Build a Home, Buy a Home, or Update Your Home?

April 20, 2016

Earlier this month the Seattle Times ran an article optimistically called War Stories from the Seattle Housing Market. Although real estate in Port Angeles, Sequim and the surrounding areas hasn’t reached quite the same levels there is a healthy demand that is driving inventory down and prices up. The result can be frustrating whether you live in the area or want to relocate to Western Washington for retirement. Many would-be buyers are asking whether they should buy an existing home, build a custom home, or simply update the home they currently live in. Here are some pros and cons of each option to help you manage the market.

Buying an Existing Home

Short on time? Buying an existing home might be the right choice. This is one of the most time-saving ways to find a new home because there is no design process, no build time, and you can typically move in within 4-6 weeks. When you buy an existing home you also see the finished product before you buy, but what you see isn’t always what you get. Older homes may come with unforeseen repairs or the need to update appliances, flooring, fixtures and other elements that can really add up. Buying an existing home almost always includes compromise: the right location but the wrong kitchen, the perfect kitchen but a garage that’s too small, and so on. Pros:
    • The entire process is fast and you don’t need to make any design decisions
    • You may be able to negotiate the price down to save money
  • Fixtures and appliances are usually included in the price
    • You don’t always know what you’re getting
    • You may pay more through competitive multiple bids
    • You may have to make compromises, such as location, kitchen size or lack of an extra room
    • Renovations or maintenance may be needed
  • Older homes are not usually built to up-to-date energy efficiency standards which can result in higher energy bills

Renovating an Existing Home

If you already own a home in Western Washington then you might be wondering if it’s better to simply renovate your existing home than buy or build a new one. This is a popular option among homeowners in markets when rates are high or home values are low. If you love the location of your home but the master bathroom just needs to be a bit bigger or the kitchen needs to be updated this is a great option. However if you don’t think you still want to live in your home in 5, 10 or even 20 years then building might be a better choice. Right now home values are stronger than they were just a few years ago and interest rates are still at historic lows. This means that now may be a good time to sell your less-than-perfect home and build one that’s just the way you want it. Pros:
    • You don’t have to pack up and move
    • There’s no upheaval to your daily routine
  • Great option if you love the location or overall layout of your current home
    • Even if you renovate and put in a brand-new kitchen, or den, the rest of the house is still old and that includes the insulation, electrical and plumbing
  • By the time you’re done renovating, it may have worked out to be cheaper to build a custom home

Building a Port Angeles Custom Home

Building a custom home in Port Angeles and surrounding areas in Western Washington offers the best of both worlds. You can design the exact home you want and build in the location you choose. Although there are horror stories about custom homes going over budget and over schedule, the truth is that this is completely avoidable. In fact, many of our customers find that building custom comes in at about the same price as a similarly amenitized new home. Pros:
    • Your custom home will be exactly how and where you want it
    • Everything will be brand new
    • Your home will meet the latest energy efficiency standards
  • You can design every inch of your home exactly as you envision it
    • It can take around a year to build your own brand-new home, but the payoff for owning your dream home is well worth it
    • It can be easy to exceed your budget, but our team of architects and designers will work closely with you to ensure you stick to what you planned
  • If the neighborhood is brand new, you could find yourself living among construction noise
So what’s right for you? The answer will be different for everyone. We recommend making a list of what’s most important to you in your new home before you start shopping real estate listings and open houses. Then, see what’s available in your price range. If you don’t find the home you want, and your current home is no longer a fit, talk to us about designing and building a custom home for you. You can request a free Project Analysis or Live Chat with us. Estes Builders is an award-winning design build firm that specializes in custom homes in Western Washington. We have earned more than 130 customer testimonials and a reputation as Western Washington’s most trusted custom home builder. We build custom homes in Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Silverdale, Port Orchard and surrounding areas. Contact us for a FREE Project Analysis to discuss your project.]]>