Is It Cheaper to Build or Buy a House? Your Questions Answered

Buy a House

Who does not dream about constructing their ideal house? With real estate prices rising, building a house from scratch is becoming more popular with buyers. It allows customization, and the price is not that different from buying an existing property.

But actually just how much does it cost? Below, we ask the question “Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?” and give a rundown on the costs incurred. 


The determining factor to consider when building or buying a house is location. This is always the primary factor, and the price of land will have the most impact on your property costs.

In fact, unless you want huge amounts of land around your property this should be cheaper than building the house itself. You should only need around .2 acres for an average-sized home. 

Main Costs

Firstly, hiring an architect to draw up the plans can set you back around $5000. The actual building itself will account for around one-third of your total build cost. This will include the frame, walls, window, doors, and roofing

The interior is where the bulk of your budget can go. Cabinets and flooring can cost another third, while kitchens and bathrooms will add more on top depending on your specifications. Utilities like electricity, heating, and water can around 13% to the total budget. 

Secondary Costs

The largest secondary cost will be for your digging and excavation. This could vary vastly, as the land you have purchased could be excellent for building or uncover bad news. Get a surveyor to check it before you purchase so that you can make a better assessment of your foundation costs. 

The land you purchase may also need clearing if it already has rubble or forestry on it. If you need advice on this, click here for more information.

You will also need paperwork done before you begin. Thes include an impact fee, land inspections, and any documents related to your utilities. 

Is It Cheaper to Build or Buy a House?

Again, this all comes down to location. After this, you need to consider the build of the house and size. Prices for ready-built homes can vary drastically depending on location. 

In general, building a home yourself is more expensive. However, it offers you a lot more possibilities. You also get to choose your own fittings, fixtures, kitchens, and bathrooms.

In addition to this, you do not pay for any rooms or space you do not need. You may purchase a ready-built home with a double garage that you do not want and pay a price for. This will not happen in your own build. 

When purchasing a ready-built home, you should also take into account maintenance costs. The older the building, the more maintenance it will require and you could end up paying just as much for big fixes such as a new roof or any problems that occur with subsidence. 

Starting Out

Start by looking at prices for land in the area you wish to build upon. Once you have this, form a rough calculation and compare it to local house prices. This should allow you to weigh up the pros and cons, then answer the question “Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?”

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