Building A House

Building a house can be one of the most satisfying--or aggravating--activities that home buyers can undertake. The difference between building a dream house and a "nightmare on Elm Street" has a great deal to do with being certain that building a house is the right option for you and then following through with many of the details related to building a house.

Some Of The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Building A House:


  • More customized to your wants and needs.
  • All components of the house are new.
  • Most components are of the latest design.
  • New houses are generally built in areas of expansion rather than of decline. This will help your future resale value.
  • May be more personally satisfying if you take an active role in the house building process.


  • Generally more expensive than a resale house.
  • The delay during time of construction.
  • Potential "new house" problems--like anything brand new, it is rarely perfect.
  • The added costs--landscaping, window treatments, decorating, etc.--that you incur after moving in.
  • More complicated--finding a lot, finding a builder, getting a construction loan, etc.

If you decide that building a house (or buying a new one) is your best option, you will be confronted with a number of choices--there is no "one plan fits all" when it comes to new houses!

New house building choices:

  • Buying a new home that is already standing or currently under construction (a "spec"--built on speculation--house).
  • Building a house in a subdivision of new homes where a builder can give you a choice of plans.
  • Building a house from an established plan on a lot of your choice.
  • Building a custom built home.

Finding Contractors

Unless you are buying a house that is already standing or in a subdivision tract, you will most likely need to choose and employ the services of an architect and/or builder. Choose wisely. During the time that your house is being built, you will be spending a lot of time with these individuals!

Building a house often involves compromises. Many home buyers consider building because the feel they can't find the "perfect" house in the resale market. Be aware, though, that unless you have an unlimited budget, are building on a highly adaptable lot and are a great distance from your nearest neighbors, you will have potential compromises you will need to deal with. Some examples are:

Cost: What you want may cost more than you want to spend.

Lot: The lot you have selected may not be able to accommodate the type of house you want to build.

Building Codes and Regulations: How you want to build the house may not fit within the building codes of your locality.

Neighborhood Covenants: The neighborhood in which you want to build the house may have covenants or restrictions that limit the type, size or style of the houses within the neighborhood.