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Custom vs. Existing Homes: The Best Choice for You

A new home is one of the most exciting and memorable milestones in your life — and one of the most exciting investments too. You’ve figured out your budget and your location, and you’ve got your wish list ready: four bedrooms, walk-in closets, maybe a spacious deck and an updated kitchen.

But now another important decision: Do you purchase a pre-existing home or build something custom?

With an existing home, your options are confined to what’s presently on the market, and you may not be able to tick off everything on your wish list. A custom home provides more flexibility, even in the definition itself. A custom home can range from a pre-designed layout with your choice in some finishing touches to a one-of-a-kind creation where you work directly with the design team from the start.

To better weigh the pros and cons of each, we’ve put together a guide to help you decide on your next home.

Purchasing an Existing Home

This is the typical homebuying experience that brings to mind HGTV shows and “For Sale” signs. It involves browsing online or going house hunting with a Realtor and attending open-houses and virtual tours. If you find your next home, you make an offer, close, grab the keys and move in.

This process comes with its own perks. It’s a relatively quick process, although the house hunting and viewing a myriad of homes can feel exhausting. However, this gives you a predictable timeline of events: you look, you find, you buy, you move. Additionally, buying an existing home means there are fewer decisions you have to make (for anyone who doesn’t count decision-making skills as a strength).

This makes this process ideal for anyone who needs to move in quickly or who has a tight schedule that needs to be met.

But buying an existing home comes with some cons as well. The fewer decisions means more compromising on what you want from your next home. Your wish list is confined by what’s currently on the market. Furthermore, surprise maintenance issues and resulting repairs are likely. Older homes especially may need major renovation projects to ensure their safety and their ability to meet your needs. With a pre-existing home, it’s vital to build in the time and cost of any repairs to your schedule and budget.

Additionally, if a community is what you’re looking for (plus community-exclusives like a neighborhood pool, gym or clubhouse), it may prove difficult to find your perfect home in the perfect community for you.

Creating a Custom Home

Building a custom home means you’re much more likely to get everything checked off on your wish list, ready for you on the day you move in. Custom homes have a spectrum of options based on the community and builder. It could be as easy as making a few choices that turn your house into a home, including finishing touches like colors, countertops and carpets.

With other builders, the “custom” part in “custom home” starts at the very beginning as you work with the designer or architect on everything from the floorplan to the doorknobs. If your wish list includes anything from a private movie theater to a zen-inspired master bathroom or even just the perfect shade of hardwood floors, a custom home can deliver each of your wants and needs. This project ensures your new home is truly and uniquely yours.

With any custom home, you’re likely to have fewer surprise repairs or maintenance issues than with an existing home, and many building companies provide extra protection with warranties. While this process does take more time, experienced and creditable builders, like those at Martin’s Gate, help keep you on-time and on-budget for your perfect home.

Custom vs. Existing: Meeting Your Exact Needs

A new home is a huge investment and milestone, and it’s up to you to determine what’s best for your needs. If you’re on a tight schedule, willing to compromise on your wishlist, and fine with some DIY, buying an existing home may be a good option. If you want a home that is uniquely yours and has your every want, or if you want to be a part of a community and have access to great amenities, a custom home could be perfect for you.

Here at Martin’s Gate, we want to ensure your new home meets your unique life, style and goals. We have a range of prices and styles as well as custom options spanning from finishing touches to entire luxury home designs. Have some questions? Want to schedule a visit? We’re happy to talk to you about options and the custom process for your next home.

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