in a good neighborhood (do these even exist anymore?). Does any family member have the need for specialist medical care? Are there relatives you frequently visit to take care of? These are examples of the things you need to consider when you buy or build (or renovate) your dream home. What you want to avoid is wasting your life driving a car.

Time Wasted in the Car
WNYC says an average American spends 25.4 minutes commuting to work each day and each way. That is 50.8 minutes and in bad traffic can easily be over one hour. To make the math simple let’s use on hour per day for the 250 work days in each year. Then we take 250 hours per year and multiply by the 47 work years 9if you start working at 18 and retire at 65). This gives us 11,750 hours, which is about 490 days you loose from your happy life by simply being trapped in a car and commuting to work.

The Numbers
The buy (possibly renovate) or build decision is about two things: 1) Your personal preferences and; 2) the cost.

Fixr says the average cost to build a brand new custom home is $295,000. For this amount, you will get a home that is two stories, three bedrooms, with two baths and about 2,470 square feet. The house will have a footprint of 24 feet by 50 feet (1,200 square feet), so you need a lot big enough to accommodate this size of a home. Because of the required setbacks and maximum lot coverage allowed of around 40% you will need a lot of at least 3,000 square feet. A check of the lots for sale, in and around the Houston area, shows 3,000 square feet+ lots from $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the area, with the average being around $40,000.

This is your number! The “all in” cost of the land at $40,000 plus the new construction of $295,000 equals $335,000 in total or $135.63 per square foot.

If you are going to buy a home, rather than build one, you will be looking for a home priced less than $135.63 per square foot in perfect condition or much less if you need to pay for renovations to bring the home to perfect condition.

No matter what choice you make, about whether to buy or build a house, stay out of the car as much as possible and enjoy being in your home instead. At we are experts at bringing value to our buyers. If you want a lot to build on, we can show you the ones that are the best. If you need help in construction, we already do that for our own properties, so that makes it easy to help you. If you want to find a great price for a home that may need some work, that is our “bread and butter.” If you want to build a “tricked-out” custom home with gold fixtures, then we will gladly help you.


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