Are Custom-Built Homes More Expensive Than Older Homes?
California State License # 1035515

Are Custom-Built Homes More Expensive Than Older Homes?

March 8, 2019

If you’re preparing to purchase your “forever” home, you might be wondering which is the more economically efficient option: purchasing an existing home, or building your own home. This really depends on what you’re looking for out of your new home—there are many pros and cons of building versus buying that you should consider as part of your decision.

But if we’re just looking at cost, here are some of the considerations you’ll want to keep in mind before you reach out to a team of custom home builders in Sonoma County, CA.

Upfront costs

When you purchase an existing home, the national average for a 1,500 square-foot home built in the 1960s or before is $223,000, or about $148 per square foot. Of course, this price varies widely based on where you live—here in California, that would be an absolute steal!

If you build a home, the national average is $289,415, which is significantly more than the cost of purchasing an existing home. However, the median size of new homes is about 2,467 square feet, meaning you’re getting more for your money. The average price per square foot for new construction is $103.

One of the advantages here that new custom homes also have is that you’re only paying for what you want, whereas an existing home might have features you intend to get rid of later.

Maintenance costs

Older homes have more wear and tear on them, so you can expect them to need more maintenance as well. You’ll have to consider the possibility that you’ll need to purchase a new HVAC system or roof, or refinish your hardwood floors.

There is much less upkeep associated with newly constructed homes, because everything in the home is both new and under warranty. This means less money spent on maintenance and less stress over items in your home breaking down with little notice.

Landscaping costs

One of the advantages of older homes is that their landscaping has matured, so you’re going to have well-established plantings and larger trees. Mature trees can actually add tens of thousands of dollars to your property value in some cases.

When you build a new home, you also have to perform the landscaping from scratch, and if you want to plant a lot of trees, those costs can add up quite quickly.

Energy costs

New homes are almost always more energy efficient than older homes, because they’ve been designed and built in an era in which energy efficiency is considered much more important. You can retrofit older homes in ways to make them more energy efficient, but this often means new HVAC systems, new appliances, new windows and new insulation. That can be prohibitively expensive.

For more information about the financial pros and cons of buying used or purchasing new with your home, we encourage you to contact the team of custom home builders in Sonoma County, CA at ABA Custom Homes Inc. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and tell you more about what goes into the process of designing and building a custom home!

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