We lived in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom starter home for nearly eight years, but we felt like we needed more space to support our growing family.  We looked at the houses for sale on MLS and checked out the show homes that were being built in new subdivisions.  In the end, we decided that building a house was a better option for us than buying an existing home.

Here are 4 advantages to building a house:

Customized.  With the resale housing market, buyers visit dozens of listings to try and find the perfect house.  Building a house gives buyers the ability to customize their home to suit their needs.  It was easy to see what we could add when we were using project management software for construction for our house. We added features like custom counter-tops and upgraded flooring for an extra few thousand dollars.  We also knocked $5,000 off the price by removing a feature wall from the plans.  As a bonus, we got to pick out our lot in the new subdivision.

Affordable.  We heard horror stories of buyers going way over budget with a new house, but our builder quoted us a base price and we worked with their team to stick to our budget.  There were a few existing houses on the market that met our needs, but because of their location they were expensive compared to building a house from scratch.  An older home would also require extensive renovations to suit our tastes, and who knows what we might find behind the walls.

Energy Efficient.  A new house gives you the latest in energy saving appliances and building code standards.  Our new house is twice the size of our old one, yet our utility bills are 10 per cent less than before.  The energy and environmentally efficient features included; high efficiency direct vented furnace, high efficiency power vented hot water tank, double pane low E windows, insulated overhead garage door, and energy efficient spacing on all framing.  Our house also came with seven brand-new ENERGY STAR appliances.

Protected.  When building a house in Alberta, you are protected by the new home warranty program which offers deposit protection, builder performance protection, structural integrity and first year warranty protection to home buyers as well as mediation, conciliation and arbitration procedures.

Disadvantages to Building a House

There are some drawbacks to building a house.  Most subdivisions are located on the outskirts of the city, leaving you with a long commute to work, and a good distance away from schools and grocery stores.

New developments will likely be under construction for a few years, which can be a nuisance.  Many people have also experienced issues with their builder, with the project exceeding budget or taking longer than promised to complete.

Building a house was an enjoyable process for us, aside from a few minor issues along the way.  We took possession of our new house nearly six months ago and couldn’t be happier with our decision.


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